Dear SCENARIO Readers,
First of all, we are delighted to announce that SCENARIO was awarded the European Language Label in 2010 for its role in establishing innovative connections between the performing arts and foreign language education as well as striking new paths towards performative teaching and learning.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank the members of our advisory board, our contributors and readers for their part in making this happen.
The new edition starts off again with our rubric Texts around Theatre (TaT). This time, a special perspective on theatre is provided by an excerpt from Theodor Storm’s novella Paul the Puppeteer (1874). The narrative revolves around a little boy‘s fascination for puppet theatre. The excerpt also highlights the ability and power of improvisation.
The first two articles show how challenging topics profit from a drama pedagogy approach.
Lynn Kutch (Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, USA) examines the topic of the Holocaust, based on Ruth Klüger’s text weiter leben. During the course of one semester with US-American students of German, Kutch uses various techniques from drama and theatre pedagogy in order to make the students familiar with both historical context and the main characters of the text. Her goal is to sensitize students for the connections between individual and collective experience(s).
Eucharia Donnery (Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan) tackles the topic of bullying, a problem educators are faced with not only in the Western world but also increasingly in Asia. Her article familiarizes readers with aspects of the Japanese educational system as well as with the role of drama pedagogy in foreign language teaching and learning. The article describes an innovative drama pedagogy project that enables students of the Faculty of Human Welfare Studies at Kwansei Gakuin University to further develop their communicative competence within a topic related to their major. After a successful pilot phase, combining language acquisition and examination of a socially relevant issue has become an integral component of the curriculum at KGU.
The third contribution pivots around the Common European Framework of Reference (CEF). In her article, Ursula Bünger (Herder Institut Leipzig, Germany, ITC Archimede (Modica) und ITT Giorgio La Pira (Pozzallo), Italy) expounds on the problem of affective, intentional, and intercultural aspects of language learning being neglected in the CEF. She disagrees with the holistic stance of drama pedagogy being incompatible with the pragmatic goals of the CEF though. A drama pedagogy project she devised at a high school in Southern Italy for absolute beginners demonstrates possibilities to combine affective and cognitive dimensions in foreign language education. Of specific interest for many readers might be how cell phones were employed to document lesson proceedings and to help pupils become aware of their own learning processes.
Two reviews are included in this edition.
Gert Hofmann (University College Cork, Ireland) discusses Florian Vaßen’s Korrespondenzen: Theater. Ästhetik. Pädagogik (Berlin: Schibri Verlag 2010). This anthology highlights contemporary correspondencies between artistic and educational practices within theater and thus points to developments also relevant for the field of foreign languages.
Stephen Boyd’s (University College Cork) review of Steven Ritz-Barr’s puppet film of Cervantes’ Quixote connects back to Theodor Storm’s Paul the Puppeteer and therefore rounds off this edition nicely.
Finally we would like to encourage our readers to join the SCENARIO email list (see link on homepage).
Susanne Even / Manfred Schewe
December 28th, 2010