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Lesson Plans


Re: Art Ed and L2 Acquisition

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Teresa Tipton (tiptonist)
Mon, 27 Dec 1999 02:33:29 EAT


Andy asks if anyone has noticed the effects of the arts on L2 acquisition of
students.

I am teaching overseas in an international school where the majority of
students are ESL. What I notice is what Eisner wrote about in "Reading,
Writing, and the Arts," is that drawing in particular is a process of schema
development. Developing and identifying schema are a central part of
language aquisition. By working with arts processes, ESL students begin to
recognize schema and identify with symbols through drawing. That these
symbols are universal and can be found across cultures and time periods is
pretty well documented by Kellogg and others. That students recognize them
and link them across languages is facilitated by engaging in drawing and
painting experiences.

The arts are also a language and a way a(n ESL) student communicates. Art is
an expression of an interior landscape. By giving it a "voice" through the
arts, it does have an affective impact, as well as a cognitive one. I often
will draw parallels between the scientific method, science as a process, and
art as a process as we work through an arts experience. The arts are an
integrative experience, not just higher-level thinking skills. The arts
cross modalities, expressions, and languages. In this way, it gives an ESL
student confidence in their ability to think, create, feel, and be
recognized. The arts are also a powerful motivator to want to learn more,
not just in art but in other subjects.

Teresa Tipton

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