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Home :: Archive :: 2006 :: September ::
RSC Appeal to Educators
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 17.0819  Wednesday, 20 September 2006

[1] 	From: 	Hannibal Hamlin <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 14:23:18 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators

[2] 	From: 	Tanya Gough <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 15:16:15 -0400
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0810 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

[3] 	From: 	Alex Carney <
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	Date: 	Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 19:42:34 EDT
	Subj: 	Re: SHK 17.0810 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Hannibal Hamlin <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 14:23:18 -0400
Subject: 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0808 RSC Appeal to Educators

I agree with the comments of Terence Hawkes and Peter Holland, but I'd 
add some further criticisms of the RSC appeal.  The comment about 
studying "scripts on a page" ignores the ongoing rich critical debate 
about the relative status of plays as performed and as printed.  The 
growing consensus seems to be that both are legitimate, and that 
Shakespeare seems to have written (perhaps at different times and in 
different ways) with both in mind.  Is the RSC really saying that a live 
performance is the only legitimate experience of Shakespeare?  Millions 
of readers can attest that the plays are powerful on the page as well as 
the stage (indeed some-from Bradley to Bloom-would argue they are more 
so).  Furthermore, the RSC attitude seems arrogant and self-centered.  I 
would love to be able to take my students to see the RSC regularly, but 
since I teach in North-Central Ohio, this would be rather difficult. 
Furthermore, though there are options for live performances within reach 
in Ohio, I wouldn't recommend these indiscriminately.  Many of my 
students have never seen a live play, but I've taken a few classes to 
see what turned out to be awful productions, and even the least 
experienced students could see they were terrible.  But that's about all 
they could see.  Bad theater can perhaps be instructive, but only if you 
have something good to measure it against.  If all that is available is 
a bad production, I'd much rather my students stuck to reading the 
plays.  Bad productions just turn them off theater, and the sort of 
delusional and self-aggrandizing productions Terence Hawkes no doubt has 
in mind only serve to confuse them and convince them that Shakespeare on 
his own terms is boring and out of date.

Hannibal Hamlin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Tanya Gough <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 15:16:15 -0400
Subject: 17.0810 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0810 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

Lysbeth,

I've re-read all of the posts in this thread and haven't seen anyone 
suggesting that one use story adaptations *instead* of the original 
text. In my own post, I suggested that story versions can be used a 
stepping stone to assist students along the way, not as a way of 
avoiding language altogether.  The stories help students deal with 
issues such as plot and getting the characters straight, so by the time 
you get to the language they aren't as intimidated by it.  And what's 
more, the use of story versions helps them reinforce their modern 
English reading skills, so there's a two-tier benefit to working this way.

I hope that clarifies things a bit.

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

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From: 		Alex Carney <
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Date: 		Tuesday, 19 Sep 2006 19:42:34 EDT
Subject: 17.0810 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students
Comment: 	Re: SHK 17.0810 Teaching Shakespeare to ESL Students

Is there any literature on this topic?  I'd like to pass it on to the 
ESL teachers in the high school I teach in.

Alex Carney

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