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Getting Connected: Drama Workshops Help Our SEE Students Learn English

For the past two years MTC has partnered with the Sydney Theatre Company to provide our adult Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) students with the Connected drama and language program.

Connected is a series of 6 workshops that use drama to improve language and communication skills, focusing on using imaginative stories and folktales to explore character, place and meaning. Participants enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and find that learning English quickly becomes fun.learn English

The program is taught by Sydney Theatre Company (STC) Teaching Artists in collaboration with our SEE English Trainers.

“Drama is a really engaging way of working with students regardless of their English language levels and that’s because we’re using our body language, facial expressions and other ways of making meaning,” explains STC Teaching Artist Zoe Hogan.

Connected has seen some great results, with students improving their literacy and gaining confidence and new skills. In addition to improving English, the program also aims to increase participants’ sense of social connectedness and wellbeing.

“It’s a different way of learning,” explains Teaching Artist and Western Sydney University lecturer Dr Rachael Jacobs. “We see so many different positive results. Students start using more complex adjectives and longer sentences, but the other benefit is students start to see their own creative potential, and think of future possibilities.”

Connected: An English Trainer’s perspective

Recently MTC SEE English Trainer Kathryn Salman and her class took part in the program. Watch a short video about their experience:

Kathryn says:

“My students are a warm, generous and lively group; they’re welcoming to new students and enjoy learning together. They like to joke and laugh. Consistently the students refer to MTC and this class as their second family. They try to help, support and encourage each other through their experiences in Australia. They greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn and understand more.

They were really open to taking part in Connected and anticipated each workshop avidly.

It was fantastic, because I could see the students progressing and building deeper rapport. Some were initially worried about drama being childish and I said, ‘I know we are adults, yet we can also have fun, not be so serious, learn through building confidence and language. After all, we deserve something fun too!’

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I greatly enjoyed the Connected program. It wasn’t work for me, it was fun and a new way to learn. I involved the students and myself in this venture 100% (by expanding on what we learned in the workshop during our regular classes) and because of that the program was very successful. Now the students are asking to do more drama as we relaxed and learned so much!

Now that it’s over they chat about it regularly and remind each other of everything they experienced.”

Since completing the program, Kathryn has now incorporated regular drama activities into her weekly teaching schedule. She reports that her students look forward to the sessions, and she’s having a great time teaching them!

Skills for Education and Employment

Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) is a government-funded program that helps job seekers improve their English language, computer and job searching skills. Eligible students receive up to 650 hours of classes for free, and may enrol at any time of the year.

To apply for SEE or find out more, phone MTC Australia on 1300 981 901.