Playing with Possibilities: Drama and Core French in the Montessori Elementary Classroom in British Columbia, Canada


  • Eva Göksel Pädagogische Hochschule Zug



French as a Second Language (FSL) is not often a popular subject among Canadian elementary and high school students. Negative attitudes and low motivation for learning French contribute to attrition at the high school level. In this article, an alternative teaching approach is applied to the Canadian FSL context at the elementary school level in the province of British Columbia. This action research study conducted in 2010 investigated the outcomes of using a drama-based approach to instruct Core French to 12 year-old students at a Montessori elementary (public) school in British Columbia, Canada. Ten students worked with a teacher/researcher twice a week over a six-week period, using drama strategies and improvisational activities to practice and improve their French language and literacy skills. The use of drama strategies proved motivational for the students who participated with enthusiasm and expressed a desire to continue learning French through drama. The action research approach allowed the students a greater degree of autonomy as their feedback was used to develop lesson content. Engagement in their own learning contributed to improved student attitudes towards attending French class. Ways of further implementing this teaching approach in elementary classrooms needs to be the subject of future research.


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