Alas, poor Yorick……etc.

Since the summer provides teachers at least some little time to think and reflect and also to explore, I wonder if you might look into the third course in Group 1 which is ‘Literature and Performance.’  This is has proven an apt offering for SL students, with plenty of activities that provide an opportunity to improve skills that are of long term value.  And the  demands are such that any Language teacher who has taught plays as a regular inclusion in their courses is likely to have the necessary insight and experience to provide this course.

The course combines Literature and Theatre in a way that students who may have had no performance experience can do very well in the assessments.  I have had students, those who have never performed much beyond perhaps presenting to a class, find a new facet of themselves, and gain much confidence speaking in public. As we know, sometimes very shy people find that working through another persona makes it easier to present themselves to an audience.

The other benefit I discovered in teaching the course is that I had a great deal more time to work on writing skills with these students, owing to the reduction in the number of literary works that must to be closely studied. Any survey I have done of my students in terms of their goals in their English course has invariably been ‘improve my writing.’  The course can work effectively to respond to this goal.

And there is also plenty of opportunity to study the kinds of works we hope students will be exposed to before they leave for university: good poets, Shakespeare and other playwrights, and fiction from many eras. Those who want to include more non-fiction are free to do so as well. I have also added in non-required reading because the limited requirements make it possible to do: essays, travel writing, autobiography, speeches.

You will find the subject guide for this course on the OCC and I truly hope that both teachers working in the regular IB diploma courses as well as in the IBCC will think about the possibilities. It would seem a very  congenial offering for the latter program.  An increasing number of schools are embracing the course and we’d love to see more.