Dear SCENARIO Readers,
as previously announced, the current SCENARIO edition contains a selection of contributions which are dedicated to the topic „theater methods and foreign language research “. This edition’s focus originates from a workshop with the same title which was held as part of the 24th Conference of the German Society for Foreign Language Research (http://www.dgff.de). The DGFF-congress took place in Hamburg from September 28th to October 1st 2011 in Hamburg and was themed „Globalization, migration, foreign language teaching”. Once again, the congress was a meeting point for specialists from Germany and abroad and from various disciplines such as foreign language teaching and research, educational science, and second language acquisition.
The topic „theater methods and foreign language research“ brought together a large group of experts from different fields of work such as school, teacher training, university, youth and social work - as well as theater pedagogy and drama in education. On two afternoons, the following key questions were tackled: What kind of impact does a drama and theater approach have on foreign language learning and how can possible effects be measured? Four articles in this SCENARIO edition are based on talks given in the workshop with an introduction by Almut Küppers (Frankfurt University) and Maik Walter (Textbewegung Berlin) “Theater methods under scrutiny of research” in which an outline is given on the workshop’s proceedings and results.
Gerd Koch (Alice Salomon University of Applied Science Berlin) discusses in his research essay the crunch question in the field of theater education, namely whether or not theater – as an art in its own right – should get exploited for educational purposes at all.
The contributions by Doreen Bryant (Tübingen University) and Wolfgang Sting (Hamburg University) both focus on very successful and innovative theater projects in Germany which aim to develop (German as a second) language competencies of pupils with a family history of migration. While Doreen Bryant, who refers to the (German as a second language) Theater Camp in Tübingen, deals more intensively with linguistic issues, Wolfgang Sting takes a more holistic stance and focuses in his presentation of the TheaterLanguageCamp in Hamburg on theater as “another way of speaking”.
Stefanie Giebert’s (Reutlingen University of Applied Science) action research project was carried out in the field of higher education. She used a self-adapted version of a Shakespeare play in order to teach her students business English.
Two other articles complement the conference contributions of the workshop and critically appreciate research methodology, too.
Julia Kinze (LISUM Hamburg) presents the research instruments being used in the LanguageTheaterCamp in Hamburg and discusses the results of the data generated in 2010.
Romi Domkowsky (Protestant University of Applied Science Berlin) and Maik Walter (Textbewegung Berlin) discuss the results of a longitudinal study with a research focus on identity development of teenage learners at schools in Berlin. In this article the question is raised if these findings can be adopted to foreign language learning and what impact the study could have on foreign language research.
We have tried to compile an enriched SCENARIO edition, i.e. articles are complemented by research materials whenever possible. In fact, Stefanie Giebert’s contribution provides the adapted Shakespeare text, other contributions give access to research instruments such as questionnaires or observation charts. However, this was not always possible. We would like to thank those authors who have kindly made their research instruments available for the SCENARIO readership and by so doing helped to contribute to the demands of quality assurance in our field.
The edition is rounded off by three reviews as well as an interview: Almut Küppers discusses Anja Jäger’s “Kultur szenisch erfahren”, a PhD study in the field of drama teaching with an action research design. Mike Fleming’s inspiring “The Arts in Education. An Introduction to Aesthetics, Theory and Pedagogy” is reviewed by Micha Fleiner (Pedagogical University Freiburg). And Maik Walter closes the circle of this special SCENARIO edition from research to teaching practice and critically appreciates Maike Plath’s “Methodenkartei für das Darstellende Spiel”, followed by an interview with Peadar Donohue (Cyclone Repertory Company, Cork) under the heading Is Shakespeare a Foreign Language?
We would like to thank all contributors for their cooperation as well as Susanne Even and Manfred Schewe for the option to document the work in Hamburg in this SCENARIO edition. Since discussions and presentations in the workshop were held in German, this edition is entirely in German – except for one review and the interview. Last but not least, we hope reading will now be insightful and exciting and may even inspire some to carry out his or her own small research project.
The Guest Editors
Almut Küppers & Maik Walter
Istanbul and Berlin, July 2012