Students in New York City's public schools speak 167 native languages. More than 1 in 10 have limited English proficiency. LCT meets this challenge head-on through its Learning English and Drama (LEAD) Project.

The LEAD Project is a 20-session, year-long collaboration between an LCT teaching artist and an English as a New Language (ENL) classroom teacher that promotes both English language acquisition and learning in theater. The LEAD Project places equal emphasis on collaborative planning and teaching.

“LEAD has provided our school with outstanding support for ELL students to acquire and develop skills in reading, listening, and speaking.”

— Orlando Sarmiento, Principal, Newcomers High School

By involving participants as actors, the LEAD Project provides ENL students with the skills and self-confidence to be effective English speakers.

Each semester, students explore plot and character through improvisation, movement, and voice, culminating with an in-class performance of an adapted work of fiction, non-fiction or dramatic literature. 

Through their engagement in theater, students achieve greater fluency and confidence in speaking and obtain tools for self-expression and collaborative learning.

LEAD Project professional development fosters the collaborative relationship between the teacher and teaching artist and introduces teachers to classroom drama techniques that support students’ English-speaking skills.