Learning to speak in a foreign language using improvisational drama techniques

Hands placed against one another

Secondary school students often find it difficult to speak in a foreign language in their lessons at school. Experience shows that drama techniques (role plays, for example) can help to lower the threshold for them. We are developing a training programme for foreign language teachers that teaches them to use drama techniques in their lessons.


We are designing a training programme that will enable modern foreign language (MFL) teachers to use ‘improvisational drama techniques’ (IDT), such as role play and theatre-sport activities. These techniques will help teachers to create a safe and positive atmosphere and lower the threshold to make it easier for students to speak in the foreign language. Teachers can use IDT in their lessons to get students to practise their speaking skills.

The training programme on improvisation techniques will be made available for the MFL teacher education programmes.


This research is ongoing. Once completed, the research results will be summarised here.


01 February 2019 - 01 February 2023


The research consists of two phases. In this first phase, we are developing a training programme that focuses on the professionalisation of teachers, based on insights from academic literature and observations in professional practice. The training programme will give MFL teachers the skills and materials they need to use drama techniques in their lessons.

We will deliver the training programme to a first group of teachers in this phase. We will then update the training programme based on the ensuing evaluation. We will offer the updated training programme to a second group of teachers in Phase 2 of the research.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups

Collaboration with knowledge partners

We are collaborating with Utrecht University.

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Kristina Goodnight | Researcher | Research group Foreign Language Education

Kristina Goodnight

  • Researcher
  • Research group: Multilingualism and Education