Here is a piece that we recently wrote for a project we are working on. It gives some idea of our teaching philosophy. The project is focused on theatre skills for youth.
Learning is a process in which new growth and ability emerge from meaningful action in the world. It is not a simple accumulation of facts with an easily definable goal and learners are not empty vessels to be filled up by the teacher’s knowledge.
In learning performance arts, as in language learning, meaningful action needs to be both experiential and communicative. Experiential in that people learn best by doing, not just being told what to do, and communicative in that this doing should involve real communication, not just being fed theory or grammar items.
Teachers need to model the skills the learners need and then carefully support them as they go through the learning process, developing content drawn from the learner’s own lives and experiences. This works in multiple directions, with teachers learning from students, students from each other and all growing together.
For this learning model to be successful, everyone must feel safe to take risks in a supportive atmosphere where positive feedback precedes constructive criticism and learning is gradually achieved through non-threatening processes.
In Languaging with Story Soup, sessions will be organized around arts training while English language training will be continuously incorporated as support for and feedback on the learners language needs and abilities.