Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: Greek to me - Shakespeare Speaks

Activity overview:

Shakespeare's daughter is confused. Learn a great English idiom to use when you don't understand.

For the transcript click 'SHOW MORE'

For activities and extra materials connected to this episode: http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/shakespeare/unit-1/session-22

Shakespeare Speaks is a co-production between BBC Learning English and The Open University.

Narrator
It’s October 1599. Shakespeare has finished writing his history play Julius Caesar and is visiting a fair in his home town of Stratford, with his daughter. She has just had her fortune told…

Will
Now, dear daughter, what did Old Mother Howard say? What does the future hold for us, I wonder?

Daughter
Oh father, Mother Howard talked a lot, but she had such a strange accent – I couldn't understand a word she said!

Will
You're just like Casca in my play Julius Caesar.

Daughter
Casca? He's one of the men that kills Caesar, the Roman general! How can you say that, father – I'm not a murderer!!!

Will
Dear daughter, Casca was in a group of people who were listening to the great Roman speaker Cicero. But Cicero was speaking Greek, so Casca couldn't understand him.

Daughter
Oh… why was Cicero speaking Greek?

Will
That's what educated people spoke in Roman times. Casca says that some of the people listening to Cicero could actually understand him. Here are the lines: …those that understood him smiled at one another…

Thomas Swann as Casca
… those that understood him smiled at
one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
part, it was Greek to me.

Daughter
So Casca had no idea what Cicero was talking about. Just like me and Mother Howard!

Narrator
We'll leave them there for now. Fortune tellers were common in Shakespeare's day, and they appear in many of his plays including Macbeth, the Comedy of Errors and Julius Caesar, in which the fortune teller warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March" – the day on which Caesar was eventually assassinated by his closest friends. The phrase It was Greek to me has become It's all Greek to me in modern English, and it's used when something – not just a foreign language – is difficult to understand. For example, in a report about the 2015 Greek debt crisis, UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph carried the headline:

Clip 1
It's all Greek to me: a glossary of Eurozone crisis jargon

Clip 2
I'll never understand the rules of cricket: out for a duck, silly mid-off, googlies… It's all Greek to me!

Will
Now tell me, daughter, did you understand anything Old Mother Howard said?

Daughter
Yes! She talked about you, father. She said that you're going to be the most famous Englishman of all time! …but I think she was making it up.

Will
Oh no, no, no… I'm sure she's absolutely right about that … She's obviously a very gifted woman. What shall we look at now, daughter?

Daughter
Can we go to the gold stall father? Pleeeeeease???

Will
I didn't need a fortune teller to predict that! To gold, or not to gold: that is the question.

Tagged under: natural,BBC Learning English,vocabulary,English lesson,الإنجليزية,anh, Greek ,อังกฤษ,idioms,tutorial,영어,learn,official,english,English ,ELT,vocab,英語,masterclass,phrase,Inglé,language,Shakespeare,speak,learn english,language lesson,conversational,lesson planning,BBC masterclass,lesson plan,Official BBC,speaking native,british,lesson,British Broadcasting Corporation,native English speaker,Inglê,​,English,authentic english,native,BBC

Find more lesson plans like this:

15th-Century Italian Art: Greek, Roman & Classical Influences

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share Greek to me - Shakespeare Speaks on Google+ Share Greek to me - Shakespeare Speaks on Twitter Share Greek to me - Shakespeare Speaks on Facebook Pin Greek to me - Shakespeare Speaks Email Greek to me - Shakespeare Speaks

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.

Quickfire

Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking

Discuss

Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices

Clip

Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome