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Teacher Becky Winstanley and Implicated Theatre Director Frances Rifkin worked collaboratively on ACT ESOL, an ongoing theatre and language education project that combines Theatre of the Oppressed and Participatory ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).
ACT ESOL is a project by the Serpentine Galleries' Edgware Road Project, where participatory ESOL teachers and Implicated Theatre work with language learners to develop a more political ESOL approach that combines language with a focus on resistance.
Following the devastating impact that cuts and aggressive immigration policies have had on mainstream, government-funded ESOL provision, political ESOL projects such as this are timely and much needed.
Implicated Theatre ran an 8-week pilot project in Spring 2015, which aimed to work with second language speakers to combine Boal inspired Theatre of the Oppressed work with language development.
Participants enrolled in the course to learn new performance skills and use the theatre as a context to develop their English language skills.
Experiences of migration in relation to language were not necessarily explored adequately in previous Implicated Theatre workshops. And although many teachers successfully use drama techniques in their ESOL work, few are familiar with the complexity and transformational potential of Theatre of the Oppressed.
The idea emerged to create a course specifically for Theatre of the Oppressed with English and to pilot a project with theatre and language experts working together to experiment with different ideas. Implicated Theatre worked with the Migrants Resources Centre and English for Action to establish the project which became ACT ESOL.
As the project continued we worked towards creating a resource for ESOL teachers launched at the end of 2018. You can download it here
This discussion launched an interim report by English for Action’s Becky Winstanley, that describes the work we did during the pilot of the ACT ESOL project but also hopes to inspire other teachers to try out and develop this work in their own contexts.
The digital version of the report is available to download.
An interim report that describes the work we did during the pilot of the ACT ESOL project with Implicated Theatre and Frances Rifkin and students from the Migrant Resource Centre.
The report also hopes to inspire other teachers to try out and develop this work in their own contexts.
Becky Winstanley is an experienced ESOL teacher and teacher educator working in Tower Hamlets.
Her particular areas of interest include participatory approaches to education, language and migration and language and literacy development for social change.
She worked on Actionaid's Reflect ESOL project, adapting the international Reflect model for language learning in the UK and trained with Reflect practitioners in Liberia.
She has been an active trade unionist for many years and is interested in teachers’ and students’ struggles in education and beyond
The experimental workshops explore the relationships between political speech and action, the self and the collective, voice and silence. Forming close relationships with migrant’s rights groups and unions, Implicated Theatre creates theatrical interventions inspired by the real-life struggle and highlighting issues of social justice.
For more information please contact email@example.com
For more information on taking part in the workshop and also for being part of a core team of teachers who would like to contribute to finalising a resource for other ESOL teachers, please contact Projects Curator, Amal Khalaf on firstname.lastname@example.org