Teachers often use Shakespearean plays and poems in the process of teaching English as a foreign language. However, this part of the course is challenging for international students because they cannot understand the meaning of specific outdated phrases and words. Although the use of Shakespearean language seems complicated and difficult, the advantages of such methods of teaching can be analyzed to understand whether Shakespeare should still be taught in schools. The evaluation of the benefits of the process of studying Shakespearean English demonstrates that it has a positive effect on the attitude of students towards the language. At the same time, the teachers should follow some recommendations to make this process easy and interesting to the learners.
Shakespearean English should be incorporated into the process of learning English because it opens the world of real language. Almost every person in the world knows who Shakespeare is and what plays he wrote. The plots he presents in his dramas are among the most popular around the world. His texts are an integral part of the English language, which allows the teachers to use them to make the international students not only learn the language but allow the students to trace its roots. In particular, the process of studying English can be made attractive with the involvement of the tasks of comparing the modern words with the Shakespearean phrases, the attempts to guess the meaning of the specific words, and the activities of finding the synonyms or antonyms. Also, the students can write papers where they can present their views and ideas, and EssayShark that provides cheap papers can help them to make this process easier and less challenging. All these forms of tasks might allow the teachers to understand that Shakespearean English can be made interesting to students, and the learners might have the opportunity to study the language that was used in different periods of its development and influenced the contemporary phrases and words.
The creative approach to teaching Shakespearean English can enhance the students’ love for the language and its history. The process of studying foreign cultures and histories is a complicated task that involves different techniques and materials. It is necessary to observe different artifacts and analyze them to make them more comprehensive and explicit, which helps to understand the culture of other countries. For instance, people study paintings, sculptures, and architectural structures of different periods to get more knowledge of the cultural heritage of civilizations. The texts are not an exception. The process of studying the Shakespearean texts might allow international students to understand the English language, its origin, and its specifics better. When youth not only learns the language for everyday use but also observes how Bards of the past masterly apply the words to convey the deep meanings and feelings, it reaches the next level of contact with the language. This aesthetic feeling of satisfaction with the ability to understand the skillful work of the poets and playwrights of the past makes the students respect and love the language they learn.
The reasonable approach to the process of teaching Shakespearean English partially and in details might help to make the texts understandable and fascinating. Indeed, the process of learning the Shakespearean texts can be a challenge for the students that have little knowledge of the language. However, if someone asks if Shakespeare should still be taught in schools, this person might understand that almost any information can be made interesting. The methods of teaching play an essential role in the ability of teachers to make the texts fascinating and the activities engaging. First of all, the introduction of the Shakespearean language should be partial. It implies that the teachers may choose the most attractive parts of the text for the analysis and use them with multiple tasks. Thus, the famous Hamlet’s monologue “To be or not to be” can become a part of the course. The students can guess the meaning of the unknown words from the context, can divide into groups, one of which proves why Hamlet should do something, and the other explains why he should not, can make pictures according to the words from the scene and then use them to retell the monologue.
The observation of the Shakespearean texts in the original version allows avoiding the distorted modern versions. The alterations of the text change the perception of the feelings and atmosphere by the readers because the use of the contemporary words distorts the drama in the stories. Indeed, the plots of the Shakespearean plays attract modern readers because the problems and themes presented in the texts are still relevant today. If someone asks why we read Romeo and Juliet today, this person might understand that the themes of love, enmity, and fate are still applicable to people’s lives. However, the most fascinating element of Shakespeare’s plays is their belonging to the Elizabethan era and the reflection of the mode of life of people during those times. The specific words and phrases used in Shakespearean times endow the stories with the particular atmosphere that can be preserved only with the original words.
Reading the original texts helps the students to understand the ability of language to be a valuable instrument of presentation of ideas, deep emotions, and profound depth of the meaning. The ability of the students to use the language in different situations and various contexts is the necessity that requires the teachers to use all the possible techniques to expand the scope of language to students. The studying of the Shakespearean texts is considered an effective tool of showing the learners the depth and diversity of the words that help the speakers and writers to reflect the emotions, feelings, and meanings. The eloquence of the characters, the rhetorical techniques used by the playwright, and the diversity of phrases used in the stories contribute to the ability of the students to understand the role of these instruments in the demonstration of the ideas.
Thus, the Shakespearean plots, themes, and language can become a valuable tool for teaching international students the English language. Mainly, they help the learners to know the true language and its origin, start to love it, and understand how the masterly use of language influences the eloquence of the text. At the same time, such techniques as the use of the separate limited parts of the stories, their detailed examination, and the involvement of interesting activities with the language might help the teachers to make their lessons diversified and fascinating to their learners. Therefore, Shakespearean English should be used for teaching foreign students because it provides multiple opportunities both for a student and a teacher.
Author bio: Matthew Finnighan is a writer and a journalist who loves language and literature. He dedicated many of his researches to William Shakespeare, specifically his language. Matthew also does researches on myths surrounding the writer’s persona.