Artspeak: Articulating Artistic Process Across Cultural Boundaries through Digital Theatre

By Yoni Prior, Manon van der Laaken and Rose van der Zwaard.

Published by The Arts Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In early 2009, researchers in the English Department of the University of Amsterdam collaborated with researchers in the Drama Department, Deakin University, Australia on a project which brought English as a Second Language students from The Netherlands into the rehearsal studio of Australian students engaged in play-building on Australian themes. The project aims were multiple and interconnected. We extended a language acquisition framework established by the Dutch investigators in previous collaborations with the Universities of Venice and Southampton, and combined this with an investigation of ways to harness technology in order to teach Australian students to communicate with and about their art. The Dutch language students were prompted to develop art-related language literacy (description, interpretation, criticism), through live, video-streamed interaction with drama students in Australia at critical points in the development of a group-devised performance (conception, rehearsal, performance). The Australian student improved their capacity to articulate the aims and processes which drove their art-making by illuminating the art-making process for the Dutch students, and providing them with a real-life context for the use of extended vocabulary whilst making them partners in the process of shaping the work. All participants engaged in the common task of assessing the capacity of the art work produced to communicate meaning to a non-Australian audience.

Keywords: Art-making Process, Art-related Language Literacy, Play-building, Computer Mediated Communication (CMC), Language Learning

International Journal of the Arts in Society, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.433-446. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.652MB).

Yoni Prior

Senior Lecturer, Drama, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Currently Convenor of Creative Arts, and Head of the Drama Strand in the School of Communication and Creative Arts, Deakin University, Yoni Prior recently completed a term as a member of the Theatre Board of the Australia Council, and the National Multicultural Arts Advisory Committee. She is on the board of Back To Back Theatre Company, and Chair of the Big West Arts Festival. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree (Rusden State College, 1981) and a Masters Degree in Theatre Studies (Monash University, 1998). She has worked as a performer, animateur, director, dramaturg and writer with many major theatre companies in Australia, and in Israel with the Cameri Theatre. Current research interests include the investigation of rehearsal practice in a range of Australian contexts.

Manon van der Laaken

Lecturer of English as a Second Language, Department of English, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands

Manon van der Laaken teaches English as a Second Language at the Universtiy of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has set up and been involved in several international exchange projects. Research areas: Cross-Cultural Issues in On-Line Forums, Language Through Arts and Literature, Computer-Mediated Communication.

Rose van der Zwaard

lecturer, English Department, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Holland, Netherlands

Rose van der Zwaard teaches English as a Second Language at the Universtiy of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She has set up and been involved in several international exchange projects. Research areas: Language Acquisition through Creative Writing, Language Through Arts and Literature, Computer-Mediated Communication.

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