Teaching drama using discourse analysis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Foucault developed discourse analysis as a means of identifying the enactment of power in language. Discourse analysis can therefore provide an empowering methodology for exploring the ways in which social structures are expressed or communicated linguistically in literature. This chapter, A Streetcar Named Desire is used as an illustrative example, demonstrates how concepts from discourse analysis can be applied to teaching drama. Discourse analysis lends itself particularly well to the analysis of plays, in that the conversational patterns of dialogue can be analysed using the same tools that linguists have typically applied to conversation analysis. The chapter shows the ways in which a teaching approach informed by discourse analytical methods may help students to not only explore relationships between characters, but also to develop an understanding of the way in which the language used reflects aspects of society. Using theories and methods from discourse analysis can be a productive way of enabling students to develop insightful interpretations of dramatic language.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTeaching English Language and Literature 16-19
EditorsFurzeen Ahmed, Marcello Giovanelli, Megan Mansworth, Felicity Titjen
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020


  • language
  • literature
  • teaching
  • learning


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