Will & the Web: Shakespeare and the Internet was the title of my presentation at IATEFL this year. It was a workshop where I shared some of the activities I have used with my language and literature students doing Shakespeare modules as part of their Erasmus/Study Abroad programmes at the University of Leicester. My aim was to make teachers realise that there are simple and very accessible online sources that can help teachers to use creative web tools available to promote independent learning and engage students outside the classroom.
I would like to thank everyone who attended my presentation for choosing to be there and for being such good ‘students’ – you were simply brilliant and very enthusiastic doing the activities. It was good fun working with you!
The sample activities that I used in the workshop are part of a two-term course on Shakespeare’s plays and are in two handbooks which contain the lesson materials that I designed for the modules. The materials were developed having in mind a hybrid approach to Shakespeare that should reflect the needs and interests of both Literature and English language students. When compiling and designing it, I had to make a number of decisions regarding students’ previous knowledge of the plays and of the contexts in which they were created and have been received, as well as learners’ level of language proficiency.
My main objective, and challenge, was to try to find a balance between critical literary analysis of the texts and language work; between the four skills while putting a clear emphasis on reading and academic writing, and a balance between the analysis of the plays as text and as performance.
As promised, I am making the material I used in the workshop available here. The activities are adapted versions of the ones in the materials I use with my students and you are also free to adapt them for classroom purposes only. Please acknowledge authorship. Thanks.
A very special thanks to Ben Crystal, whose book Shakespeare on Toast who has kindly gave me permission to use some images in the materials.