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Teaching and Learning

Home  >  Teaching and Learning  >  Reading Workbooks  >  Elementary School
Readers Theater for Bilingual/ESL Students
By LaVon Bridges

Readers Theater is a drama that is meant to be performed as a group reading, not as a fully staged production. It is a great tool for teaching reading, especially for Bilingual/ESL students. Bilingual/ESL students need oral reading practice to improve fluency and pronunciation. To perform the Readers Theater requires several rehearsals, and this rehearsal structure is especially helpful to motivate the students for a final presentation of the material. Other general benefits of this exercise:
  • Students enjoy the "acting" and being part of a group production
  • Students learn vocabulary
  • Students learn about literature and drama

In addition, I like to adapt multicultural works of literature for Readers Theater for a number of reasons:

  • Various cultures are represented in our ESL classes
  • Students learn respect for other cultures
  • Students learn about different cultures

In my productions, I have the students make simple costumes, and through this process they learn new words and an appreciation of the traditional dress from the culture represented in the play.

The Princess and the Beggar, a Korean Folktale

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