Tag Archives: forum theatre

Speak English!

6 Feb

Lots of our students have noticed a rise of racism and xenophobia in recent times. Streatham in south London is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse parts of the city – at one time boasting more languages than anywhere in the UK.

Where better to discuss multi-lingual London? Our students in one of our Streatham classes were discussing languages in the community. One student told a story of a friend somewhere out of London who was in the supermarket, speaking Polish to her daughter, when someone came up to her and told her to “speak English”.

The following week we discussed the issue in greater depth using a technique called “problem-posing from a code”, which originates from Paulo Freire, one of our inspirations at EFA. Here is the code, which is a picture of the story from the week before: Continue reading


ESOL and Forum Theatre Roleplays: take 2

9 Jun

In the Easter holidays we ran our second ‘forum theatre for ESOL’ course at the Katherine Lowe centre. The course involved two days of games, discussion and devising which culminated in performances for the group. After these performances, the ESOL-learner audience revisited scenes depicted and tried out interventions to improve the outcomes.

Our groups came up with scenes which touched upon the following difficulties

– sexist street harassment

– confrontations on a bus

– being laughed at for a lack of English

Continue reading

Forum roleplays and ESOL workshop

20 Feb

This week we ran a Forum theatre half-term course for ESOL learners in Battersea at the Katherine Lowe Settlement. In Forum Theatre you get to roleplay difficult situations and experiment with different ways to handle them. Roleplays are very useful when you’re learning a language because they’re about as near as you can get (in the safety of the classroom) to using language in a real-life setting. But we were excited to see how our participants would get on with the more political dimension that Forum Theatre brings, where you’re deliberately practising intervening on injustice.

Continue reading