Presenter: Tanya Kempston,
Lecturer, Division of English Language Education Faculty of Education,
University of Hong Kong
Introduction and Housekeeping
What we will be doing in today’s workshop
Warm-up to a creative mindset: the chopsticks game
What sort of thinking did you use just now in the game? What did you need in order to play the
game? What do your chopstick creations tell us about the nature of creativity?
‘Creativity brings in changes or transformations and is manifested in new ideas, acts or products.
It emerges spontaneously or through deliberate processes of divergent and convergent thinking.
It involves the integration of general or domain- specific knowledge for a meaningful purpose.’
From: https://www.edb.gov.hk/attachment/en/curriculum- development/renewal/ELE/ELE_KLACG_P1-S6_Eng_2017.pdf Accessed November 29th, 2018
Related activities/ text types
Generic skills, including creativity and/or New Literacy skills
Learning English through Drama
Process drama, including hot seating, one minute theatre, plot generator
Learning English through Short Stories
Plot generator, six word stories
Critical thinking Learning English through
Songs and Poems
Visualisation of characters from the selected poem
Multimodal Literacies Learning English through
Posters, short stories, adverts
Multimodal Literacies Tactics in the mass media
1. Creativity is not just an optional component in language teaching…it is seen as central to successful teaching and learning
2. Discussions of creativity go beyond
traditional notions of ‘creative language –the real text of linguistic creativity is whether or not we are able to use language to “pull off’
situated meaning and discourses and to
portray ourselves as certain kinds of people
3. Creativity is social and collaborative
Jones and Richards 2016: 6 - 7
Is creativity for everyone?
Is everyone creative?
‘When we learn a new language, we’re not just learning new
vocabulary and grammar, we’re also learning new ways of organizing concepts, new ways of thinking and new ways of learning language.
Knowing two language is much more than simply knowing two ways of speaking’
- Bialystok and Hakuta 1994: 122
What do Hong Kong students know when it comes to English? Lets take a look at the most recent DSE English results:
DSE results from 2012-2017 can be accessed here:
Definition of on-ramp
- a ramp by which one enters a limited-access highway https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/on-ramp Accessed 23rd October 2018
Let’s spend some time creating and sharing our own stories using Plot Generator.
How were you creative?
Did you ‘play’ with the conventions of the language arts text which you created?
Was this small-scale creativity?
How might this activity be useful for demotivated students seeking to enter the DSE ‘highway’?
• Open a PPT presentation (or equivalent) on your device.
• Let’s take the first paragraph of two from your short story and type it on the first slide or two on the PPT.
• Bland and dull in terms of being a big block of text?
• Now substitute the first paragraph with no more than
two images and then tell the story to another pair at your table – creativity requires divergent thinking.
Connected to various forms of literacy as per the Churchill et al (2010) model
Q: What do you say to a member of the grammar police who has hurt themselves?
A: Their, there, they’re
New Literacies are made possible by the use of digital technology in activities such as that just carried out, but New Literacies do not
necessarily have to involve use of digital
technologies – they are social and multi-modal in nature.
“One of the key advantages that drama pedagogy can bring to the language classroom is its recognition of the centrality of the body in the learning process.”
Winston, J. (2012) p 4.
We will now use process drama strategies to explore the social, multi-modal and embodied nature of
learning. Mike Buscemi’s poem The Average Child will be our stimulus text for this exemplar. The strategies and sequence are laid out on your handout.
How could these strategies be used in relation to other language arts texts and/or multimodal texts?
We will engage in two ‘nano’ forms of creative writing – one-minute plays and six-word
Both are nimble creative forms in which a wide variety of multiple perspectives and experiences can be expressed – and can also be successfully created by less able/motivated students.
Dramatic activity can also be considered a form of multimodality, in which messages are delivered in gestural and spatial modes.
In terms of working across LA electives, the skills for creating a six-word story, (conciseness, using words precisely to evoke an image in the reader’s mind) can be transferred to slogan writing in the Learning English through Popular Culture elective module.
In the DSE writing paper, students are under to generate content in a limited time – as you have done today.
I understand that in Part 2 of the Writing Paper, st dents need not write a play, short story, poem, song or meme, but they do need to be able to generate ideas and write under pressure.
The prompts here are to help students do so as well as respond creatively.
+ Some simple sentences are accurately constructed
+ Sentence based errors in complex sentences are commonplace
+ Intermittently relevant
+ Ideas are repetitive
+ Read the questions carefully to find out the requirements of the task
+ Relevance is one of the criteria which helps markers differentiate original from memorised materials
+ Pay attention to accuracy of language
+ Avoid using low-frequency linguistic features
+ Read as widely as possible and be familiar with different text - types (e.g. letters to the editor, reports of various kinds, short stories and other literature) and try to become aware of what writers do in these texts
+ Spend time on planning and proof-reading answers
From: http://www.hkeaa.edu.hk/DocLibrary/HKDSE/Subject_Information/eng_lang/PowerPoint-ENG-1710.pdf Accessed November 10th, 2018
Students need to plan their work before they start writing
In these exercises, we need to try to respond creatively (and accurately!), but planning is also very important.
Nothing is more important than the teacher exemplifying the habits, behaviours and thinking they want students to demonstrate. They need to exemplify creative traits such as curiosity and the development of creative skills.
How might some of today’s activities and ideas be adapted and fine-tuned for use in your own professional context?
English Language Education Key Learning Area Curriculum Guide (Primary 1 – Secondary 6) Curriculum Development Council,
Education Bureau, HKSARG, 2017.
English Language Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Secondary 4 – 6), Curriculum Development Council & Hong Kong
Examination and Assessment Authority, 2015.
+ Ansell, S and Bonczek, R. (20170 One Minute Plays. New York: Routledge
+ Bermejo, M. L. G and Guillén. (2013) The ‘Art’ of Teaching Creative Story Writing In (Eds., Janice Bland and Christiane Lütge) Children’s Literature in Second Language Education. London: Bloomsbury
+ Carter, R. (2004) Language and Creativity: The Art of Common Talk. London: Routledge.
+ Craft, A. (2005). Creativity in Schools: Tensions and Dilemmas. London: Routledge.
+ Goodwin, P. (2004) ‘Introduction: Creativity and Literacy Learning’ In: Literacy through Creativity.
London: David Fulton
+ Churchill, E., Okada, H., Nishino, T., and Atkinson, D. (2010) ‘Symbiotic gesture and the sociocognitive visibility of grammar in second language acquisition’. The Modern Language Journal, 94, p. 237.
+ Holme, R. (2009). Cognitive Linguistics and Language Teaching. London Palgrave Macmillan
+ Jones, R and Richards, J. (2016) Creativity in Language Teaching: Perspectives from Research and Practice New York: Routledge
+ Maley, A. (2013) ‘Creative Writing for Second Language Students’ in Janice Bland and Christiane Lütge (Eds.) Children’s Literature in Second Language Education. London: Bloomsbury pp.161-169
+ Serafini. F. (2010) Reading Multimodal Texts: Perceptual, Structural and Ideological Perspectives, Children’s Literature in Education, 41, 85-104, doi: 10.1007/s10583-101-9100-5
+ Spiro, J. (2004) Creative Poetry Writing. Oxford: Oxford University Press
+ Vygotsky, L (1930/1967), cited in Smolucha, F. (1992). A reconstruction of Vygotsky’s theory of creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 5(1), 49-67.
+ Winston, J. (2012) ‘Introduction: Second and Additional Language Learning Through Drama’ in Joe Winston (Ed.) Second Language Learning Through Drama London: David Fulton.