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Unit 1: Shakespeare Speaks
the episodes

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  1. 1 Shakespeare Speaks
  2. 2 Shakespeare Speaks - the extras
  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 1

    3 Activities

    In a pickle

    02 Oct 2016

    King James enjoys a bit of pickle with his dinner while he watches William Shakespeare's The Tempest. We bring you the phrase in a pickle - and lots more phrases for talking about difficult situations. Plus, pick up some great expressions to use when people are drunk! 

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 2

    1 Activity

    About Shakespeare Speaks

    05 Jan 2016

    Shakespeare Speaks was produced by BBC Learning English in partnership with The Open University. Find out about the series on these pages.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 3

    4 Activities

    As dead as a doornail

    22 Jan 2016

    Thomas Swann fixes a broken door at the theatre… and gives William Shakespeare a great idea for his new play! Pick up some useful expressions with dead, hammer and nail in this episode.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 4

    3 Activities

    I'll send him packing

    29 Jan 2016

    Thomas, it's packing… I'll send him packing… Not packaged. You're not putting him in a box or parcel!

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 5

    3 Activities

    All that glisters is not gold

    05 Feb 2016

    William Shakespeare's daughter learns an important lesson when she buys a cheap gold ring... and we look at idioms and phrases relating to appearance.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 6

    3 Activities

    Strange bedfellows

    12 Feb 2016

    Music, magic and monsters! We learn how to use the phrase strange bedfellows from The Tempest - and lots of other useful expressions for talking about relationships.

     

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 7

    3 Activities

    Though this be madness, yet there is method in't

    11 Feb 2016

    Maggoty dogs and crabs walking backwards teach us about the phrase though this be madness, yet there is method in't from William Shakespeare's Hamlet - and we bring you lots more useful expressions for talking about strange behaviour!

     

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 8

    3 Activities

    Wild-goose chase

    19 Feb 2016

    Are they chasing geese – or horses? We show you how to use the phrase wild-goose chase from William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet - and bring you some other popular animal idioms!

     

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 9

    3 Activities

    What's done is done

    26 Feb 2016

    Everyone's feeling guilty – except William Shakespeare. We show you how to use the phrase what's done is done from William Shakespeare's Macbeth - and bring you some useful expressions relating to guilt.

     

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 10

    3 Activities

    The world's mine oyster

    03 Mar 2016

    Meet Queen Elizabeth, her favourite explorer and 'The Real Housewives Of Shakespeare Speaks' while you learn how to use the phrase the world's mine oyster - and lots more idioms with the word world.

     

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 11

    3 Activities

    A tower of strength

    10 Mar 2016

    What's in a name? We show you how to use the phrase a tower of strength - and bring you some useful phrases for talking about people you can rely on.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 12

    3 Activities

    Spotless reputation

    08 Mar 2016

    Queen Elizabeth isn't very happy today! We show you how to use the phrase spotless reputation from William Shakespeare's Richard II - and bring you some useful expressions for talking about both good - and bad - reputations.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 13

    3 Activities

    The green-eyed monster

    24 Mar 2016

    William Shakespeare and Thomas Swann are enjoying a drink - or three - in their favourite pub. While they get drunk, we show you how to use the phrase green-eyed monster - and many more colour idioms - to make your English more colourful.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 14

    3 Activities

    In a pickle

    31 Mar 2016

    King James enjoys a bit of pickle with his dinner while he watches William Shakespeare's The Tempest. We bring you the phrase in a pickle - and lots more phrases for talking about difficult situations. Plus, pick up some great expressions to use when people are drunk! 

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 15

    3 Activities

    Forever and a day

    08 Apr 2016

    Everyone's in disguise in William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew - but William's daughter isn't hiding her true feelings! We show you how to use the phrase forever and a day - and introduce you to some more fun ways to exaggerate in English.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 16

    3 Activities

    Give no words but mum

    14 Apr 2016

    Ssshhhh… it's a secret! It's William Shakespeare's birthday and there's a surprise in store for him. Plus, we're bringing you the phrase mum's the word and keep mum as well as lots more useful phrases for talking about secrets!

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 17

    3 Activities

    A pound of flesh

    21 Apr 2016

    King James needs to stay awake during this performance of The Merchant of Venice to find out why Shylock is talking about a pound of flesh. We'll explore the origin and modern day usage of a pound of flesh - and bring you some great expressions for talking about revenge.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 18

    3 Activities

    A fool's paradise

    28 May 2015

    Is Robert Harley really going to put a ring on Janet Bassett's finger? Or is Janet living in a fool's paradise? We'll explore the meaning of the phrase a fool's paradise - and bring you some great expressions for talking about reality and fantasy.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 19

    3 Activities

    Not budge an inch

    05 May 2016

    William Shakespeare and actor Thomas Swann have a disagreement. Can Bess the barmaid make Thomas see sense, or will he refuse to budge an inch? We explore the phrase not budge an inch and introduce some useful responses for when you are asked to do something you don’t want to do.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 20

    3 Activities

    I must be cruel, only to be kind

    12 May 2016

    The Queen is taking King James' wine away, but is she being cruel... or kind? Learn how to use the phrase cruel to be kind and expand your vocabulary by learning six synonyms of cruel - and the nouns that go with them.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 21

    3 Activities

    Wear my heart on my sleeve

    19 May 2016

    William Shakespeare's daughter has fallen in love... again. But should she wear her heart on her sleeve - or keep her feelings hidden? We'll help you use the phrase wear my heart on my sleeve, and explore some other great phrases for talking about revealing - or hiding - your feelings. We also bring you plenty more heart idioms to expand your vocabulary.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 22

    3 Activities

    Greek to me

    26 May 2016

    Old Mother Howard predicts the future, but William Shakespeare's daughter is confused! We'll help you use the phrase It's all Greek to me - and other idioms with nationalities or countries. Plus, we'll explore some great phrases to say "I don't understand!"

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 23

    1 Activity

    For teachers

    09 Jun 2016

    Calling all English language teachers. Here you'll find lesson plans and worksheets to help you use the Shakespeare Speaks videos in the classroom.

  • ተፈጸመ

    Session 24

    3 Activities

    Shakespeare Speaks review

    01 Jul 2016

    You enjoyed watching the videos - it's now time to review the facts, idioms and phrases from Shakespeare Speaks. How much can you remember about the series? Try these fun review quizzes to find out!