Language is a Key: Books as drama prop and learning tool

Thalia Teatro carried on with organizing professional workshops aimed at further improving the English language skills of librarians in the Regional Library of Ľudovít Štúr in Zvolen. Activities developing communicative English of the participants in this beautiful city in central Slovakia are a part of the project called Language is a key supported by the Erasmus+ program. The workshop that was held on the 14th of April prepared an unusual experience for the adult participants: in order to boost their English skills, librarians were encouraged to use… books!

There are several reasons for using books in this task. First of all, books are an integral part of the environment of the library and represent the essence of the participants’ jobs. Secondly, books are strictly tied with the concept of language, which made plenty of innovative and curious bilingual interactions with them possible. Last but not least, books are good for theatrical interactions as well and can be used to create landscapes or animated props. All three concepts were combined by Thalia Teatro experts and tested by the librarians in the new multifunctional creative space of the Zvolen City library.

The participants of the workshop had to animate books and create backgrounds out of them, simultaneously naming their actions and creations in English. We have been working with the text in the books as well: participants were asked to translate a Slovak book’s title or to convey a book’s message in English. Stories, descriptions, ideas and facts from authors’ biographies – the librarians have learned that all these things can be told in a foreign language and enjoyed the whole process.

Text and photo: Thalia Teatro

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