Ding, Li: How Does the Integrated Approach of Drama and Literature Influence ESL Children’s English Writing? A Case Study Research

For the past decades, drama has been proposed as a “catalyst for writing”, because it creates for the learners a genuine sense of “Audience, Purpose and Topic” (Cameron, 2001, p. 156) by engaging them kinaesthetically, emotionally, and intellectually in the exploration and development of drama (Chang, 2012, p. 31). Nevertheless, in stark contrast to the vast amount of empirical studies on drama and oral communication, the examination of drama’s role in improving children’s writing skills, particularly in second-language learning, is extremely sparse.
This research project investigates the effect of using children’s literature through drama pedagogy in developing young students’ English writing in a Chinese primary school. The participants were grade six students with mixed abilities of English language, and the intervention lasted for two months. Two literary texts were chosen, analysed, and devised into drama activities with the aim of generating purposeful writings of various genres. Students’ performance in class, their writing samples both in and out of drama roles, questionnaire results, and interview transcripts will be cross examined and interpreted to disclose the roles drama and literature might play, and to what extent, in fostering young learners’ English writing in the ESL context.