Contact: Meili Fang
This project will develop a documentation of and resources for a Performance Approach to language learning, an approach which has been developed by Meili Fang over several years and has been used for teaching Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese (Hokkien) and Karaim, an endangered language spoken in Lithuania.
In the Performance Approach, performance is a primary goal and learning activity. A range of simple and concrete activities are used, together with group preparation and presentation of an original piece for drama. Audio and video technologies are used to extend the values of the activities.
Performance continually builds up in layers the learner’s repertoire of all skills, including listening, speaking, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. The approach is especially effective for rapid learning, in a measurable way, and creating new resources along the way. Some Performance Approach activities, such as drama, are some of the only ways for effectively developing language functions such as modality and expressing emotions.
Aims and Objectives
This project aims to
- document the Performance Approach to language learning
- create a teacher-friendly document that outlines the criteria for the Performance Approach and examples of how to implement it
- create video materials showing the value of drama in language learning
- disseminate the information about the Performance Approach
Products, Outputs & Outcomes
Outputs of the project are
- a short manual for teachers using the Performance Approach, with examples
- example curriculum from a course using the Performance Approach
- evaluation via student questionnaires and structured learner feedback
- audio recordings of performance examples in classroom situations
- video documentation of aspects of student drama production, including rehearsal and complete performance
- a public presentation or a short series of seminars to SOAS/UCL staff outlining and demonstrating the Performance Approach, allowing evaluation of results
Invited talks and keynote speaker
- A Performance Approach to Language Teaching and Learning. Women Educators and Language Learners, National Women’s Education Center, Tokyo, 13 February 2010.
- Creativity and Methodology in Language Teaching and Learning - A Performance Approach. The Institute of Oriental Culture Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo. 26 November 2009.
- Performing across Cultures: Drama in the Classroom. Professional Workshop on Using Drama in Language Learning, SOAS-CETL, University of London, 13 November 2009.
- A Performance Approach to Language Teaching and Learning. (Invited speaker) The Seventh International Symposium on Taiwanese Languages and Teaching, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, 6-7 September 2008.
- Meili Fang and David Nathan. Language Documentation and Pedagogy for Endangered Languages: a Mutual Revitalisation. Workshop on Language Revitalisation and Maintenance, SOAS, 9 February 2008.
- Taiwanese language teaching and development in the United Kingdom. Conference on Taiwan Studies: British Perspectives, Academia Sinica, Taipei, December 2006.
- A New Method for Chinese Language Teaching and Learning. Ochanomizu Chinese Language and Literature Workshop, 24 April 2010.
- Methodology for accelerated and effective language teaching and learning. Winterschool in Saami Language Documentation and Revitalization, Bodø University College, Norway, 7 March 2010.
- Performance Approach in Teaching and Learning Putonghua. Professional Workshop on Linguistics and Teaching CSL (2nd session), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 23-26 April 2009.
- A Performance Approach to Second/Third Language Teaching and Learning. Workshop on Multilingualism, Regional & Minority Languages: Paradigms for ‘Languages of the Wider World’. SOAS, University of London, 16-17 April 2009.
- A ‘Performance Approach’ to minority language teaching and learning. The First International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation, Hawaii University, 12-14 March 2009.
- Meili Fang & David Nathan. Language Documentation and Pedagogy: Seeking Outcomes and Accountability. Foundation of Endangered Languages (FEL XII) Conference on Languages and Language Learning, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, 27 September 2008.