Silly Shakespeare for Students is a new series from Alphabet Publishing. It offers simplified versions of well-known Shakespeare plays, making them accessible and fun for English language learners. You can read the blurb from the publisher here.
A few key points about the resources…
Each play in the series has been cut to about an hour
They’re all done in rhyming couplets – short, sharp and engaging
They include lots of humour throughout, regardless of the original genre
Plays include stage directions, some production notes, plus an explanation of how the play has been adapted.
Do you want to bring some drama and creativity into class? Are you looking for new ways to motivate and engage your teen/adult learners? Are you on the lookout for a good value TEFL resource written by real teachers, for real teachers?
The latest offering from Alphabet Publishing looks like a great resource for bringing drama into the language classroom. Her Own Worst Enemy is written by Alice Savage, a Professor of ESOL in Texas who has previous publications with Longman and OUP.
The book is based around a short one-act play. A complete curriculum is built around the play (pitched at ‘low intermediate to high intermediate’ level), including:
preparation tasks such as discussions, background reading, understanding pragmatics and attentive listening practice
the script itself along with post-reading discussion questions
a step-by-step production section which helps learners analyse the play, learn their lines, get into character, and develop pronunciation skills for their performance
post-performance tasks including debates, follow up tasks and resources for peer and teacher feedback
The deal-breaker for me with a resource like this is whether the play is actually engaging. Can I see my learners getting into it? Here’s a blurb on the play from Alphabet Publishing:
Aida, a high-school student, wants to get a university degree in science. But her performance in a school play has caught the attention of the theatre director at a famous performing arts college. Which passion should she pursue, her love of science or her talent for acting?
Of course, such a topic won’t suit every context, but it’s definitely a topic that many teens and young adults will be able to relate to. My studious teen classes would certainly enjoy debating some of the issues that the characters face. In other contexts I’ve worked in, especially summer schools back in Europe and short courses with closed groups back in the UK, I can see this topic would be relevant and generate a lot of interest. (more…)