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Embodying English Language: Jacques Lecoq and the Neutral Mask

Embodying English Language: Jacques Lecoq and the Neutral Mask

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Title: Embodying English Language: Jacques Lecoq and the Neutral Mask
Author: Pascetta, Nikole Lauren
Abstract: My study explores the process of settlement for Newcomer-to-Canada youth (NTCY) who are engaged in English-language learning (ELL) of mainstream education. I propose the inclusion of a modified physical theatre technique to ELL curricula to demonstrate how a body-based supplemental to learning can assist in improving students’ language acquisition and proficiency. This recognizes the embodied aspect of students’ settlement and integration as a necessary first-step in meaning making processes of traditional language-learning practices. Foundational to this thesis is an exploration of the Neutral Mask (NM), an actors training tool developed by French physical theatre pedagogue Jacques Lecoq. A student of Lecoq (1990-1992), I understand NM as a transformative learning experience; it shapes the autoethnographic narrative of this study. My research considers the relationship between the body and verbal speech in English-language learning, as mediated by the mask. An acting tool at the heart of Lecoq’s School, the mask values the non-verbal communication of the body and its relationship to verbal speech. My study explains how the mask, by its design, can reach diverse learning needs to offer newcomer students a sense of agency in their language learning process. I further demonstrate how through discussion of an experimental applied practice field study. One of the overarching questions of this research is whether the ELL experience enhances or hinders newcomer youth in their settlement integration. Through the critical lenses of phenomenology and embodiment, I suggest reshaping the language-learning classroom into a pedagogical space that better fosters newcomer youths’ bodies-of-cultural origin as they begin to distance from their heritage language. Preparing to make Canada their home, newcomer youth can be provided with a learning space for the exploration of the body before the language – for the learning.
Subject: Education
Theater
English as a second language
Keywords: Theatre
Drama-Education
Arts-based Learning
Jacques Lecoq
Movement
Non-Verbal Communication
Gesture
Embodied Learning
Kinaesthetic Learning
Pre-verbal
Meaning-making
Newcomer-to-Canada Youth
Settlement Integration
English language learning (ELL)
Neutral Mask
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/30712
Supervisor: Stanworth, Karen S.
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Education
Exam date: 2015-08-11
Publish on: 2015-12-16

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