Let Me Hear Your Body Talk

Garret Scally

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper describes a research project created to investigate the application of theatre devising strategies to create a heightened awareness of non-verbal language and embodied experience of words in Additional Language (AL) learning and teaching where there tends to be a lack in understanding of the importance and the potential of the body’s involvement in the process. Four workshops in Basel, Switzerland were designed and facilitated with adults from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds as part of my post-graduate doctoral research. I use data generated by an ethnographic approach to fieldwork – analysing interviews, written responses, both participants’ and my own, in the project blog, and observations of responses from participants during the workshops. I discuss the theatrical activities used for this purpose reflecting on the possible effects on participants’ linguistic ability and awareness of their physicality as part of an ongoing research process. I draw on Bourdieu’s notion of linguistic habitus and Merleau-Ponty’s notion of the body experiencing the world to provide a theoretical framework for analysing the processes of these workshops, and to support the development of a theatre practice to support AL learning that I am tentatively calling ‘experiencing the word’ or ‘experience of the word’. I propose that this approach, paying particular attention to learning through the body and language learning as an embodied experience, better provides the pragmatic and social conditions, re-created and rehearsed through drama, needed in learning a foreign language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationhost publication
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jul 2013
EventIDEA Congress (International Drama in Education Association) - Paris
Duration: 7 Jul 201312 Jul 2013


ConferenceIDEA Congress (International Drama in Education Association)


Dive into the research topics of 'Let Me Hear Your Body Talk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this