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Using Drama in ESP: The Interdepartmental Language Centre as a Learning Community

Alice Edna Spencer


This article seeks to illustrate how the Interdepartmental Language Centre of a university can come to represent a fertile and dynamic learning community. Its specific focus is the use of drama in two ESP courses run by the interdepartmental language centre at the University of Turin (CLA-UniTo). The first was a third-year workshop for trainee primary school teachers, the second a first-year module on a degree course in social work. Both of these courses might be said to bridge the rather ill-defined boundaries between CLIL and ESP, as in both cases language is taught through content and content through language. This cross-curricular focus disrupts the traditional verticalist hierarchy of the teacher-pupil relationship, since the course participants frequently have content-based knowledge and experience in which the “teacher” is lacking. The use of dramatization proved particularly useful in engaging and empowering each individual student in these classes, transforming the learning process into a dynamic, collaborative enterprise.


ESP, Drama, Social Work, Teacher Training, Primary Education, Interdepartmental Language Centre, Learning Communities, Collaborative Learning, Constructivist Learning, Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2019-001-spen

Copyright (©) 2019 Alice Edna Spencer – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952

Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi

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