DRAMA – 4 This week, firstly, we talked about animation in voice, vocal fitness, paralanguage, spontaneous and deliberate variations

, creating characters and influencing credibility. The voice, which is our unique musical instrument, is an important element to create and modify the meaning, but this should occur in a completely natural fashion for the speaker. So, as aspiring teachers, we should take the voice into consideration and we should know where to start and stop. We should also know how to say in addition to knowing what to say, as Aristotle mentioned. Moreover, like actors, we should do some vocal exercises and treat our voices with care such as practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing, avoid smoking, maintaining relaxed throat muscles, drinking plenty of water etc.; because we are dependent on our voices to project and express ourselves in the class. While teaching, since we are the models, we should be aware of what and how we pronounce. We also talked about paralanguage, which is a way of communication without using linguistic structures. It conveys emotions and attitudes, and includes the pitch, volume and intonation of speech. These elements play an important role in human speech communication and we use them consciously or unconsciously. If we use those variations in the class, we convey our enthusiasm to our students, which attracts their attention much more and increases levels of comprehension. Then we mentioned spontaneous and deliberate variations in our voice. Spontaneous variations are vocal variations initiated subconsciously. Those variations grow out of an involvement in our thought. Our voices naturally manifest any emotion such as amazement, surprise, thrill etc. In order to make our ideas captivating and their full connotative meaning clear, we should use as much of our natural vocal range as possible. When we come to deliberate variations, we say that we should use those four vocal characteristics in order to provide specific vocal emphasis to our ideas: Pitch; the highness or lowness of the voice, is used to reflect lots of emotions and connotations. While rising pitch indicates incredulity or questioning, a lowered pitch indicates finality and certainty. In the class, we should use pitch to encourage our students, to convey feelings, to manage the classroom conversation flow and not to kill our students of boredom. Volume; we should use volume changes to call attention and to convey a particular urgency or commitment about a statement, but we should also note that an adequate general volume is a fundamental necessity for us. Quality; in order to make our students listen to us for hours on end, we should try to maintain a pleasant quality which is devoid of any annoying effects. We should also listen to our voices on tape in order to determine whether our voice quality is pleasant. Rate; is varied by changing the overall speech speed, by changing the duration of a word or by using pauses of various lengths. Overall rate or duration might be selected depending on our purpose and using pauses might enhance the likelihood of students’ learning. We shouldn’t forget that if we

speak at a moderate and varied pace, students are less likely to be noisy and more attentive to learning. Creating characters by using vocal changes such as we mentioned is important especially in reading classes. Using different qualities for each character in a story makes it easy for students to understand the plot and character interaction and holds their interest. The speaker’s expression influences his/her credibility and this credibility influences the listeners’ comprehension and retention. So in the class we should establish credibility to motivate our students and to make them believe in our expertise and interest in the subject matter. Therefore, being natural is very important; our expression should make sense and reflect our true feelings. Secondly, we talked about classroom space and proxemics. The use of classroom space is significantly effective in teaching and learning process. We should walk around the class not sit in order to monitor our students. Proxemics, is the physical space between interacting people. It is all about how non-verbal communication among and between people is affected by distance. Like facial expressions, gestures and postures, space also speaks. In daily life, we do not plan our every placement but the proxemic message is still present. As teachers, we should be aware of the value of proxemic messages in the class and we should plan our placement. For example, when we ask one of the students a question, we should walk away from him/her in order to make him/her feel more comfortable. We also shouldn’t forget that sometimes touching may be dangerous. Another point I learnt in this lesson is that when we enter the class, we can ask some questions to reduce tension and feel comfortable. Unfortunately, this week, I missed the last two hours. Munise ÖZTÜRK

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