Assuming Multiple Roles in the Development of a Readers’ Theater Course

| April 1, 2010
Assuming Multiple Roles in the Development of a Readers Theater Course

Keywords: Readers theater, reading fluency development, repeated reading, reading aloud

Nolan Weil
Utah State University, USA

Bio Data
Nolan Weil is Assistant Professor of ESL at Utah State University (USU) where he teaches courses in academic reading, writing, and oral discourse, as well as various content-based topics courses. His most current projects revolve around various ways of using fiction texts to help beginning and intermediate adult readers develop better reading fluency.

This article was inspired by an exploration of readers theater as the focus of a semester long topics course, given as one of five courses required of full-time students enrolled in a university intensive English program. The article briefly describes how the author conceived the course as a strand within the context of a broader program. It provides a brief characterization of readers theater. It offers a cursory overview of theory and research attesting to the effectiveness of readers theater (and the underlying principle of repeated reading) as a tool for promoting reading fluency. It appropriates terms used to describe the functional division of labor in traditional theater arts to enumerate the various functions (scriptwriter, dialect coach, director, choreographer, set designer, and producer) that the teacher might perform in developing a course around the practice of readers theater. Finally, it addresses its central purpose as a how to article for those interested in experimenting with an enjoyable and creative means of promoting reading fluency.

See pages: 28-55

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Category: Monthly Editions, Volume 43