Fear of Shakespeare: is there an antidote?
One of an English educators' greatest challenges can be getting students to see that there's much ado about something when it comes to the works of William Shakespeare. Learning scaffolds such as reading along to an audio or video version of a play will probably always be popular. But side-by-side series--where the actual text is on one side of the page and a modern "translation" is on the other--offer a newer way of helping to produce future fans of The Bard.
The first series to hit the U.S. was Shakespeare Made Easy, acquired by Barton's from a UK publisher in 1985. In 2002, Barron's launched Simply Shakespeare, which includes icons throughout the text to denote foreshadowing fore·shad·ow
tr.v. fore·shad·owed, fore·shad·ow·ing, fore·shad·ows
To present an indication or a suggestion of beforehand; presage.
fore·shad , wordplay and other aspects of the play that merit particular attention, explains Frederick Glasser, director of school library sales.
Last year, SparkNotes entered (stage left) with the No Fear Shakespeare series. Commentary in the margins and complete character lists provide additional support.
While there are no statistics on how popular these series have become, Carol Jago, co-director of the California Reading and Literature Project and an expert on teaching classical literature, says she knows of educators who have tried these books. The choice is made in an attempt "to awaken in students a love of Shakespeare," notes Jago, an English teacher at Santa Monica High School Wikipedia is not the place for advertisement or self-advertising.
Santa Monica High School (SMHS), informally known as Samohi or just Samo, is a public school located in Santa Monica, California which was founded in 1884 . .
In some schools, Glasser says the books introduce Shakespeare to gifted middle school students. Teachers of English language English language, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Spoken by about 470 million people throughout the world, English is the official language of about 45 nations. learners, remedial students, "reluctant" readers and special education students have also used them.
Stephanie Karmol, a SparkNotes spokeswoman, says educators seem to view the series as "a fresh way to appreciate Shakespeare's work." When teachers have "40 minutes to teach 60 minutes worth of information," the books help by picking up where the instructor leaves off.
"I think it's great. You've got the text unadulterated un·a·dul·ter·at·ed
1. Not mingled or diluted with extraneous matter; pure. See Synonyms at pure.
2. Out-and-out; utter: the unadulterated truth. ," says Dale Allender, associate executive director of the National Council of Teachers of English Mission
As stated on their official website, the NCTE ( National Council of Teachers of English) is a professional organization dedicated to "improving the teaching and learning of English and the language arts at all levels of education. . He sees the series as one of a range of classroom tools, but not necessarily better than other methods. The books should be used "in the context of inter-textual instruction, versus some panacea Some antidote or remedy that completely solves a problem. Most so-called panaceas in this industry, if they survive at all, wind up sitting alongside and working with the products they were supposed to replace. tool that's going to save everybody's love fur Shakespeare," he says. "Reading is never really isolated into just one text. Every text is related to something else."
Jago agrees that the series can be a helpful scaffold. But, she says, "I'm not a terrific supporter of these materials. ... What's going on What's Going On is a record by American soul singer Marvin Gaye. Released on May 21, 1971 (see 1971 in music), What's Going On reflected the beginning of a new trend in soul music. in the classroom? Are kids only reading the page with the translation in goofy Goofy
bumbling, awkward dog; originally named Dippy Dawg. [Comics: “Mickey Mouse” in Horn, 492]
See : Awkwardness modern prose?" That extra text can wind up acting as interference. "Suddenly it's another play written by somebody else in between the student and the experience," she adds.
Another concern is the message educators may be sending by selecting these materials. "We're saying ... [students] can't read the real thing," Jago explains "That's a dangerous assumption to make. Shakespeare wasn't elitist e·lit·ism or é·lit·ism
1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources. and suddenly we're becoming elitist in saying who can and can't read these texts."
Side-to-Side Shakespeare Series Instruction
Here are some ways that educators can use these books in the classroom:
* Have students read the original version first, using the modern translation for enhanced interest and better understanding.
* Have students read the translation first, to establish confidence and familiarity with plots and characters.
* Use a Venn diagram A graphic technique for visualizing set theory concepts using overlapping circles and shading to indicate intersection, union and complement. It was introduced in the late 1800s by English logician, John Venn, although it is believed that the method originated earlier. to show the relationship between certain portions of the text.
* Divide the class into groups, with some group members reading Shakespeare's version of a passage and others reading the modern version. In conversation, they can compare the language: