The Role of Drama in Task-based Learning: Agency, Identity and Autonomy


  • Lorna Carson



Drama is a genre which connects the public and private, the rehearsed and the spontaneous, the self and the other. These intriguing relationships may be examined, from an applied linguistic perspective, through the concepts of agency, autonomy and identity. This paper discusses the role of drama in university language learning within a task-based framework, and draws from an example of a collaborative drama task designed for postgraduate students in an English for Academic Purposes programme. It explores how the ideas of agency, autonomy and identity can help conceptualise this type of curricular activity, and presents the design and implementation of a dramatic task, and reviews learner evaluation of the task’s perceived impact as an alternative learning approach which lowers affective barriers, the benefits and challenges of a collaborative task, and perceived growth in language proficiency.


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