Scenario of a Level A2 language lesson; abuse and violence against women, duration: 90 min
Oppression and abuse directed at women is unfortunately a phenomenon that is still current in most areas of the world, encompassing African countries (circumcision/FGM), the Middle East (religion-based discrimination) and Europe (the glass ceiling and discrimination in the workplace, harassment, the killings of women in Spain). In the context of Black/White Protests in Poland, the topic itself began to have strong political connotations. A friend of mine was afraid to play a video material on women’s strikes in Spain due to its time concurrence with the Polish strikes - some could interpret that action as political agitation in the classroom. The Forum Theatre comes to help - it helps to understand and discuss the problem from multiple perspectives and on various levels, bluntly, but without unnecessary entanglements.
Expressing opinions (exercise and expansion)
Repetition of basic vocabulary (house, city, identity, everyday activities, family, weather, work, interests etc.)
The problem of violence against women worldwide
Notice: The links provided redirect to a detailed description and video demonstrations of the elements mentioned below.
Warm-up: 15 minutes
1. The Biggest Witch In the World (soy la mas grande bruja del mundo)
2. Machine of a Word - inflection of the verb ’to be able to’ (poder, no puedo, no podemos)
2. Image of a word - a woman/a man
The course of the lesson
0. Theatrical intro (facultative) : 5 minutes;
1. As in the entry, theatre of a word - dynamisation (the image of a woman on her knees) - 30 minutes. The students suggest and comment on the proposals raised by other students (Phrases learnt during earlier lessons, such as “I think that…”, “I do not agree with the…”, “What if..”
The last transformation can be given a rhythm through a use of music; Any relevant image inspired by a text from the course book or a picture can be used as a starting point.
2. The red chair, duration 15-20 minutes;
The students ask questions to the characters.
3. Summary of the exercise - a discussion in smaller group and later in the class forum; impressions, opinions - duration: 15 minutes
4 (optional). The description/discussion on how the depiction of oppression has been transformed in other countries or other medium concerning the same topic
Sexual harassment in a bus in Tunisia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOXXRDkSRnk
Violence in Senegal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBlN5kwnRMI
Violence on the streets of India: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSkIuKqC2pw
Discrimination in the workplace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUjFYVh0Bes
5. Homework - a group project, building own images about oppression of women can be suggested, basing on media. The students are to present/dynamise/discuss their images during next class.
Violence, oppression, pain of which the victim is conscious serve as the axis of the theatre of a word. Questions useful in building the image are listed below (it is advised they are written on the whiteboard during the exercise)
What do you desire? Do you have the right to long for it?
Who is preventing you from realising that desire? Do they have the right to deprive you of it? Why do they do so? How?
* Stage 5 by itself is enough, serving as an example of a realistic change of the situation
6. Summary of the exercise - discussion in subgroups, followed by a discussion in the larger class forum: opinions, impressions (10 minutes)
7. During the next class the images proposed and created by the class can be combined into a sequence of 3-4 scenes. Mini-dialogues and music can be added; Scenography and costumes are not needed. A mini-play is ready to be shown in the school or, using e-twinning, in any school. Those who have worked on preparing a school plays, knows how much energy and time it consumes - the Forum Theatre serves as an easy, quick, efficient and effective alternative.
8. (optional) - watching a longer (19 min) video at home can be suggested to students. The video has been created during workshops in Morocco. 1 140 389 views on YouTube confirm the current importance of the issue of forced marriages.