Extras: How Visiting Theater Could Help to Learn Language

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by Aveline MacQuoid on June 20, 2021

in Extras

How Visiting Theater Could Help to Learn Language

Visiting your local theater can be just as engaging and rewarding of an experience as watching the latest cinema blockbuster. This is even truer if you are in the process of learning a new language. Experiencing theater plays in their original languages and those foreign to you personally, can be beneficial for language learning. How exactly can theater help you learn a new language, especially when more traditional alternatives such as language schools or even virtual language classes are readily available?

Traveling to Foreign Countries and Visiting Theater

The first thing worth noting is that learning a new language is beneficial for several reasons. First, it’s important to discuss How learning art and a new language keeps you creative to better understand how theater can help you. One of the best ways to learn about the art of theater plays is by traveling and subsequently visiting local theaters. Seeing Antigone or Oedipus Rex in Greek is a vastly different experience compared to versions intended for English-speaking audiences, for example. Thus, you should prioritize visiting foreign theaters whenever you find yourself abroad and wanting to learn a new language.

Comparison of Plays in Foreign/Native Language

If you have the time to do so, you should watch theater plays twice – once in its original language and once in your own language. Watching a Chekhov or a Moliere play as intended and then experiencing it in English, or vice versa can be extremely helpful. Some of the plays you can watch with this in mind include:

  • Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters
  • Goethe’s Faust
  • Luigi Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author
  • Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit
  • Maxim Gorky’s The Lower Depths

These will give you a good indication of how the plays were translated, or in some cases, localized for international audiences. Similarly, you will notice cultural and societal quirks and the differences in each version. While theater plays often represent romanticized or abstracted depictions of events, it’s convenient to connect words with certain events on stage.

Taking Notes on What you Hear in Theater Plays

While it may seem unorthodox to do so, taking notes during theater plays isn’t uncommon. Writers such as Shakespeare and Wilde are known for their subtext and hidden meaning, so why not take the opportunity to dissect the plays thoroughly? With the professional help of expert review of TheWordPoint, you can subsequently turn your notes into flashcards, papers, and reference materials for language learning. Write down notes on words and phrases you are unfamiliar with, and look them up when you are home to learn more about them.

Using the Actors’ Body Language to Associate Words and Phrases

Speaking of association, the actors on stage will perform and announce different parts of the script based on the director’s view of the stage play. However, many actors improvise and add personal flair to theater pieces, allowing the audience to experience a different play each time they visit. This is important for learning a new language since you will have a great view of how different actors perform the same play. You can then associate their movements, quirks, and speech patterns with foreign words to memorize them more easily. Again, it’s beneficial to watch the same play at least twice over if you have the time to do so to help your long-term memory.

Meeting Theater Lovers Such as Yourself

Lastly, you can visit the theater, meet like-minded people, and discuss theater plays while traveling abroad. This is a great way to experience different plays in foreign languages and meet new people to practice speaking. Theater lovers abroad will be glad to talk to you about the play, its meaning, and to help you learn a new language. This can help you create long-lasting bonds with people across the world and share your love for theater.

Theater as a Tool for Learning (Conclusion)

While language learning may not be the first thing that comes to mind when discussing theater plays, it’s still a very viable option for learning. Make sure to visit theaters abroad or to look for international ensembles visiting your local theater. Do yourself a favor and see a play twice or thrice for good measure and listen carefully – you will pick up more than you think.

Bio: Michael Carr is a writer, editor, and cinema aficionado with a deep passion for all things movie-related. He is dedicated to writing the best content in the movie, TV, and digital marketing industries. Michael spends his free time as a couch potato, catching up on his favorite movie genres and blogging about his experience doing so.

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