Shakespeare gives a lift to children, even at three
SHAKESPEARE gives children as young as three a confidence boost, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s director of education has said.
Exposing pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds to complex language allows them to become as eloquent as their privately educated peers, according to Jacqui O’Hanlon, who said no one was too young to start learning about the Bard.
Some schools begin teaching at nursery schools, she added. “They are learning new words all the time, every day. Shakespeare is just a new set of really gorgeous, delicious intriguing words. You ignite a curiosity about language. And that is a fantastic skill set, particularly for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.”
The RSC has supported the teaching of Shakespeare in schools for more than a decade, encouraging “rehearsal room” techniques such as reading plays aloud and acting.
Ms O’Hanlon’s views are bolstered by research at Warwick University that shows that 95 per cent of teachers found students more willing to contribute ideas and opinions in lessons having been enriched by the language of Shakespeare.
The RSC will meet heads this summer to present the findings of its research.