Queens Theatre English Language Learners Program

Residency Summary

Queens Theatre Education’s QTELL program facilitates language acquisition, builds confidence and improves story-writing skills by involving students in theatre activities such as improvisation and ensemble building games.  In 12 to 15 week units, English Language Learner (ELL) students will create and perform an original play that is developed through workshops that take them through the entire process of building a story.  First, they discuss plot, setting and character development.  Then they collaborate as a class and utilize all of the group’s ideas to form a single story. Once the story is written, they explore physical, vocal and emotional expression, the elements to staging and staying in character while working as an ensemble to bring their imaginary worlds to life.

QTELL Learning Outcomes

Students will know and/or be able to-

1. Embody a full understanding of English vocabulary used in theatre and storytelling.
2. React with less delay (due to English comprehension) and in a manner that logically makes sense.
3. Contribute their ideas to the group confidently without feeling judged or fear that their idea is not helpful or “wrong”.
4. Participate fully while challenging themselves to take risks.
5. Expand general English vocabulary through story building and acting lessons.
6. Collaborate and say “YES AND” to other’s ideas and feedback.


Teachers will assist the teaching artist and program director in creating a scaffold for the workshops that are age appropriate and grade specific. The teachers will guide the teaching artist and program through relative and current curriculum.  They will provide reading lists and information on other current units of study that the students are working on during the residency. The teacher and teaching artist will incorporate the units into the workshops.


Partnering teachers are asked to participate in each workshop.  The teaching artist will ask them to do the theatre activities along with the students and then he/she will turn the leadership of some activities over to the teacher.  The goal is to provide the teacher with the ability to lead theatre activities as part of the curriculum after the program has concluded.


The teaching artist, program director, principal and teachers will meet monthly to review how the students and teachers are progressing in the program.  QT will ask teachers to share anecdotal evidence on student performance in class.  The program director will evaluate the progress of the teachers’ professional development during the workshops with the principal.


The program is evaluated through several standards and benchmarks that are both quantitative and qualitative.  In partnership with the school, Queens Theatre will track the students’ performance on the NYS English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) for that school year.  QT will also track the student’s reading levels and running records including fluency, comprehension and interest survey.  QT will also record anecdotal evidence from the teachers on student performance in class. We will interview the student’s teachers from the previous year and evaluate their progress.  QT will also provide all participants, teachers and students, with an opinion survey form to be completed at the beginning middle and end of the program that will help us to evaluate effectiveness from their perspective. Our program is flexible and can be adjusted to meet the particular needs of a school, class or student.  QT’s program director and teaching artist will meet with the teachers and administrators every two weeks during the program to track the students’ progress and to evaluate our methods school-by-school, class-by-class and student- by-student.

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