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EU-funded schools project “Culture Shake” has started!

Two schools, two universities and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust have teamed up for an international project that uses Shakespeare’s plays to bring multilingual teaching into the classroom of the 21st century.

Lisa Peter

As Shakespeare’s works are notorious for their international appeal and as drama teaching brings many advantages to the language classroom, we proposed a three-year research and development project that aims to combine the latest findings in multilingual pedagogy and intercultural communication in order to integrate students from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, including refugee children.

As part of this project two secondary schools from Germany and Sweden will come to Stratford-upon-Avon for a week-long residential course next autumn. The pupils will use the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s library and archives to work on their own Shakespeare dictionary. In addition, theatre workshops on their respective plays and educational sessions about Shakespeare and his legacy will round off their learning experience.

Since we also want to reach teachers in Europe who are faced with similar challenges, our expertise in teaching Shakespeare to international audiences will play a major role in the production of a teacher toolkit for teaching Shakespeare in the language classroom.

The project was proposed by a European consortium of five organisations from four countries: the University of Education in Karlsruhe (Germany), Primorska University (Slovenia), Stiftelsen English School Gothenburg (Sweden), Friedrich-Woehler-Gymnasium (Germany) and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (UK). The project has just been granted Erasmus Plus funding from the European Commission and will run until October 2019.