Scripted Language: Adapting Shakespeare for ESL

I doff my cap!

Everyman in Tajikistan

When we began the process of adapting Romeo and Juliet for our classes, I quickly quashed any possibility of us doing the entire play. I told my coordinator that I would find a thirty-minute version and we would work from there. I did just that, finding this great slimmed-down version that used the original text. I thought I was done and good to start practice.

In a conversation with a fellow Tajikistan ETA, he mentioned that keeping the original language would not be teaching that as a relic to be appreciated, but as something viable, nay, usable.

“They’ll repeat the language. Do you really want that?”

One of the last things I wanted from this project would be to infect my students’ speech with antiquated patterns and words. That would only hurt them when they did begin speaking with other people and trying to use their language skills in…

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