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Emojis ‘helping school pupils engage with Shakespeare’

UK News | Published:

Teachers are using the symbols to help students connect with the subjects they are studying.

Teachers are beginning to use emojis in the classroom (Ben Birchall/PA)

Emojis have fast become an essential part of 21st century communication, and they are now reportedly finding their way into the classroom.

A number of teachers are using the icons in subjects such as English and languages, according to the Times Educational Supplement (TES).

Supporters argue that the emoji language – from the famous smiley face to one with tears of sadness – can help pupils connect with the subject they are learning.

Emojis are being used by some teachers to help engage pupils in lessons, it has been reported (Matt Alexander/PA)
Emojis are being used by some teachers to help engage pupils in lessons (Matt Alexander/PA)

“I’ve just taught A Midsummer Night’s Dream and, when we’ve read a bit of the scene, they summarise it in two main emojis and then have to explain it,” she said.

Ms Hodgson added that the symbols can help pupils to link ideas, which can lead higher understanding, engagement and learning.

Luca Kuhlman, a modern foreign languages teacher at a Stockton secondary school, told the TES that emojis are a useful aid.

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“Wherever possible, I take out the English words in a text and replace them with an emoji, so they associate the French with an image rather than with an English translation,” he said.

“If you can eliminate as much English as possible, they don’t need much explanation.”

He added that the symbols “have to have purpose” and he would not overuse them.

She told the TES: “As educators, we have not a single minute to waste teaching trivia, such as emojis.

“How will such learning help bridge the word gap? How can we help disadvantaged children gain the sorts of powerful knowledge that children in, say, the top public schools have? Not by devoting precious curriculum time to the detritus of youth sub-culture. That would be fiddling while Rome burns.”

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