Happy English language day!
- 22 april 2021
- Niveau: Bovenbouw/Onderbouw
Did you know that English has its own international day? That day is today, the 23rd of April! In 2010 the United Nations (UN) chose this day to celebrate the English language, because historians believe that William Shakespeare was born on the 23rd of April, 1564 (and also died on the 23rd of April, 52 years later). Why is a writer who lived more than 400 years ago still so important today? Let’s find out more!
Watch the clip from The New York Times.
- What are some words and phrases we use today, that Shakespeare first used in his plays? Explain the meaning of at least one example in your own words.
- Look at the different characters holding a skull and talking to it. Do you recognize any of these clips? Which Shakespeare play is this originally from?
- How many films have been made based on Shakespeare’s plays and why is that so special?
- What is the most famous line Shakespeare ever wrote? Which famous singer used this line in a song?
- Discuss in pairs: Shakespeare added lots of words and sentences to the English language. How do you feel about writers and artists using his words in their own art? Is this stealing or something else?
- Discuss in pairs: Do you sometimes copy sentences you’ve read or heard somewhere else? Think about phrases you’ve seen on social media. For example: ’that moment when…’, ‘vibe check’, or, ‘it’s the … for me’. Why do people do that?
- Discuss in class: Do you think it is important to celebrate languages? Try to come up with a way in which you could celebrate the English language today.
- Discuss in class: If people in the past could come up with new words, then why can’t you? Try to come up with a new word and a meaning for that word.
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