How to Learn English with Jane Austen
Did you know that it is possible to learn English with Jane Austen? Some of my students have made fantastic progress in their English language skills by reading the books of perhaps Britain's greatest ever author. My student Francesca started to learn English with Jane Austen by reading her favourite novel, Pride and Prejudice. She bought her first copy of Pride and Prejudice in England on a visit, and this is what started her journey of learning English with Jane Austen's great books.
Learn English with Jane Austen - reading and re-reading
It was difficult at the beginning and she had to look up many words, but she knew the plot because she had read it in Italian previously. When she had read the book once, she read it again. Reading and then re-reading a book is a helpful thing to do when you learn English with Jane Austen because you focus on the language more than the plot. For Francesca, learning English with Jane Austen in this way helped her to realise that the Italian translation was good, but didn't capture the beauty of the original language, and in particular that the humour didn't translate very well. So reading Jane Austen in English also helped her to learn the subtleties of the original writing. Over time, she developed an interest in the history and culture of the Jane Austen period, and read other books in English about the author, and, still wanting to learn English with Jane Austen, joined groups to discuss Jane Austen's books, including Book Club School's courses on Pride and Prejudice and Northanger Abbey (and lots of other courses!)
Learn English with Jane Austen - visit to her home
If you really want to learn English with Jane Austen then planning a visit to her house is highly motivating! Francesca had always wanted to visit Jane Austen's house in Chawton, Hampshire, and I wanted to visit again and accompany Francesca and her family, so we decided to go together.
The house is a museum and includes the actual writing table on which Jane Austen wrote many of her famous works, as well as her bedroom, and lots of interesting objects connected to the author and her family.
Another reason that Francesca loves Jane Austen is the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice from 1995 which she saw and sparked her desire to learn English with Jane Austen. We were lucky enough to see the white shirt that Mr Darcy wore in the famous "lake scene" which was on display.
Another reason that Francesca loves Jane Austen is the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice from 1995 which she saw and sparked her desire to learn English with Jane Austen.
Book Club School has courses on all of the six Jane Austen novels, so if you want to learn English with Jane Austen this is the right place to start! Some students like Francesca take the advanced courses and read the original text. But other students at Intermediate or Upper Intermediate level use the shortened and adapted texts. If you wish to learn English with Jane Austen contact Geoff to see when the next Jane Austen course is running:
Pride and Prejudice
Sense and Sensibility