What do you want?

As I keep track of my blog, I’m intrigued by all of you out there, my readers. You come from an astonishing range of different countries, and I’ve no real idea of how you stumble across me, although Word Press does tell me what posts have been looked at.

I have a modest number of followers, it seems, and I’m glad to be interesting enough to you, although I have no idea what you like best in what I write. And anyway, this is my blog and I go where my whims and reading habits take me…

But, I would be very interested to hear more from you, your thoughts and reactions to what I write, and also if there are any writers or topics you think I should write about in the future: I’m wondering about writing some longer pieces to put on here, not as blog posts, but in the ‘pages’ section, where this is…

6 Responses to “What do you want?”

  1. kirstwrites Says:

    Hi! I’ve just written a blog about taking my 11 yr old to see Macbeth – I’d really appreciate your thoughts on the value of Shakespeare for younger people/ how best to introduce it to high school children https://kirstwrites.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/i-took-an-11yo-to-see-macbeth-does-that-make-me-a-bad-parent/


  2. litgaz Says:

    As a parent, I realise we introduced our daughters to all sorts of things: some were successful, others less so. We try, and I have always thought that’s what a good parent does. However, it was my mother who first took them to see Shakespeare at a young age, and they loved it!

    As an English teacher, I always welcomed the kind of parental support of what we were doing in class that you’ve described, and loved it when students came up to tell me they’d been to see X or Y at the theatre.

    I held off teaching Shakespeare properly till Y9, because teaching a play is more demanding and complex, and a certain amount of concentration and maturity is needed: Shakespeare is violent and bawdy and I was never comfortable with the idea of censoring things, or not answering questions truthfully.

    It sounds like your working on some of the play together was a good idea. The language can be a barrier with Shakespeare, but is often less of one than we imagine because, as you recognised, in the theatre it’s supplemented by gestures, actions, expressions, intonation etc.

    I think it’s helpful to try and make links between us now and Shakespeare, so, with Macbeth for example, I always focused on the idea of hopes, desires and ambitions, which we all have, and then asked students who might be prepared to kill to achieve them… so in a way we are like Macbeth, except (hopefully) would not go as far as he did to get what we want.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kirstwrites Says:

      Thanks for that, and for your post which I’ve taken the liberty of re-blogging. I really enjoyed reading it and in fact the approach you take reminded me of the stages I went through with my wonderful English A’level teacher who instilled Richard II me – and made it so memorable that years later I still mutter “Northumberland thou ladder wherewithal the mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne” whenever I head to the north east. My family think I’m mad…


      • litgaz Says:

        I’m glad it was helpful! Thank you for helping my post to a wider audience; I realise I still have all this stuff filed away in my head, that I used to use daily with my students, and would like to feel is still of interest… which is one of the reasons for my blog, I suppose. Sometimes I reflect on the fact that all this electrical intellectual energy in my brain will one day be dust, and it seems a bit sad…but so it goes.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kirstwrites Says:

        Your blog is a real mine of information and I’m very glad you’re sharing your thoughts and knowledge with the rest of the world!


  3. Sara Manobla Says:

    Hallo there, litgaz and fellow readers and writers, for whom the the English language and English literature is an important part of life. I’m so glad to have found you. I’m a Geordie, born and brought up and schooled in the north-east of England – Cambo primary school (Northumberland), girls boarding school in York, and King’s College in Newcastle (Durham University) where I studied Eng.Lit, Eng.Lang (including Anglosaxon), and Philosophy, ending up with a teaching diploma. All this took me into a career in radio broadcasting (TV arrived only later) when I was accepted for a job as a studio manager, in London, in the BBC’s overseas World Service. This was an eye opener for a north country lass – new languages, new nationalities, a variety of new cultures, presenting Britain to overseas listeners through the medium of our beautiful English language. This was post World War II; the world was opening up, and I began to travel. A visit to Israel, newly independent, changed my life. I stayed, found work in the English broadcast département of Israel National Radio, married, gave birth to three Israeli children, taught them English and learned Hebrew. My perspective on English changed. Yes, of course, it was – still is – the most important of world languages, the leading medium for international communication. But spelling? Punctuation? Accent? Slang? American English or British English? We, the members of the English department of Israel Radio were a collection of ex-pat Anglos hailing from North America, South Africa, Australia and the UK. Daily we held discussions on which word to choose, which would be best understood by the majority of our listeners. Despite the two decades of British Mandatory rule in Palestine, ever since the establishment of Israel as an independent state, the swing towards American English, notably spoken English, has been gaining ground. Television has had a great influence – and also films (movies….?). In this day and age social media and the new communication technologies are all affecting the language we speak and write. Regular visits back to the home country demonstrate how rapidly English is changing. And we the users have to change with it.


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