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From Page to Stage - Adapting Young Adult Literature to the Stage (Daniel Volaric)


The article introduces the work at Freiburg University of Education, regarding adapting young adult literature to the stage. It also illustrates the benefits of this method for working with high school students. Once a year, students of the University of Education put on a theater production aiming to make high school students enjoy literature. Over the last ten years, Professor Mechthild Hesse, Susanne Franz (director) and future teachers studying at the University of Education have used several novels, such as The Giver by Lois Lowry, (Un)arranged Marriage by Bali Rai, La Linea by Ann Jaramillo and Stone Cold by Robert Swindells, as an inspiration for the stage. This collaborative project allowed them to reach more than 20,000 people in the Freiburg area. 

Through those performances, English as a Foreign Language students experience a play in spoken English, improve their comprehension skills and find visual and aural support to help them understand the content. Also, they can be inspired to perform on stage. The article shows how performing impacts communication skills, reading and writing ability, as well as their personal development. Drama is a potentially powerful tool for foreign language teaching and learning.  

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