Developing literacy skills and social competence through LARP (live action role play)
In today's communication age, the appropriate usage of language is more important than ever. The Bavarian school system places high demands on the students even in lower classes. Studies show that learners with immigration background have fewer opportunities to succeed here. Therefore, this project demonstrates the possibility of providing language learning through live role-play, which also trains social skills through constant interaction and collaborative play. Since this form of learning adapts to the pace of every individual learner, it is particularly well suited for heterogeneous classes.
What is LARP?
LARP is a role-playing game without a text template and is described as a game, learning and art form. In an interactive game, the participants assume a role and physically and verbally shape a character in a fictitious setting. There is no uninvolved audience, since all present play their characters which have been specified before the game at the same time. The interaction between the players as well as the spoken text are improvised. Depending on the design of the live role-playing game, the game master intervenes and evokes certain turns of the gameplay or leaves the creation of the plot entirely to the players.
LARP as a drama technique in teaching has already been established in Scandinavian countries and is characterized by being an individualising, democratic and playful method. Therefore, it not only trains social competences; from a didactic point of view, LARP also promotes fluency and the appropriate choice of register. Furthermore, the positive perception of the multilingual background of the students increases language-awareness and promotes the correct usage of grammar.
To achieve these goals, the team under supervision of Katrin Geneuss accompanies students of the Lion-Feuchtwanger-Gymnasium in Munich for a whole year by conducting improvised theatre, storytelling workshops and immersion exercises and thereby introducing them to live-roleplay.
From September 2018, this project will be extended to other Munich schools as well. If you want to know more, please contact Katrin Geneuss.
The aim of the project is to promote the language and social skills of students of the Lion-Feuchtwanger-Gymnasium in Munich which have immigration background and special educational needs. The main topics of speech, grammar and social competence in the Bavarian curriculum and in the LehrplanPlus are being trained by means of live-roleplay. Thematically, the collective improvisations are tied to children's rights, friendship, Greek mythology, poetry and the Middle Ages.
Outcome and products
The primary outcome of this project is the improved language proficiency of students, as well as a reflective, mutually respectful social interaction.
The products are four live role-playing games (all lasting several hours) specially designed for one group on the topics of children's rights, the Middle Ages, poetry and Greek mythology. The students improvise dialogues and the non-verbal interaction. While the students focus on playing their characters, the connection to the curriculum is developed by the project team. Thus, the project can sustainably contribute to a varied, efficient and individualising teaching concept at high schools.
In course of this project, the method STAR was created. You can find more information about the project on the star-website.
The development and practical application of role-playing-games will be accompanied by research and academic supervision.
The Lion-Feuchtwanger-Gymnasium is an urban school where about 70% of the pupils have immigration background. To support equal opportunities, the school actively models the concept of an open all-day school.
If your school has the profil of being “in Munich and having underprivileged students” you can contact Katrin Geneuss for more information.
Project funding and cooperation
Our cooperation partner is Lajvverkstaden in Sweden.