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Resources for Dealing Directly with Specialist Language Style

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Introduction

Resources for Dealing Directly with Specialist Language Style As previously detailed, there are numerous problems for students attempting to access the specialist language of English. One of the most difficult problems for students to overcome is the language and style of William Shakespeare's plays. The three biggest problems that students face when reading Shakespeare are the Elizabethan language, the use of iambic pentameter and the use of themes. It is important that teachers develop resources and strategies to assist students in overcoming these language barriers. To overcome the language barriers of Elizabethan English, teachers must provide students with the greatest possible opportunities for understanding. By using a Shakespearean glossary such as that featured in the appendix, students are able to gain knowledge of the meaning of frequently used words in Shakespearean texts such as anon and doth. When students learn the meaning of these common words, much of the ambiguity of the language and its overall meaning is taken away. A number of teaching strategies could be used to introduce this resource to students. One of the most effective ways is to turn the resource into a trivia game. ...read more.

Middle

After an initial reading of the resource it would be important for the teacher to allow students to read a section of a play aloud in order to practice and reinforce the rules for reading that they have just learnt. The 'how to read a poem' resource would be given to students and also read aloud by the class teacher. The resource would then be re-read and the activities completed following the reading of the first scene of a play, allowing students to gain a clearer understanding of meaning and the way in which they should be reading through practical experience and active participation. The 'iambic pentameter' resource would not be given to students but would be used as a guide for the teacher to explain to students how iambic pentameter is written and should be read or performed. The 'verse or prose?' resource would be given to students in groups to complete each activity while being closely monitored by the teacher to ensure that all activities are completed correctly and that every student gains a deep understanding of the content. ...read more.

Conclusion

Again, students having to use quotes and examples from the text allows for an understanding of how themes are portrayed through language and, in this case, the actions and emotions of characters. After students have completed these tasks individually, allowing for the whole class discussion of answers results in students hearing different ideas and interpretations from their peers. By using resources and teaching strategies that are varied in their approach and focus on specific problematic aspects of the language, students are able to gain a deep understanding of previously difficult parts of the text. The types of resources used in this demonstration are ideal for years 7 to 10 to break down the literacy barriers inherent in Shakespearean studies. Implementing them into the classroom would begin to solve problems concerning the study and understanding of Elizabethan language, iambic pentameter and textual themes. Resource List * Teachit's English teaching resources http://www.teachit.co.uk/ * Shakespearean glossary from: http://home.pacific.net.au/~greg.hub/lear.html * Rules for reading Shakespeare from: http://www.yourbestwork.com/articles/2003/grammar.asp * Iambic pentameter from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iambic_pentameter * How to read a poem from: Hirsch, E. (2000) How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love With Poetry. Sydney. Harvest Books. * Board of Studies. (1997) English Syllabus: Stages 4 & 5. Sydney. Board of Studies NSW. ...read more.

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