French Language Drama and Dance

using drama and dance techniques in extended and French-immersion classrooms

Beyond “Words Without the World”: Meaningful Intercultural Interaction in the Subsequent Language Classroom

Workshop Description: Words should be used for their transforming power, their ability to construct a students’ identity or their ability to construct an intercultural space between cultures and individuals. This workshop will seek to explore the role of drama in subsequent language learning that prepares students for emancipatory cultural contact, rather than a language classroom that teaches the words without the world. In this workshop, we will engage in embodied learning experiences that educators can use to reveal students’ identity and culture and dispel myths of cultural neutrality. Using the arts, the approach must be one that helps students make sense of the world without advancing Westernization and privileging the Western gaze of “Other” cultures. How can educators create spaces for students to explore their own agency in intercultural interactions? How can they invite students to explore power within intercultural social relations? Participants will leave this workshop with strategies for engaging students in process drama that links to student-centred social inquiry, enabling students to “word their world”.

Tessa Lofthouse (she/her) is an Ontario elementary French immersion teacher in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. In her teaching practice, she focuses on social justice-infused, anti-racist pedagogy, integrating subject areas and using the arts to promote social change. She received her BA in French Studies and her BEd in 2014 from Brock University. She has facilitated workshops for the Hamilton-Wentworth DSB, Peel DSB and co-facilitated a 2018 & 2021 OTF Summer Institute. She was the 2019 laureate of the Concours des Professionels créatifs for the Association Canadienne des professeurs d’Immersion (ACPI).


Dansons!, Exploring Creative Dance virtually using a French Dance Resource

Workshop Description: This active workshop will engage you in Creative Dance using a French Language Dance Resource. The lessons and activities provided will show you how to foster participation in Creative Dance on a virtual platform. These lessons will transfer well to in person learning. Assessment and Evaluation will be discussed in connection to the Dance lessons provided and, to Dance Education as a whole. This workshop will be presented in French and English.

Debra Kapp, BFA, Bed, is a retired teacher from TVDSB, teaching Dance, and French at Lester B. Pearson School for the Arts since 1990. Debra is a graduate of York University, Faculty of Dance, and developed the dance program for LBP. Debra is a curriculum writer for the Thames Valley District School Board, the Ministry of Education and Brock University. She regularly presents workshops for teachers on how to teach Creative Movement in the school setting. Currently, Debra is an Instructor at Brock University in the Faculty of Education, teaching Drama and Dance Education to second year Teacher Candidates. Debra is Producer and Artistic Director of Art Harvest, an annual showcase of Dance Education programs from South Western Ontario.  She is co creator of Action Pak d'Action, a Creative Movement resource manual for teachers teaching Dance in the school setting.


Vivre le CECR par le volet de l'art dramatique et la danse/Bringing life to the CEFR through drama and dance

Comment mieux engager nos élèves dans la langue de façon authentique que par l'art dramatique et la danse! Venez explorer les possibilités ! Come and discover how second language acquisition can be enhanced through drama and dance...Come ready to play!

Line Roberge is an Ontario Secondary teacher. In her 20-year practice as a drama and dance teacher,  her work included directing social-justice plays and over 17 musicals.  Line is a graduate from Ryerson Polytechnical Dance Program and the Professional Training Program of The Toronto Dance Theatre. She received her BA in Theatre from Ottawa University, her BEd in 2001 from Nipissing University. In 2010 she received her MEd from Nipissing University with a focus on assessment and literacy. She has facilitated workshops in dance/drama/FSL for RDSB, Blue Water, Near North Board, CODE and OMLTA. Line is currently the FSL/Arts Coordinator K-12 for the Rainbow District School Board. 


Co-creating Communities through Comedy: Improv in French Language Learning

Workshop Description: Invented as a theatre technique to help immigrant children develop their communication skills through play, improv comedy has been inspiring youth to find their voices, internationally, for decades. The goals of improv – listening, acceptance, and collaboration – mirror the established cultural practices of welcoming, safe and inspiring subsequent language classrooms. Improv invites players to re-imagine and reflect on their learning environments as co-creators, not only of stories and scenes, but of the classroom community itself and the ways in which we play and share with one another day-to-day. Improv is immersive, and an engaging tool for exploring grammar in context using an action-oriented approach. In this workshop, delegates will play and take away improv games and drama exercises that provide repeated opportunities for joyful, authentic, spontaneous, and student-centered oral communication in French. Finally, this workshop will touch on improv approaches in different francophone contexts, invite critical questioning, and provide suggestions for making improv accessible to all learners, both in-person and online.

Adriana Alfano (M.Ed) is a French-immersion teacher with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. She began improvising at the Staircase Theatre in 2013, where she performs, teaches, and volunteers as the Educational Lead of Staircase Improv. Her passion for improv education has led her to facilitate workshops for teachers of the HWCDSB, at conferences for OMLTA and ETFO, for students at McMaster University, as well as for adults and youth via the Centre Francophone Hamilton.

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