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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: September ::
Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0794  Friday, 15 September 2006

[1] 	From: 	Edna Z. Boris <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 17:44:14 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

[2] 	From: 	David Crystal <
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	Date: 	Friday, 15 Sep 2006 00:35:26 +0000 GMT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

[3] 	From: 	Tanya Gough <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 20:49:14 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

[4] 	From: 	Margaret Litvin <
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	Date: 	Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 21:45:07 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Edna Z. Boris <
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Date: 		Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 17:44:14 -0400
Subject: 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

It depends in part what language is their native or first language.  If 
it is Spanish, Italian, etc. (close to English), in my experience 
they'll have an easier time than students who know only English.  The 
roots of most words will be the same in their native language, and 
they'll already be accustomed to making educated guesses.  Students 
whose native languages are Mandarin or something equally far removed 
from English may find it helpful to read with a translation into their 
native language available to help them, to read aloud, to listen to 
recordings, etc. Tell them they will have to work with the original in 
class but that they can use a translation to help them.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		David Crystal <
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Date: 		Friday, 15 Sep 2006 00:35:26 +0000 GMT
Subject: 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

I have an essay called 'Shakespeare and ELT' which was published in an 
IATEFL proceedings three or four years ago. You can pick it up on my 
website.

David Crystal

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tanya Gough <
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Date: 		Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 20:49:14 -0400
Subject: 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

Todd,

My customers who teach Shakespeare to ESL students have found 
considerable success.  For the most part, your friend might consider 
starting with teaching materials aimed at lower level grades; we carry a 
number of teaching guides for grades 3 and up, as well as heavily cut or 
partially modernized textbooks.  Personally, I have had success in my 
own ESL classes (I taught English in Japan for 4 years and have 
continued to teach a conversational English class here at home for the 
past 10 years), generally starting with novelizations or children's 
books to help students get comfortable with the plot and characters. 
Many of the children's adaptations also include snippets of original 
text in the dialogue.

 From there, I might step up to a cut text, such as the 60-minute 
Shakespeare series, which contains all original text, but cut to a 60 
minute read/performance time.  In general, these versions retain the 
central plots and major speeches, but tend to cut the more difficult 
metaphors and descriptive passages to their core.  This process allows 
the teacher to introduce poetic structure and language in a more 
restricted and controlled fashion, and helps keep the students from 
being overwhelmed.  Then, depending on the ability of the class, you can 
introduce them to the full speeches and step them up from there.

Luckily for me, I've also been able to use the Kurosawa adaptations Ran, 
Throne of Blood and The Bad Sleep Well as stepping stones for 
discussions about plot and cultural interpretations of textual 
materials.  Your friend might also look at some of the animated films 
and comic book format texts. He might also enjoy the Cambridge School 
language workbooks, all of which deal with language and poetric form in 
a clear, coherent manner, and are photocopiable to boot.  The 
Ready-to-Use Shakespeare series is also helpful for its vocabulary 
quizzes and pre- and post- reading exercisesm and is also photocopiable.

There are a surprising number of teaching aids for introductory and 
remedial students these days.  We just published a densely packed 8 page 
teachers' catalogue, which only covers classroom teaching resources. 
I'd be happy to e-mail it to you in a PDF.   We also have a primary 
catalogue (68 pages) and a brand spanking new half catalogue (28 pages) 
of everything new since the last one.

Tanya Gough
The Poor Yorick Shakespeare Catalogue
www.bardcentral.com

[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Margaret Litvin <
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Date: 		Thursday, 14 Sep 2006 21:45:07 -0400
Subject: 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0788 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

A good place for your student to start might be Shakespeare Yearbook XII 
(Shakespeare as a Teaching Challenge, 2001).  Also perhaps of interest 
(not ESL, but a testimonial about how nonnative students of English 
identify with Shakespeare's texts despite the linguistic difficulties): 
Michael Yogev, "'How Shall We Find the Concord of this Discord?' 
Teaching Shakespeare in Israel," Shakespeare Quarterly 46:2 (1995).

Best,
Margaret Litvin

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