For most schools this is a week in which students learn a fun side to English where the students are encouraged to express themselves in English through theatre, dance, song and interactive storytelling, usually based on a central theme like fairy tales, tourism, cinema, famous personalities, historical events (The Titanic, The plague of London etc). In Madrid we are lucky enough to count on the services of some of the best English language theatre companies and storytellers in Spain who dedicate much of their term-time to visiting schools and bringing the language alive.
Here are our favourites:
Face2Face Theatre Company
Catering for groups of children from 3 to 18 years old, Face2Face have been visiting schools and entertaining classes for over ten years. A native English speaking theatre troop, this group of professional actors based in Madrid comes highly recommended and is in much demand. For younger students there are storytelling sessions in which actors visit a classroom with a small set and a suitcase full of costumes and props to put on a short show in English that delights and entertains, often calling upon the help of some of the children themselves. From Primaria upwards Face2Face offer one-hour sessions run by a drama teacher in which students play games that help improve their language skills. “The most satisfying thing about working in schools”, says Artistic Director Paolo Abbate, “is during the interactive shows, when the students working alongside us get fully into their character and end up stealing the show!”
Teacher Christine Smith-Jones from José Calvo Sotelo Bilingual School says: “[Face2Face] are all outstanding professionals. Not anyone can do what [they] do in such a fantastic way. Even the creative props that are used on stage allow pupils to use their imagination”.
Their motto says it all: “Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn”.
Tel. 91 434 02 84
Act Out has been offering workshops in schools for over 4 years, catering for groups of children aged between 3 to 12 years old. The aim is to teach English through theatre. Act Out has devised a series of theatre games that improve concentration, coordination, team work and confidence. Offering an Act Out theatre workshop as part of the semana cultural inglesa gives the children an amazing tool to express themselves in a very dynamic and entertaining way. There is repeated praise on their website specifically stating that Act Out helps children overcome their reticence about speaking English in public. All the teachers are native English speaking actors with experience in children’s theatre.
El Teatro de Martina
El Teatro de Martina recently expanded its repertoire to include working with schools, adapting their English language shows for classroom performances and creating workshops with their own material. Solange Freyre, director of the company, is a creative genius who listens to each school’s requirements and finds solutions that delights teachers, parents and children alike. Her proposals for schools embarking on a semana cultural inglesa are strikingly original, clever and entertaining. Bilingual education expert Inés Delgado-Echagüe from CLIL Phonics provides a glowing reference for El Teatro de Martina saying that the shows are full of fresh ideas that use audience participation, humour, music and dance to communicate seamlessly in English to children and adults of all ages.
690 65 94 00
La Hora del Cuento
La Hora del Cuento is the brainchild of Katharine Cannings, an experienced children’s bookseller, author and editor who works closely with schools all over the Comunidad de Madrid and Castilla de la Mancha organizing book fairs, storytelling sessions, teacher training days and cultural weeks. Turn to La Hora del Cuento for advice on bilingual education from engaging pre-school children with English to encouraging creative writing in English among teenagers. Ask La Hora del Cuento for comprehensive themes, workshops, activities and books that Katharine knows will work for your students. Invite La Hora del Cuento to your school for classroom sessions that last between 30 and 45 minutes (depending on the age of the children). You will be delighted with the results.
635 244 070