Theatre in Relation to the English Language

Project Details

Department
English
Project ID
EN41
Price
5000XAF
International: $20
No of pages
40
Instruments/method
Qualitative research
Reference
Yes
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
Format
 MS Word & PDF
Chapters
1-5

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          Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate and critically assess the effects that theatre has on the speakers of the English language. These findings were done through the use of questionnaires and interviews, following both the quantitative and qualitative research methods. Two research questions were conceived to aid the findings:

  • What influence do movies have on youths and children?
  • In what domain is the influence (pronunciation and vocabulary)

The target population for this study are youths from ages 13_ 23, illiterates, and children of ages 1_3. Data was collected and critically analyzed with the aid of the following headings, ownership of electronic appliances, English background, frequency of watching theatre, fields of improvement, the effects of theatre and words learned. These analyses were classified using percentages. Findings revealed that theatre has been helpful especially in learning but has also tremendously corrupted language use amongst children youths and illiterates. Based on findings, recommendations and proposals for further research have been made.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

This topic deals with the effects of theatre on the use of the English language. Theatre originated from the Greek and its known to be a collaborative fond of fine arts, which most of the time uses live performance before a live audience. These performances involve music, drama, films dance etc. Theatre has grown rapidly over the years, as it started mostly as cultural entertainment for the Greek and even for Africans as African theatre was deeply rooted in their culture. But today it is not only a comfortable way of earning a living but also a medium of education and entertainment for the entire society at large.

For a script, a playwright or lyrics to be written, and transformed into performances for a given audience, it needs a language of communication. Of which our key language of this essay, is the English language. The English language is one of the most widely used languages in the world, Comrie (1998), Webster (1997) and the summer institute for linguistic (SIL) as most countries now study the language for many different reasons. The English language has about three hundred and seventy-five speakers (as a first language) and more than nine million students studying English in schools. It is the language spoken by world powers and so many try to connect to the source of power by learning the language especially with the growth in theatre, countries such as India, China, Brazil, Philippines, Italy, Canada and many others, not only try to speak or study the language but also now act films and produce music in the English language not only for fun but also to create a larger market for their product. As Antonin Artaud (1958), said “to break through language in other to touch life, is to create or recreate” (p.31) so many countries including Cameroon or now emerge in works of arts. Even though Europeans are more advanced than Africans.

Most children, youths, and students have learned a lot about the English language through theatre as they have the opportunity to watch the original owners of the language use it the right way, with the right pronunciation. They are also able to learn about things cultures and places they have never been to. Theatre even in classrooms is used to facilitate understanding through little exercises, drama, and songs sung in class. This has made learning English more fun-filled as this concept has been properly established and promoted by Bertha wadell (1937) who established the conceptual framework of “theatre in education” which gains more strength in the 1960s, (p. 13).

Background of the Study

Theatre in language learning (TILL) has not only facilitated studies but also motivated the students as they tend to enjoy communicating in the English language. John Keller (2008) says theatre in learning not only boost students confidence but also increases participation as this is good for shy and introverted students (p.l).

Theatre on the other hand has constituted a great problem for the use of the English language. And this has a more devastating outcome on illiterate and children than on literate Arvindh (2008) this has not only affected Cameroon but also so many other countries, both African and Europeans. This involves countries, especially those with strong cultural backgrounds and traditions such as India, China and many African countries as most youths and children no longer respect culture or tradition of their own or say and do the things they are supposed to do, rather they copy things from films and music and most of the time they seem to be capturing a more disturbing line of vocabulary, as the theatre is no longer about massage but market Darcy Lopez (2007).

Youths are seen to be the “backbone” of the community as what they get now is what they will pass down tomorrow Carau Singn (2012). Many cultures have been destroyed, as the theatre has not only affected the vocabulary of children and youths but also their entire attitude, as they now see themselves as heroes and heroines.

Children according to Chomsky’s innate theory can copy a lot at very tender ages without even being able to differentiate the good from the bad or fact from fantasy.

With theatre, youths tend to copy mostly the bad examples even with knowledge of the good ones. This is common with teenagers as to most of them; life is much fun with the more negative than positive, as nudity is now celebrated. They tend to get so excited just speaking or dressing like movie stars. Not thinking if the movie star is wrong or right. Exposed to so much movie and music, Students and youths become very vulgar with the use of the English language. Using words such as “fuck you, mother fucker, bitch, gold digger, ass” etc. They tend to use words inappropriately, such as addressing elders using “you guys”. They try to copy European styles of interaction especially the parent-children relationship, which is void of respect comparing it to the Cameroonian culture and values.

The difference in the use of English language by its different speakers be it as a first, second or a foreign language has led to the birth of different English’s, (using the language by different countries in different ways). This has fired up confusion on audience choice, or put them in the dilemma of which one is correct or which one is better than the other. So they most of the time copy what they prefer not what is right.

In general, the theatre has had positive effects on English language use but has negatively influenced the way people talk and think, most especially teenagers who have lost their personalities in trying to copy heroes and heroines. And this is a big problem for our society.

Statement of the problem

The rapid growth of theatre industries and film making technologies has highly influenced the lives of many youths, teenagers and children. This includes their manner of speaking, their attitudes of acceptance, and even their help in eradicating the African style or values in a bet to copy Europeans. They tend to copy both the good and bad examples from theatrical performances and most of the time they capitalize on the bad words because it makes them feel big and to them using big or strange words is to be on the know {to know all}. Even though with children it is completely different since they cannot tell the difference between good and bad, they copy everything they hear even without knowing what it means. The capturing of this wrong line of vocabulary by both young and older people is a big problem, as that will culminate into a future disaster if nothing is done.

Research questions

  • What influence do movies have on youths and children?
  • In what domain is the influence? (Vocabulary and language).

Research hypotheses

  • Movies have a great influence on both youths and children of our society.
  • The influence is in the domain of language:

More specifically in the domain of pronunciation and vocabulary

Objectives of the study

The objectives of the study are to critically assess the effects that theatre has on speakers of the English language, especially the second and foreign-language speakers.

More so to make recommendations, to improve on the negative outcome of this problem in society.

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