Patrick Pheasant: Looking for Gold: International Students’ Aesthetic Experience in Language Education and Process Drama in an Australian University English Language Centre

This paper explores parallels between a process drama in 2012 with international students studying in Australia and immigrants in London in 1850 coming to Australia to find gold.

Based on current research conducted at an Australian University English Language Centre, this paper explores parallels between a process drama in 2012 with international students studying in Australia and immigrants in London in 1850 coming to Australia to find gold. The themes explored include sexuality, depression, loss, personal discovery and joy. This paper highlights the transformative nature of great journeys, the power of aesthetic experience and emotion in process drama and reinforces the importance of language in travelling, trade and exchange, both past and present. This paper draws on insights from research undertaken with twelve adult international students of English as a Second Language in 2012. Aesthetic engagement, language education and process drama were connected through metaxis, metacognition and meta- emotion to create a transformation for the participants. Phenomenography is explained as a methodology for teachers, artists and practitioners in Language Education, Process Drama and related disciplines.

With 20 years’ experience in applying drama, TESOL and teacher training methodologies across ELICOS, high school, vocational education, higher education and corporate sectors in Japan, the Netherlands, the United States and Australia, Patrick’s approach to problem solving is informed by a dynamic systems perspective with a global outlook. Patrick’s recent PhD research at the University of Sydney is in using process drama in TESOL. His passion is in sharing drama and innovative TESOL pedagogy across cultures and he has had the privilege of conducting large group presentations and workshops with thousands of students and teachers at more than 50 events across 28 countries in the last five years as part of his PhD and roles with the University of Sydney, NEAS and UECA. Patrick is currently Chief executive Officer at NEAS (National ELT Accreditation Scheme) in Sydney, Australia.

Tegan Arazny (Facilitator & Documenter)
Tegan is a strong advocate for the development of Theatre and the Arts in community settings and has been involved with numerous Applied Theatre programmes throughout her professional training and experience. Tegan graduated with a Master of Arts with Distinction in Applied Theatre from The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She has professional experience in Community Performance that engages young people in contemporary social issues. Tegan has also collaborated and performed with award-winning theatre company PuppetSoup to deliver puppetry workshops and tour their new bilingual show, ‘Arthur the Bear King’, to rural and socially deprived areas of Wales. Tegan is currently working with The Blue Datto Foundation as a Project Coordinator to expand and develop their interactive road safety education program to young people and communities throughout New South Wales, Australia.