Exploring the English language through Shakespeare’s plays
A British Council online course
William Shakespeare is the best-known and most-loved playwright in English history. So, what better way to improve your English language skills than through learning about the “Bard of Avon”? This introduction to Shakespeare explores his life in Elizabethan England. You’ll see some of the most famous Shakespeare plays, like Romeo and Juliet, brought to life by actors. Afterwards, you’ll discuss the plays’ key themes with the help of Shakespeare experts. You’ll learn about Shakespearean English, and will practice speaking (modern) English with your fellow course participants and tutor. The course will help you to understand why Shakespeare is so important in the history of English literature, improving your English language skills along the way.
What will you achieve?
During the course you will:
• explore the life and works of William Shakespeare
• investigate five of Shakespeare’s plays and look at the universal themes Shakespeare addressed in his work
• reflect on words and expressions that Shakespeare introduced to the English language.
What topics will you cover?
• Romeo and Juliet
• Much Ado About Nothing
• The Tempest
A video tutor will guide you through the course and look at some of the words and expressions that Shakespeare introduced to the English language. Short quizzes will check your understanding and you’ll be asked to share your ideas and opinions on the topics Shakespeare raises.
Who is the course for?
The course is aimed at non-native English speakers who want to improve their English while learning about Shakespeare.
Participants should have an English language competence of at least B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
What is FutureLearn?
FutureLearn is an online education provider that offers online courses, popularly known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses, with courses developed in partnership between over 23 leading universities, the British Council, British Museum and British Library.
The British Council section of the FutureLearn catalogue comprises over 20 different courses designed for learners and teachers looking to learn new skills, pursue interests or advance their career through a short online course.
FutureLearn courses consist of pre-recorded video lectures and readings that users can work through on a weekly schedule or whenever it is convenient. All FutureLearn short courses are taught in English.
• Learn step-by-step: Courses are online and are designed to fit flexibly, with short activities and clear goals to encourage users to make progress at a comfortable rate that suits them.
• Learn from the experts: Educators from top UK and international universities have created videos, articles and quizzes to inspire, and will lead discussions and debates.
• Learn from each other: Courses are designed to provoke questions and stimulate debate, so that learning becomes as easy and natural as chatting with a group of friends.
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