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Questions for English Teachers

Discussion in 'English' started by CrunchyMcFlurry, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Hi all, just wondering if anybody could give me a couple of tips regarding an interview of PGCE secondary English. I have heard some of the questions and I'm trying to plan answers to them so that I don't go blank but I'm struggling a bit to come up with detailed ideas.

    One of the questions is how would you teach a Shakespeare play to an A Level class. I'm using examples of Hamlet and King Lear because I've read them closely and feel like I know them well. What kind of techniques do you all find useful for teaching Shakespeare to a high level class I'm assuming it would be. To me it seems logical to go through the play chronologically and I'd like to do a lesson on historical context before I even started reading the play with them. Would I look at key themes and pick out particular scenes or go through the whole play with them? I'd also like to show them a performance even if it was just a video copy because I personally feel that would be useful. Any advice would be great.
     
  2. Hi all, just wondering if anybody could give me a couple of tips regarding an interview of PGCE secondary English. I have heard some of the questions and I'm trying to plan answers to them so that I don't go blank but I'm struggling a bit to come up with detailed ideas.

    One of the questions is how would you teach a Shakespeare play to an A Level class. I'm using examples of Hamlet and King Lear because I've read them closely and feel like I know them well. What kind of techniques do you all find useful for teaching Shakespeare to a high level class I'm assuming it would be. To me it seems logical to go through the play chronologically and I'd like to do a lesson on historical context before I even started reading the play with them. Would I look at key themes and pick out particular scenes or go through the whole play with them? I'd also like to show them a performance even if it was just a video copy because I personally feel that would be useful. Any advice would be great.
     
  3. mediadave

    mediadave New commenter

    You'd be more likely to go through the whole play with an A level class, perhaps identifying key themes as you go and then asking students to relate back to the themes. To be honest, most A Level Lit teaching does involve trudging through the text page by page - at least, with Shakespeare. I'd definitely do historical context and authorial research before teaching, and yes supplement with a performance on DVD and/or theatre.
    I can't remember much about my PGCE interview but I expect they'll ask you more questions about your suitability, what you're interested in, where you could make a difference, how you'd deal with difficult and challenging behaviour, etc. You're asking them to train you to teach so they shouldn't ask you too many questions about how you're teach X Y or Z.
    Good luck!
     
  4. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    I always go for perormance first - on the priniciple that Shakespeare wrote plays. Ideally I'd go for more than one or pupils get the idea that there is one definitive interpretation - and at least one of those live.
    I am trying to imagine 'trudging' through a Shakespeare play - but I can't. I'm currently teaching 'Richard III' to a very, very low ability Yr 10 group - and they love it. Mind you, we do chant a lot.
    You need to look at context, but not simply historical. Literary, generic, moral, political and a whole raft of other contextual considerations are relavant at A level. Oh - and don't imagine they will all be high level. I've taught A level to pupils who haven't done GCSE Lit or have got rubbish grades when they did.
    If you're going to use 2 plays, don't make them both tragedies. If you aren't confident about the second, just use one - though I'd counsel against 'Hamlet'. And yes, the whole play. You can't get away with specific scenes at A level.

     

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