The Benefits of Improv for UK Language Learners
Posted on January 10th, 2014
Many people in the UK already have a basic knowledge of one or more foreign languages, yet lack the confidence to use this knowledge effectively.
In fact, many people feel anxious precisely in the languages they have learned - because school teaches us to fear “getting it wrong". The same people, at large in a country where they have no language training at all, will tend to improvise with no such fear of failure.
But what would it be like if you didn’t feel that fear, to speak your chosen language fearlessly? By allowing people to speak language in that state of confidence, we aim to greatly accelerate their learning and multiply their enjoyment.
Using techniques from improvised theatre, we help to grow people’s self-confidence abroad or in meetings with people from other cultures.
To be precise: we’re not teaching languages. We’re helping you make better use of what you already know.
Benefits of improvisational theatre games:
- Improvisation is not scripted - and nor is everyday life. Playing improv games provides a safe space to try things for daily use
- In improv, as in life, the only way to understand is to “get out of your own head" and pay careful attention to what is happening around you.
- Improv games can be used to reduce fear and anxiety in performers on stage - they teach that it’s OK to make mistakes
- Using gibberish, improvisers learn to communicate with body language and mime and facial expressions - even managing to create complex storylines. To experience this is to realise how much we can communicate with even meagre language skills
- Improv games can be given context like role-play, such as “at the cafe" or “at the airport"
Our next course is Thursday 16 January 2014 13:00 - 16:30 at Cambridge Business Lounge.