Shakespeare and English Language Education

Seargeant, Philip (2023). Shakespeare and English Language Education. In: Bickley, Pamela and Stevens, Jenny eds. Shakespeare, Education and Pedagogy : Representations, Interactions and Adaptations. Literature and Education. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, pp. 163–171.



This chapter looks at ways in which Shakespeare can be used in productive ways in English language pedagogy. On the face of it, Shakespeare’s work would appear far removed from the models of English which comply with the mainstream aims of much English language teaching (ELT) as currently conceived. Despite this, his status as a cultural and literary icon ensures that he is often included in ELT curricula. The chapter looks at how educators can use Shakespearean texts as touchstones for English language learning. In doing so, it considers such issues as the role played by the Shakespearean canon in the development of English, how an understanding of the history of the language can help learners, and how the plays and their legacy can be used as a lens through which to study culture.

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