"Songs My Mother Taught Me" A Psychodynamic Approach to Language Development through Music and Drama in the Multi-Ethnic Classroom.

Year: 1992

Author: Arnold, Roslyn, Hughes, John

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper presents anÿargument that a psychodynamic approach to language development through drama enactments can enhance the learning of language of students in a multi-ethnic classroom. Evidence will be cited of current thinking about the signifance of drama as a learning medium and its role in developing intercultural understanding. It will also be argued that a psychodynamic approach to language development, "recognising the underpinnings of intercultural understanding, enhances both it and language competence. Drama enactments using music as a stimulus are particularly relevant to a psychodynamic approach as they encourage the expression of affects and their realisation through language. Examples will be given below of a variety of educational settings in which the principles underlying this argument were explored and reflected upon in writing by participants. The integration of these elements point the way to a new theoretical basis for language development. Enactment as a Psychodynamic Process Enactment is a psychodynamic process which refines and elaborates the early terms such as: roleplay, simulation, curriculum drama or creative dramatics, which as esslin (1987) and other have acknowledge to be difficult to define. In our argument, psychodynamic enactment is an physicalisation and expression of an intrasubjective monologue which becomes externalised in intersubjective dialogue. In that process the monologue and dialogue are energised by affects, but my be realised and expressed through thought, language and action. Further, in the process of physicalisation and expression, there is the potential for enactment to energise and re-shape both the intersubjective dialogue and the underlying intrasubjective monologue with conscious components and unconscious underpinnings. Vygotsky (1988) Lacan (1977), Kohut (1985), and Bruner (1986), together with reflections on our own teaching practice.