Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

‘I want to be heard and seen’: the visualization of EFL students’ voices through story narratives and interactive theatre
Souad Smaili

This study was conducted at a university in Algeria. It explores the language voices and self- positioning amongst students who study English as a foreign language (EFL), through introducing an innovative teaching method that includes the process of narrating personal life experiences, turning those experiences into a scenario and performing it onstage using interactive theatre. As the voice of the learner is crucial in the classroom to break the walls of anxiety and lack of investment, to promote self-positioning and agency, and to allow the student to participate in his/her desired imagined community, I was concerned about the teaching and learning situation at the department of English where this study took place. The current situation revealed that most of the students fear to speak, but wish to become good language users and be seen by others. This has driven me towards asking the questions of what voices can they develop in theatre, and what aspects from their experiences define those voices. I ran a theatre course where 19 EFL students participated. I used thematic analysis strategy to analyse the data collected from this study. The findings revealed multiple voices that are defined by the participants’ experiences in both their social and academic contexts.

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