Drama Grammatik: Dramapädagogische Ansätze für den Grammatikunterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache

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Even, Susanne
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University College Cork
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This dissertation introduces and evaluates dramagrammar, a new concept for the teaching and learning of foreign language grammar. Grammar, traditionally taught in a predominantly cognitive, abstract mode, often fails to capture the minds of foreign language learners, who are then unable to integrate this grammatical knowledge into their use of the foreign language in a meaningful way. The consequences of this approach are manifested at university level in German departments in England and Ireland, where the outcomes are unconvincing at best, abysmal at worst. Language teaching research suggests that interaction plays an important role in foreign language acquisition. Recent studies also stress the significance of grammatical knowledge in the learning process. Dramagrammar combines both interactive negotiation of meaning and explicit grammar instruction in a holistic approach, taking up the concept of drama in foreign language education and applying it to the teaching and learning of grammar. Techniques from dramatic art forms allow grammar to be experienced not only cognitively but also in social, emotional, and bodily-kinaesthetic ways. Dramagrammar lessons confront the learner with fictitious situations in which grammar is experienced 'hands-on'. Learners have to use grammatical structures in a variety of contexts, reflect upon their use, and then enlarge and enrich the dramatic situations with their newly acquired or more finely nuanced knowledge. The initial hypothesis of this dissertation is that the drammagrammar approach is beneficial to the acquisition of foreign language grammar. This hypothesis is corroborated by research findings from language teaching pedagogy and drama in education. It is further confirmed by empirical data gained from specifically designed dramagrammar modules that have been put into practice in German departments at the University of Leicester (England), the University Colleges Cork and Dublin (Ireland), the University of Bologna (Italy), as well as the Goethe-Institute Bratislava (Slovenia). The data suggests that drammagrammar has positive effects on both understanding of and attitudes towards grammar.
Dramagrammar , Acquisition of foreign language grammar , Language teaching , Drama pedagogy
Even, Susanne. 2002. Drama Grammatik: Dramapädagogische Ansätze für den Grammatikunterricht Deutsch als Fremdsprache. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.
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