Teachers' Questions: Plays in English

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Q: Hi Richard, I hope you are not too busy. In one of my elementary schools the 6 year kids want to do a Japanese play in English. They have chosen Urashima Taro. Have you ever tried to do a play with any of your 6 year students before or have you heard of anyone trying this? I'm not sure if it's possible or not as I don't really know the story. Regards Dale, Japan

I've been asked quite a lot about plays recently. Usually it's for lower grades, but I don't see any special problems with the 6th graders doing it. Most schools do tend to do Japanese plays, which I think is a little strange ( why not do ones with authentic English??), but hey, that's cool.

Two things to watch out for are:
1) Make sure you get the chance to proofread any scripts they have. They've probably just downloaded something from a demo school that will probably be full of errors.

2) If you can try and make the scripts have repeated lines ( e.g. think of the 3 little pigs with "Little pig, little pig, let me in" ) that works well.

3) If the parents are going to be watching, a good idea is to have someone do the narration in Japanese, but the lines the characters say are in English.

Then the only thing you need is to find a way to practise the lines. Class time is cool, making CDs with you narrating the lines for the kids is also OK, just make sure they don't start handing out katakana scripts. If there is a picture book with a CD of the play that can also work. One thing that I always thought would be good would be to make web pages of several plays, where the kids can click on the lines to hear them at home. If you're up for it, I could maybe help to make some pages like that.











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Be genki,

Richard



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