Is Chaucer an Appropriate Addition to the KS3 Curriculum?

tales of Geoffrey Chaucer

**Should Chaucer Be Taught As Part Of The KS3 Curriculum?**

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of teaching Geoffrey Chaucer’s works as part of the Key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum. Chaucer, known as the Father of English Literature, was an influential writer in the 1300s. While his language is different from Present-Day English, studying his works can have various benefits for students. We will discuss the advantages of tackling Chaucer early on in secondary school, such as making older English more accessible and boosting students’ confidence. Additionally, we will examine how studying Chaucer supports cross-curricular learning and provides historical relevance. However, we will also address the challenges students may face with the technical difficulty of Chaucer’s language and how it could potentially affect their confidence in studying English. Now, let’s delve into the arguments surrounding the inclusion of Chaucer in the KS3 curriculum.

**Exploring the Pros and Cons of Studying Chaucer in School**

*Advantages of Studying Chaucer in School:*
One advantage of studying Chaucer in school is that it can make other aspects of older English less intimidating. By tackling one of the most difficult aspects of English early on, students may find the rest of their English studies easier and more enjoyable. Additionally, successfully studying Chaucer can provide students with a sense of pride and hope that they can conquer more challenges within the subject.

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*Supporting Cross-Curricular Learning:*
Studying Chaucer also supports cross-curricular learning by introducing students to root words and the development of language. Learning about word roots helps students recognize words in their own right, which aids in the study of Modern Foreign Languages. Chaucer’s Middle English includes Germanic and Latin word roots, contributing to students’ ability to recognize words in other languages.

*Historical Relevance of Chaucer:*
Chaucer’s choice to write *The Canterbury Tales* in English instead of French made it one of the first major works in literature written in English. His legacy paved the way for every writer throughout history. Studying Chaucer allows students to understand the origins of English literature and the significance of Chaucer’s contributions.

*Challenges in Studying Chaucer:*
One challenge of studying Chaucer is the technical difficulty of his language. Chaucer wrote in Middle English, which is significantly different from present-day English. The complex language used in his works may confuse students and potentially discourage them from studying English further.

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*Negative Impact on Confidence:*
The difficulty of Chaucer’s language can negatively affect students’ confidence in studying English. If students perceive Chaucer as too hard, they may lose their passion for the subject and believe they are not capable of achieving high grades. This loss of confidence may extend to other areas of English literature, leading students to dread studying older writers like Shakespeare.


*Q1. Should Chaucer be taught in KS3 considering the language differences?*
Studying Chaucer in KS3 can have its advantages. While the language differences may pose a challenge, it also provides an opportunity to introduce students to older English and increase their understanding of language development.

*Q2. How does studying Chaucer support cross-curricular learning?*
Studying Chaucer introduces students to root words and their meanings, aiding their recognition of words in various languages. This knowledge can benefit students studying Modern Foreign Languages and drama.

*Q3. What historical significance does Chaucer hold?*
Chaucer’s works were some of the first major literature written in English, shaping the development of English literature. Studying Chaucer allows students to understand the origins and importance of the subject.

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*Q4. What challenges can students face when studying Chaucer?*
The technical difficulty of Chaucer’s language can be a challenge for students. The archaic language and grammar may cause confusion and discourage students from engaging with the subject.

**Final Thought:**
While there are valid arguments for and against teaching Chaucer as part of the KS3 curriculum, considering the benefits of tackling older English, supporting cross-curricular learning, and understanding the historical significance of Chaucer’s works, it is clear that Chaucer should be taught in secondary schools. However, it is essential to approach the teaching of Chaucer with sensitivity, providing support to students who may struggle with the technical aspects of his language. By embracing Chaucer’s literature, we can build a strong foundation for students’ English studies and foster a love for the subject that extends beyond the KS3 curriculum.

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Written by naumanevs

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