Full-Scale Theater Production and Foreign Language Learning

Authors

  • Colleen Ryan-Scheutz,

    1. University of Notre Dame
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      Colleen Ryan-Scheutz (PhD, Indiana University) is Assistant Professor of Italian at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.

  • Laura M. Colangelo

    1. University of Notre Dame
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      Laura M. Colangelo (BA, University of Notre Dame) is Adjunct Instructor of Italian at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.


Abstract

Abstract: This article reports a case study designed to explore the effectiveness of full-scale, authentic-text theater production for second language learning. Based on the results of preproduction and postproduction tests completed by cast and crew members, as well as the observations of all involved, the authors maintain that the diverse communication tasks necessary for the project, and the motivation generated by a common and public goal, make foreign language theater production particularly conducive to learning. The findings in this study indicated general tendencies toward improved proficiency in speaking and reading and very positive student perceptions with respect to the gains they made individually in various skill areas. Finally, the study revealed increased levels of comfort in using the foreign language.

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