HIGH STATUS CLASS PHOTO
Today, we were once again visited by IMPROV TEACHER, Lesly Fredman, who is assisting me, Ruth Schowalter, ESL LANGUAGE INSTRUCTOR, in developing this IMPROV ESL class. The focus of our lesson today was STATUS. Here is a pictorial explanation of what occurred today, April 26, 2012.
Every improv class begins with a warm-up. These physical and vocal exercises allow student improvers to be present in the classroom. The idea is to relax one's mind and body in order to prepare for the challenging exercises requiring a clear mind.
|GETTING GROUNDED TO PLACE|
|LOVING THE PHYSICALITY OF IT ALL. It is a pleasure to experience students away from their desks. They seem to delight in the physicality of being in their bodies. I believe this "being in the body" impacts their language learning positively!|
PLAYING THE ELEVATOR GAME (Practicing focus and emotion)
The goal for this exercise was to get student improvers to focus on the emotions of another. When the elevator door opens and a new person gets on, the people already on the elevator have to understand the emotion the newly arrived person. They then "act out" the emotion in whatever way they can imagine. When the elevator door opens, one person gets off and a new person gets on with a "new and different" emotion. The improv exercise continues as players keep adjusting their emotion to the new arrival.
|WHAT'S GOING ON HERE? The other two students have exited the elevator. Tarek (left) has entered. Ciro is figuring out what to do. Is Tarek a druggy?|
TIME FOR GOING DEEPER INTO CHARACTER. Lesly (right) gets on the elevator as sloppy drunk. Sephora at first tries to help Lesly. Instead, she is encouraged to become "intoxicated" like Lesly.
|GOING FOR IT! Sephora (left) is able to play along with her partner Lesly. Remember in improv, always take what your partner gives you.|
|CHANGING THE EMOTIONAL STATE. Both Lesly and Sephora waiting to see what Hamdan is going to "give" them when he gets on the elevator!|
In this improv exercise, the goal was to have one student begin the scene as "high status" and the other to be "low status." During the scene, the students were to slowly reverse status. To begin, the class has to give the improvers a setting and two characters.
|THE DEFENDANT AND THE JUDGE. Alejandra (left) begins the scene as a low status criminal. Hamdan is an unrelenting judge. Notice the body language. The students were also working with their voices.|
|REVERSE STATUS. Now Alejandra has become high status! Look at the change in body language as Hamdan goes low status!|
|ENGAGEMENT. Look how engaged the improvers and their audience is! IMPROV ESL is a wonderfully engaging language learning tool!|
|MORE ENGAGEMENT! LOOK AT THAT BODY LANGUAGE!|
This improv exercise requires students to pay close attention to one another and to work together. The students are asked to tell a story together at the same time. They must make eye contact with one another and look at each other's mouths. No one student makes the story up alone. Each student must contribute a piece of the story. It is challenging and fun!
|DEMONSTRATION BY THE INSTRUCTORS. Parroting is a slightly difficult exercise. The students needed to see it demonstrated to understand how to do it. Here Lesly (left) and I create a fairy tale by beginning with the words, "Once upon a time..."|
|A NATURAL REASON FOR EYE CONTACT AND GESTURES. I love the way improv exercises give students "real" reasons for performing the body language we teach in theory.|
|LOW STATUS. Compare this class photo to the one that began this blog (which was high status)!|
That's it for now dear ESL IMPROVERS. Remember! Always make your partner look good!