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Posts Tagged ‘teaching Shakespeare’

A while back I wrote Shakespeare in Other Words citing the reasons teachers should avoid using “No Fear” or “Made Easy” or any other parallel text edition in their classroom. Needless to say, it generated over 40 comments, including some from an author of “The Shakespeare Novels.”

But now I realize that simply dismissing those books wasn’t enough. What should teachers do, who not only find it difficult to teach the real stuff, but who may struggle with the language themselves? So here are a few suggestions:

  1. Since students can access the No Fear versions online for free, why not suggest or even encourage them to read them at home. And then read and teach the real text in class.
  2. Start with “baby steps.”
  3. Begin with a 15 Minute Play. There are eight of them on the Folger site.
  4. Pull out 30 juicy lines from the play you’ll be studying, put each line on a 3×5 note card, and give one to each student. Then they find a partner, come up with a scene using only the words on the cards, and perform the scene for the class.
  5. Instead of Made Easy texts, create a Made Shorter text. Using the Folger Digital Texts, copy a scene, paste it into a Word file, and edit it to a version that your students can handle.
  6. If you want to teach Iambic Pentameter, watch the video called Living Iambic Pentameter, but DO NOT SHOW IT TO YOUR CLASS. Instead, do your own version in class. No kid wants to watch other kids having fun.

Those are just a few ways to get past the fear and teach Shakespeare for Real. Post your comments below with other suggestions.

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2013 Secondary School Festival. Folger Shakespeare Library.

2013 Secondary School Festival. Folger Shakespeare Library.

By Peggy O’Brien

Let’s make a date for another day to have a longer, more nuanced conversation about the many parts of the Common Core.

For now, I just want to say that if we could put politics aside and testing aside (and unfortunately, in our beloved field of education, we can put aside neither for long), the expectations for student mastery laid out in the Common Core are the same kinds of expectations that good teachers have had for their students for centuries. Centuries.

And what gets me going on about the Common Core at the moment is that our theatre is crammed this week and next with middle and high school students performing Shakespeare at the Secondary School Shakespeare Festival.

In their schools, they have been learning Shakespeare by getting up and doing it… and then they come to the Folger Theatre.

Eight schools are here each day; they each perform their 25-minute scene and are audience to the other schools. They comment on one another’s work.

The Mistress of the Revels orchestrates language games in between scenes, and during this year’s Festival, each day is ending with all 250 students, teachers, and parent-chaperones collaborating to produce a 20-minute version of Richard III. 

The solid gold under all of this high energy is that these students really know these plays, this language, these characters because they have been learning all of this from the inside out.

Get Shakespeare’s language into the mouths of students of any age, let them get a chance to feel it**, and what starts to happen? Students begin to make their own way through complex texts. How? Through intense close reading, serious analysis, disciplined collaborative work.

If you had seen the Cassius I saw a bit earlier today (thank you, Dakota Rosell from Walkersville High School, Walkersville, MD), you would have said what I did: That guy is Cassius.  Or that excellent, clearly motivated Theseus (thank you, Tatiana Chavez, Duke Ellington School, Washington, DC).

The deeper students go, the better they get at it. They’re learning Shakespeare by getting up and “doing” Shakespeare–in English class, in the hallways, in the gym, in a drama class, in an after-school drama club.

Will some of them go on to be actors?  Some. Mostly they will end up in other careers, and in lives where they hopefully will be unafraid to dive into a bit of compelling literature from time to time.

You can call that a good life, or you can call that knowing your way around a complex text.

Secondary School Shakespeare Festival. Folger Shakespeare Library, 2011 © duytranphotography.com

Secondary School Shakespeare Festival.
Folger Shakespeare Library, 2011 © duytranphotography.com

**To give students a chance to feel the language, try this:

  • Get out on an athletic field or in the gym or distribute ear plugs to your colleagues on either side.
  • Divide your class in half, and have them face each other in two groups.
  • One half should shout this line VERY LOUD at the other half:  You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
  • The other half should respond VERY LOUDLY as well:  We are such stuff as dreams are made on!
  • Repeat.  Switch lines.
  • Bonus:  If you want to teach iambic pentameter, You blocks . . .  is a perfect line to start with!
Secondary School Shakespeare Festival, Folger Shakespeare Library, 2011 © duytranphotography.com

Secondary School Shakespeare Festival.
Folger Shakespeare Library, 2011 © duytranphotography.com

Peggy O’Brien is the Director of Education at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Follow her on Twitter at @obrienfolger or send her an email at pobrien@folger.edu.

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Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet

Drawing by John Austen for an edition of Hamlet (ART Box A933 no.2), 1890 painting by Ludovic Marchetti of Romeo and Juliet (ART Vol. f220). Folger Shakespeare Library.

Last week, we took a reader poll to ask which Shakespeare plays were being taught this semester. Top of the list (as of this writing): Romeo and Juliet, with more than 25 percent of the vote.

Macbeth took second place with 22 percent, and Hamlet third with 10 percent. Our write-in option was also quite popular, with Taming of the Shrew and Much Ado About Nothing making multiple appearances.

Good news! We have a wealth of resources for teaching each of these plays. Here are a few highlights:

  • Romeo and Juliet – In December, Folger Education recorded an hour-long master class for teaching Romeo and Juliet. You can watch the archived version online, broken down into video segments on scholarship, performance, and the classroom.
  • Macbeth – Folger educators talk about surefire ways for successfully introducing students to the Scottish play in this podcast, Macbeth: The Teacher’s Edition.
  • Hamlet – Watch the Insider’s Guide to Hamlet. These videos highlight the play’s themes, characters, and plot—perfect for students encountering Hamlet for the first time.

Find more resources by downloading a curriculum guide for each of these popular plays. The guides include a brief synopsis, two lesson plans, famous quotes from the play, prompts for teachers, links to podcasts and videos, and a list of suggested additional resources.

Want even more? Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Hamlet are all included in our Shakespeare Set Free books, a series written by Folger Education’s Teaching Shakespeare Institute faculty and participants. (Today’s your last chance to apply for this year’s TSI, by the way!) Each book is packed with practical, specific ideas to use in the classroom.

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A simple question, but one that will help us know what kind of resources to share with you. Thanks for participating! (Note: You can check more than one box.)

Secondary School Shakespeare Festival 2013

Secondary School Shakespeare Festival 2013

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~by Christopher Shamburg, New Jersey City University

Shakespeare can be a powerful tool for the cognitive, emotional, social, and linguistic development of all kids.

I saw this phenomenon when working with the students of A. Harry Moore School in Jersey City, a comprehensive school for students ages 3-21 with severe medical, physical, and cognitive disabilities.   This year a group of 14 students did a variety of production-based activities with Shakespeare, culminating in a performance of The Winter’s Tale in June.

Students take a bow after performing The Winter's Tale.

Students take a bow after performing The Winter’s Tale.

A production-based approach is where kids come to understand Shakespeare through performance and technology—using Shakespeare’s Language.  It’s based in the Folger Teaching Method, and it’s great for all kids for several reasons.

1)      It is a deeply immersive experience.  In this case, students were dancing, sheering sheep, getting pursued by bears, consulting oracles, and coming tolife from marble statues.  They were engaged like they would be in a fun game or an exciting sport.

2)      These are fault tolerant activities.  You do not have to do it perfect or right to make it work well.

3)      There is a wide zone of engagement.  It’s been said that engagement occurs when there’s a balance between skills and challenge.  If a person is over-skilled, then boredom sets in.  If a person is over-challenged, then frustration sets in.  A teacher can easily balance skills and challenges with a production-based approach.

4)      It’s a great tool for building students’ executive function.  Executive function is a relatively new and helpful way of looking at brain activity.  It’s a combination of planning, working memory, multiple perspectives, and impulse control.  The methods of a production-based approach develop executive function.

Here are a few of the activities that worked for us.

Shadows

One of the activities we used was “Shadows,” a method for students to get familiar with the physical space of the theater, experiment with their range of motion, and understand the contrasting emotions of the main character of The Winter’s Tale, and the catalyst for the action of the play, Leontes.  In “Shadows,” one student acts as “Good” Leontes and another student follows as his “Shadow,” enacting contrasting lines from “Good” Leontes.  Leontes wore a white mask or hat, and Leontes’ shadow followed wearing a black mask or hat.

Leontes Leontes’ Shadow
Stay your thanks a whileWell said, Hermione Too hot, too hotI am angling now

(see full activity Shadows).

Seven-Minute Version

To better understand the plot and the language in the play, the students frequently performed “Winta: The Seven-Minute Winter’s Tale”.  Every student enacted at least one line as a teacher read the narration and cued the students.  The lines were designed for both readers and nonreaders, who would say their lines with a prompter.

e.g.

NARRATOR:  Leontes is sorry (12).  But it’s too late.  His wife is dead and his baby is gone.  Antigonus has taken Perdita to Bohemia and leaves her in an abandoned place (13).

Student lines:

12)  I have deserved all tongues to talk their bitterest.

13) There weep and leave it crying; and, for the babe is counted lost forever, Perdita.

(See full activity)

Emotion Chart

AHM Emotion Chart

Chart with different degrees of emotions

A frequent reference during many of these activities, rehearsals, and performance was the emotion chart.  It offered visual cues for nonreaders and some subtle emotional distinctions for the more dramatic players.  It was based on the work of Christine Porter in Mary Ellen Dakin’s Reading Shakespeare with Young Adults.

(See full Emotion Chart )

AHM Shakespeare 2013 -3

Three students smiling after performing The Winter’s Tale

Creating sound effects for the play–using voices, Foley techniques, and audio editing tools–was fun, engaged us in the text, and was a real crowd pleaser during our performance.  We used the Audacity audio editing program to create numerous sound effects (e.g. party, bear, sheep, crying baby, stone breaking apart).

Adaptive Use Musical Instruments

AHM Shakespeare 2013-4

Student using AUMI

One piece of software that was particularly useful was Adaptive Use Musical Instruments (AUMI).  It allowed students with limited mobility to create music for the show.  A user can create music or activated sounds with a variety of gross motor movements.

Embedded Word Files

To use the sound effects and music during the show we embedded they audio in a Word document.  These sounds added production value and also worked as a memory device for the actors.  Embedding mp3 files in a Word document is a standard, though underused, feature in Word that proved valuable during activities, rehearsals, and performance.  We opened the file with the script and played the sounds along with the production.

AHM Embedded Word File

A screenshot of a Word file with audio embedded

Good Script and Prompting

Our director Terry MacSweeney from Actor’s Shakespeare Company did an excellent job of abridging Shakespeare’s language to a 30-minute show.   He devised a system of cue cards, scripts and prompters that aided our actors just enough.

In Conclusion…

This was the Actor’s Shakespeare Company’s fifth production at A. Harry Moore.  This year the work was a part of the NJCU Educational Technology Department’s Partnership and Projects Program.

The production was organized by Marissa Aiello, a speech language pathologist at the school, with assistance by Matt Masiello, a speech language pathology intern.

Christopher Shamburg is a Professor of Educational Technology at New Jersey City University.  He is a workshop leader and consultant for the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Education Division.

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Folger Educatin Intern Samantha Smith writes about her experience at our Elementary Educators’ Conference

On the last day of the 2013 Shakespeare in Elementary Education Conference at the Folger Shakespeare Library, students from Capitol Hill Montessori took to the stage in the Folger Theatre to perform a short play entitled “Much Ado About Shakespeare.”  The play’s title summed up the three-day conference in which I was able to watch educators, authors, and graduate students talk, shout, and jump their way through nine presentations highlighting different ways to introduce children to Shakespeare’s text.  To me, the smiles and articulate answers of the Capitol Hill Montessori students as they replied to questions posed by educators in the audience illustrated the theme of the conference, which centered on how engagement with Shakespeare’s plays positively influences elementary students’ academic, artistic, and personal growth.

As a college senior eager to blend my academic interest in Shakespeare with my desire to work with young students, it was heartening to talk with professionals of different backgrounds who demonstrated diverse ways to encourage their students to study and enjoy Shakespeare’s plays.  All of the participants in the conference shared a love of Shakespeare’s words but each drew on his or her own education, training, and personal interests in ways that reinforced for me that there is no solitary path leading to a career based on engagement with Shakespeare’s plays.   Ken Ludwig, best known for his Tony-award winning plays and musicals, explained how he combined his writing talents with the enjoyment he felt teaching his own children to memorize passages from Shakespeare in his book, How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare.  Author and musician Daeshin Kim shared how his daughter’s positive response to nursery rhymes as a language-learning tool sparked his interest in composing short children’s songs sung from the point of view of Shakespeare’s characters.  As I read Mr. Kim’s book, A Horse With Wings, and listened to a song sung by Cordelia entitled “I don’t know what to say,” I was as delighted to learn about such an innovative way of sharing Shakespeare with children as I would have been listening to Mr. Kim’s songs as a pre-school student.  I learned that my lack of crafting talent was unchanged from my pre-school years while participating in a craft-based lesson by Holly Rodgers (a teacher from Fairfax County public schools) for The Merchant of Venice, which demonstrated a visual and tactile way to connect ESL students with Shakespeare.  The effectiveness of performance-based teaching was reinforced for me as I participated in Renee Vomocil of The Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s examples of warm-up games, Virginia Palmer-Fuechsel’s combination of spoken word and movement activities, and the movement-based exploration of Romeo and Juliet led by OSU/RSC Stand Up for Shakespeare educators Lorraine Gaughenbaugh and Anna Meyer.  These exercises made me excited to act portions of the plays I so enjoy reading.  The effectiveness of these lessons on younger students was clear when I watched Jennifer Ventimiglia’s class in the Czech Republic dramatize sonnets and heard from Dr. Barbara Cobb about how her Shakespeare in the Schools Partnership Initiative was successful in getting children excited about Shakespeare.

A line from recent Georgetown University graduate Angela Ramnanan’s presentation on her master’s thesis best summarized the conclusion I took away from the conference: ‘results obtained from the research project provide compelling evidence of Shakespeare’s relevance in our current curriculum based on his cultural and linguistic influence.”  There is indeed much to do to further incorporate Shakespeare education in elementary school curriculum, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to learn about so many ways that educators are already inspiring their students to love Shakespeare.

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    There may be snow on the ground, but Spring is in the air at the Folger.  As the Cherry Blossoms in Washington prepare to bloom, so do our local budding Bards as they prepare for the student festivals right around the corner. While the high school students will stomp the boards in just a couple of weeks at our annual Secondary School Festival, their younger comrades in the elementary grades will give them a run for their money in mid-May during our 34th Annual Children’s Festival. The work of all of these youngsters in their grappling of the text, their connections to the intricate characters and relationships in Shakespeare’s plays is sometimes inconceivable and without a doubt exciting.

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 On the heels of our Children’s Festival is the equally exciting Conference on Teaching Shakespeare in the Elementary Classroom. So for all of those who would like to know what this work looks like, now is your chance to join the movement. We are excited to host both local and national educators as we experience the incredible work being done with primary level students and Shakespeare.

   As we share our stories, we’ll also experience and hear the stories behind two newly published books that should be welcomed additions to your Shakespeare for kids library.

Internationally acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me a Tenor, Crazy for You) joins us as our keynote speaker. Adding author to his long list of accomplishments, Ken will talk and give a demonstration from his newly published book How to Teach Your Children Shakespeare (available June 11). We’ll also be joined by Daeshin Kim, writer and composer of the picture book and CD, A Horse with Wings: Songs for Children Sung by Characters from Shakespeare. Hear about Daeshin’s journey to re-creating the stories of Shakespeare’s characters through music and the voice of a child.  

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To see a full list of our conference presenters and to register, check out http://www.folger.edu/eec. 

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~by Julia Perlowski
(title quote from Henry IV, part 2)

In my high school honors English class, my well-meaning teacher decided to have us read Macbeth.  I was thrilled.  I had been in classes where teachers played records of famous Shakespearean monologues read by famous people with thick British accents.   Who can forget “Oh, pardon me thou bleeding piece of flesh that I am meek and gentle with these butchers!” out of the mouth of Marlon Brando?   Yikes!  If that is not enough to scare a child, I don’t know what is!  However, in this honors class we sat in desks in neat little rows and were asked which of us would like what part.  I wanted Macbeth!  I really did.  I had some fIuency with early modern English as I heard it from my mother’s mouth at bedtime and read it aloud in our family den when no one was looking.  The part initially went to Bruce Holsinger, who was the smartest boy in the school, now Professor of Music and English at University of Virginia. When Bruce needed a break and it was discovered that there was not another great male reader in the class, the part went to me.  I had a blast, and was quite pleased with myself, as was Bruce, that we were granted the coveted parts.  As a teacher of drama, reading and English, teaching Shakespeare in all of those classes since 2006, I now know that only 4 out of 35 kids “covet” those parts.  The rest are scared stiff or could not care less.  And, the kids who have a mild interest in Shakespeare don’t have much to do until they are finally prompted to say…”Here’s knocking indeed!”

I want to share a simple method, learned at the Folger and use extensively in my classrooms, to get ALL kids reading Shakespeare in a relatively short period of time, even with scenes where only two or three characters are speaking, even with monologues and soliloquies. Here it is:  Number the text.

That’s it!  A bulk of the good teaching methods with performative text relies on numbering lines in such a way that most kids get to have a go!  Most of my classes contain 30 students.  Most of my planning time consists of solving math problems in order to configure groups:  15 groups of 2; or, 2 groups of 15; or, 6 groups of 5, as well as numbering dialogue for maximum student performance time.  Consider this bit of dialogue from  Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet:

1 ABRAHAM:  Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

2 SAMPSON:  I do bite my thumb, sir.

3 ABRAHAM:  Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?

4  SAMPSON:  [Aside to GREGORY] Is the law of our side, if I say ay?

5 GREGORY:  No.

6 SAMPSON:  No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir.

7 GREGORY:  Do you quarrel, sir?

8 ABRAHAM:  Quarrel sir! no, sir.

9 SAMPSON:  If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.

10 ABRAHAM:   No better.

11 SAMPSON:  Well, sir.

12 GREGORY:  Say ‘better:’ here comes one of my master’s kinsmen.

13 SAMPSON:  Yes, better, sir.

14 ABRAHAM:   You lie.

15 SAMPSON:   Draw, if you be men.

EVERYONE:  DOWN WITH THE CAPULETS!  DOWN WITH THE MONTAGUES!

PRINCE:

(1) Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
On pain of torture, from those bloody hands
Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince.
(2) Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets,
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.

With the script numbered in this way, here are some possibilities for enactment in a class of 30 where all are involved:

1.  LINE VOLLEY:  Half the class can enact the EVEN numbered lines, the other half, the ODD numbered lines.  Lines will be spoken alternately between the lines.   One or more students can intervene as the Prince.

2.  ENSEMBLE SCENE:  Two groups of fifteen students can enact the scene each having their own line.   The part of the Prince may be read by all in unison…or by one person if one of the students takes two lines.

3.  3-D SHAKESPEARE:  Four students may perform the speaking parts of this scene with the rest of the class serving as directors with the teacher  facilitating between the actors and the audience asking the hard questions.  Who is here when the scene starts?

One of the most effective teaching days I had with this particular bit of numbered script consisted of a line volley with 45 students.  There were so many bodies that we “staged” the scene in two aisles of the audience across the middle orchestra seats.  Students delivered contentious lines as they climbed over seats brandishing rolled up scripts, eyeballing the enemies from the other side.

DoYouBite

In another part of the country, two 3rd grade boys share the Prince’s speech:

How do YOU do the math?

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Don’t be alarmed. My headline doesn’t apply to most of you who are followers of this Blog. And I don’t mean to malign or indict  other Shakespeare teachers. So please read on.

That headline appeared in an article in the NY Times in 1916 on the 300th commemoration of Shakespeare’s death. Plans are already underway at the Folger and at Shakespeare theaters across the world to celebrate the 400th, but I thought I’d look back a bit to look at the pedogogy of the early 20th century.

So let me cite a few passages (without any editorial comments) from that article by essayist and theater critic, Walter Prichard Eaton:

“More American children grow up today with a supposed knowledge of Shakespeare than ever before, and fewer ever see him acted–which simply means that fewer have any real knowledge of him”

 “At present it is safe to say that the average high school makes Shakespeare a bore….it fails utterly to inspire dramatic appreciation, to expand the imagination, to create affection.”

“I am convinced that the first thing which should be thrown overboard in a preliminary teaching of Shakespeare to  to children of high school age is the notes.”

“If I were teaching Shakespeare in a high school…I should first of all…have the desk removed from the platform, or shoved far back for a ‘Balcony’.”

“I should abolish most of the formality and discipline of the conventional classroom, and have a grand good time in the process.”

Any thoughts about this 96-year old article?

Next time, I’ll take a close look at Henry Caldwell Cook’s 1917 book on teaching Shakespeare,  The Play Way. It’s available for free on Google Books.

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Shakespeare is taught all over the world, both in English-speaking and non-English speaking countries. Suzanne Worthington, RSC Education has created the World Shakespeare Classroom Wiki for the 2012 World Shakespeare Festival in London that looks at how Shakespeare is taught around the world.   Here are a few highlights:

  • Algeria: Some students  from Ahmed Lamarchi High School discuss Shakespeare  and do a short choral reading.
  • Azerbaijan: 100% of pupils following the national curriculum will study Shakespeare at least once in their school career, generally in grade 8. They study a general biography and short introduction to his works.
  • Brazil: Shakespeare is usually studied in translation to Portuguese and mostly at the University level.
  • China: Pupils aged 15/16 study Act 1 Scene 4 from The Merchant of Venice in translation into Mandarin Chinese.
  • Denmark:  Shakespeare is studied both in original English and in translation to Danish. Because it is set in Denmark, Hamlet is a favorite play of the Danes.  Shakespeare’s Elsinore is widely acknowledged to be Kronborg Castle near Helsingor in the North-East of Denmark.
  • Georgia: Less than 15% of pupils following the core curriculum will study Shakespeare, and when they do, they are translated into Georgian.
  • Germany: 15 – 50% of pupils following the German curricula are likely to study Shakespeare in English at least once in their school career.
  • Greece: Shakespeare is not a named author on the curriculum, although there are options for teachers to use him. When they are taught, they are read in translation to Greek or modern English.
  • Hungary:  Shakespeare is usually studied in translation to Hungarian. Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet,  King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Tempest are the most popular plays and 85 – 100% of pupils following the national curriculum will study Shakespeare at least once in their school career, mostly between the ages of 14 and 16.
  • India: Shakespeare is a compulsory or suggested author for pupils aged 14 to 16, depending on the state. Shakespeare is predominantly studied in English-medium schools. Popular studied plays include Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, Romeo and Juliet, and Othello.
  • Iraq: Less than 15% of pupils will study Shakespeare in their school career, usually the most academically able, between the ages of 16 and 18. The rest will probably leave school without knowing who Shakespeare is.
  • ItalyRomeo and Juliet is the most popular play for Italian students. Guess why? The plays are read in English.
  • Kuwait: An abridged version of Henry V, in a modern English translation, is taught at Year 12 (16 – 17 year olds)  because Henry V helps pupils reflect on history, politics and universal human values.
  • Mexico: All pupils follow the core national curriculum. Compulsory schooling ends at aged 16. Shakespeare is named on the curriculum.
  • Nigeria: Students in Nigeria are unlikely to study Shakespeare unless they are taking literature courses in private education or at university.
  • Pakistan: Less than 15% of pupils will study Shakespeare in their school career.
    Shakespeare is taught in elite private schools and occasionally at some middle-ranged private schools.
  • Poland: 85 – 100% of pupils following the core curriculum will study Shakespeare in Polish at least once in their school career, and most will study him more than once. Hamlet and Macbeth are the most-commonly taught plays.
  • Russia: Many of pupils following the national curriculum will study Shakespeare at least once. He is mentioned as a suggested author for 14 – 16 year olds. Shakespeare is read in the original English or in a modern English translation.
  • Serbia: Shakespeare is mentioned on the curriculum in Serbia and most children will learn about him before they are 16.
  • Slovakia:  Shakespeare is taught in either in English or Slovak  and is listed as a suggested author on the national curriculum for the 14 – 16 age group.

If you have anything to add to this excellent site, the Wiki directions are pretty clear.

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