Well, I’m amazed by this piece. The idea of a school saying they weren’t going to refer to Austen class anymore, because not many people had heard of her is ludicrous. Why give a class a name if you don’t want that name to be an inspiration? And if the pupils don’t know much about the inspirational person, here is a revolutionary idea. Teach them. I thought that was the whole point of a school.
You might as well say there is no point teaching these children to read, because they haven’t needed that skill yet.
I do like the idea of “abridged versions that don’t lose the richness of the language”. We read the full versions at school. We read aloud, one paragraph each, one lesson a week. Each term we started a new book, and if necessary we finished the book on our own over the holidays. We never finished any Dickens.
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