Creative Approaches to Teaching English (CreATE) is a new group based at the Department of Education, University of Oxford. Its mission is to bring together individuals (academics and practitioners) who are interested in exploring the relationship between language learning and the arts by convening a combination of academic and outreach activities. The group is led by Dr Faidra Faitaki, Departmental Lecturer in Applied Linguistics, and comprises staff and students within Oxford's Department of Education as well as art practitioners from diverse organisations.
CreATE members' research adopts quantitative, as well as qualitative and arts-based methodologies to examine the effects that being involved in creative activities might have on the acquisition and maintenance of additional and foreign languages. We tend to focus on the use of theatre among child learners with English as an Additional Language (EAL). However, we are open to exploring the use of other art forms (e.g., music, dance, literature), among adult learners with different target languages.
In addition to conducting research on the connection between languages and arts, CreATE aims to bridge the gap between academia and practice by fostering meaningful conversations between researchers and stakeholders. Our seminar series (expected to take place between October to June) intends to involve talks by researchers who investigate the potential of arts for language learning, as well as by practitioners who foreground issues related to language learning and maintenance through their art or teaching. Thus, the seminars can provide valuable opportunities for knowledge exchange and network building for our members.