Category Archives: Languages

Do not panic. It is just grammar

As soon as I uttered the sentence, the classroom became the setting of a horror film. Thunder and lightning were heard in the distance. My language students’ faces were invaded by terror. What had I said? What horrible threat had … Read More »

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What happens when everything goes wrong with your teaching?

I am lucky enough to have taught French language, history, politics and culture at three separate institutions over the past four years in different guises. I am passionate about France, the French and pretty much every aspect of modern French … Read More »

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Latin lingua viva est: why the Classics are necessary

I recently read an article on a national newspaper, mocking the suggestion of the Minister of Education that state school pupils should study Latin and Greek. The author (a comedian acting as a journalist for one day) lists the (apparently) … Read More »

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“What for?”: when languages were an unpopular option

Around fifteen years ago, I met a girl whose friends deemed crazy because she decided to study Arab (“What for?”). She ended having the last laugh when an oil company hired her as a translator, immediately after graduation. We live … Read More »

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Exploding Grandmothers and Other First Impressions

Today, in the supermarket, I hit a small girl square in the face. I didn’t, of course, but few would read this and fail to read on. It had, I surmise, a disorientating effect. It jolted you a little; it … Read More »

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A Fine Frenzy Rolling: Two Parts to the Creative Process

The playwright David Edgar has done much to pioneer the teaching of playwriting in this country, an influence that began even before he established the now famous masters degree in playwriting at Birmingham University. Edgar lays bare some of the … Read More »

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Being Critical, Being Creative: What does Shakespeare mean to an Indian Teenager?

I use my scholarship primarily to investigate boundaries.

One of the boundaries I feel most concerned to address is that between critical thinking and creative practice.

As part of the English and theatre programme I am developing at Union Chapel School in Kolkata, I have been very fortunate in being able to address this boundary.The project in hand has been an original script based on one of Shakespeare’s plays (in our case “As You Like It”), devised and produced for entry in an all-India Inter-School Drama Festival organised by the British Council in Kolkata.
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