All the World’s a Stage: Acting to Learn English

New York City is known for its impressive theater scene, and actors and actresses flock to the city hoping to snag a role in an award-winning Broadway show or a big-budget film. But acting isn’t reserved only for the professional actors; in fact, it can be a great tool to help students of ALCC American Language, or any student, learn English.

How Acting Helps Students Learn English

A group of people putting their hands together

Speech is only a small part of any language, as body language and tone of voice are just as important as the words themselves. Acting gives students a chance to learn how to use appropriate body language, facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice when communicating with others. It allows students to be creative when it comes to interacting with others, teaching them how to fully engage with others to transcend language barriers. But it also is a fun way to practice vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar, and it gives students the opportunity to learn about different accents, dialects, slang terms, and everyday use of the language.

Acting Exercises to Help Learn English

Students don’t need formal acting classes or any real talent to be able to improve their English skills; all they need is a few study buddies and some imagination. “Old Friends” is a fun improvisation game that calls on students to imagine they are characters in a particular situation, such as old schoolmates who meet up 10 years in the future. They use words and body language to discuss what their lives have been like since they last saw each other. “The Circle Story” is a fun storytelling exercise that requires students to sit in a circle and tell a story together. Each student might contribute a single word or a single sentence, then the next student adds to it to keep the story going. Depending on students’ level of comprehension, they may elect to retell a classic fairytale or create a new story altogether. If there are enough students, some might even choose to act the story out with appropriate props and body language.

There are endless ways for ALCC American Language students to use acting to learn English as a way to supplement their language courses. To learn more about our classes, call 212-736-2373 or register online.

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