Locating the body in English language teaching

Authored by: Nikole Pascetta

The Routledge Companion to Jacques Lecoq

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138818422
eBook ISBN: 9781315745251
Adobe ISBN: 9781317594635


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Central to this chapter is my doctoral field research based on the applied practice of Jacques Lecoq’s neutral mask (NM). I look to this foundational acting tool at the heart of Lecoq’s School as a way to consider the relationship between the body and verbal speech in the English language learning (ELL) curricula of mainstream education. I demonstrate how the mask, outside its common usage, provides for an applied practice facilitating the reception of learning a new language. Paradoxical as this intersection may seem to those familiar with the origins of the mask’s ‘actor training’ purpose and intent, it is the mask’s elusive notion of neutrality that makes it a compelling subject-object problem of study in fields of critical pedagogy, phenomenology, neuroscience and embodied cognition. Drawing from Brent Davis’ and Dennis Sumara’s (2008) use of transdisciplinary practice, my research explores neutral mask in the context of these other fields. What does this mean? In the realm of my study, the definition of transdisciplinary is of a research strategy that intersects divergent disciplines to explore the development of new projects. 1 I consider the inherent agency afforded the mask in its design as it negotiates the silence of the speaking body in relationship to the words of spoken language. At its core, the research addresses learning tensions shaped within Cartesian dualism – tensions which invariably inform the following pages.

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