BRITISH COMEDY

a weekly 45-minute seminar for English language teacher trainees

Course description:

The tradition of comedy is a long standing one in the history of European drama, extending from the Middle Ages to the present day and including species of medieval plays, renaissance romantic comedy, restoration satirical manners comedy, whose line penetrates well into the 20th century, or even modern, popular variants such as situational comedies.

Given the fundamentally practical nature of the course it has been designed to offer students a few ideas concerning how the texts of comedies, their staged, or film adaptations can be used while teaching English at various levels. Since it is essential to understand how comedy as a type of drama works in general in order for any such text to be used for teaching purposes some necesssary information will be provided as to what ’comic’ and ’comedy’ can mean in various contexts and to the historical and cultural characteristics of the genre and its descendants including plot and character types as well as major thematic points. As a second step model tasks will be worked out based particularly on the text of comedies, a scene from film adatpations or situational comedies.

Course requirements:

Students are required to select a comedy (or a variant of the genre) from those on the reading list and and produce a lesson plan with a variety of tasks worked out for a particular age group and level of English. They will present their lesson plan in the form of a 20-minute ppt presentation and submit it in a written form, too.

  • This course provides a sound background to a subject that has received increasing emphasis in the study of literature in recent years. As a means of identifying the underlying principles of the subject, the course examines the manner in which successive eras and individual critics have applied different yardsticks by which to judge literary output. In this way, the complexities of modern criticism are set in the perspective of its antecedents and seen as only the most recent links in a chain of changing outlooks and methods of approach.