Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Readers Theater Session Report: TESOL 2015

This is the second blog post in a series from the 2015 TESOL Convention in Toronto. In this post, I discuss the presentation "Readers Theater as a Bridge to More Fluent Reading" by Fredricka L. Stoller and William Grabe.

In this presentation, the presenters provided the audience with the original texts along with the accompanying readers theater scripts. Dr. Grabe explained how readers theater builds a sense of pace and chunking. It is a tool to help increase reading fluency by allowing students to read a quicker speeds. Both Dr. Grabe and Dr. Stoller mentioned that while readers theater is often used in k-12, it is not often used with adult learners and for academic texts.

By showing the differences between the scripts and the original texts, the presenters highlighted the ways to adapt a reading passage into a readers theater script. Here are some of the take away tips for adapting scripts.

Tips For Creating Scripts
  • Break up a long text and consider making a script on one section rather than the whole article
  • Add questions to help move the script along
  • Add conversational language to help progress the script
  • Change pronoun references so that it is more conversational
  • Include an introduction to the script topic, such as a news reporter, radio announcer, or talk show host explaining the topic and who they will interview
Steps For Implementation
  • Once a script has been created (usually by teachers unless you have an advanced class), a group gets copies of the script and rereads it a number of times on their own. During this time the teacher should demonstrate pronunciation and emphasis of different words and explain any unknown vocabulary.
  • Students could choose their characters as opposed to having the teacher assign them.
  • Then the group gets together and rehearses in their groups.
  • Finally there is a group performance.

Readers Theatre Websites

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