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Archive for the ‘funny’ Category

Favourite books for PLL – Animals Speak / Muu. Bee. ¡Así fue! / Le Réveil de la ferme

Monday, August 19th, 2013

*This is one of a series of posts about some of my favourite story books for Primary Language Learning*

When my boys were little, one of their favourite books was Moo Baa La la la; in fact, I can still quote it verbatim as I read it so many times! So I was pleased to see that there was Spanish version Muu. Bee. ¡Así fue!

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This simple rhyming book introduces the noises that animals make as well as animal names. I was pleased when I read it that it still (mostly!) rhymes in Spanish and that it features lots of animals that make different noises in Spanish. Or, as it’s come to be put in my classroom

“Animals speak other languages too!”

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When we use this in class, after the initial reading learners want to join in with the animal noises – it is fun after all pretending to be a snorting rhino! – so I pause at the appropriate moment to allow for this before continuing. The final page  also invites the reader/learner to share what they say so can lead into a game of ‘Adivina que animal soy‘; learners take it in turns to pretend to be an animal by making the noise and the rest of the class have to work out which animal they are. This could be done with more ‘control’ by assigning learners animals in advance or giving them a mask. And a (noisy!) follow on activity could be for everyone to be assigned an animal from the story e.g un cerdo, una oveja, una vaca, un pato, un caballo, un perro; and their task is to find the rest of their family by making the animal noise  and listening out for others doing the same.

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As I mentioned above,  “animals speak other languages’ was the conclusion that was reached when we read this book, and when I presented at the ALL North East Spanish Day at Gosforth High School I was given this book which reinforces just that!

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Whilst this isn’t a book in the language that I teach (mostly Spanish) I love sharing this as, to me, language learning is about more than one language. It’s about exploring and making connections, and sparking interest as well as celebrating diversity. This book has the English in the corner, and then one or two ‘featured’ languages on each page  i.e. the ones that animals say in their speech bubbles as well as a section in the opposite corner which shows another three languages.

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And in case you have trouble pronouncing the animal sounds, there is a glossary on the inside covers written “phonetically” to give you some help! My aim in using this book would not be to teach animal noises in 30+ languages but to look at similarities between the different languages, to consider whether we’d know which animal made that noise if we hadn’t got the picture to help us, and why, and to perhaps look at the home languages of learners in the group.

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The idea that animals speak different languages just like humans seems to appeal to children; I wouldn’t be surprised if there were pupils of mine across the world these holidays addressing animals in their ‘native language’ 🙂

And if you want a French book with animal noises – and nice touchy feely patches for stroking ‘if you sit nicely!’ – there’s  Le Réveil de la ferme in which a little sheep dog goes around the farm greeting all his farmyard friends. He introduces them in a pair of rhyming sentences and then says Bonjour ………. before the animal responds with their call in French. At the end, he says goodbye to them all in a double page spread with all the animal calls in French (great as a reference point!)

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Champions League team sheet

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Thanks to @nstone for this!

Here's how they line up for the Champions league final!

Peux-tu marcher comme un canard? #ililc

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

At the MFL Show and Tell on Saturday night, I shared this song from the UpToTen website.

It’s a very simple song that can easily be adapted to include any animal – or noun in fact! – and any verb.

For example –

Peux-tu marcher comme un éléphant?

Peux-tu sauter comme un robot?

Peux-tu manger comme un dinosaure?

I’ve captured the song from the site here in case you can’t get online – Peux-tu marcher comme un canard

Isaac learns German

Monday, September 6th, 2010

I take my job as a parent very seriously and when I heard that Isaac would be learning German, I decided to prepare him adequately.

Firstly, we looked at the importance of language learning.

Then we looked at some numbers.

Tonight we’ll be working on some instructions.

When I said i take my job as a Mum seriously, that doesn’t mean I’m always serious! ;o)

Reflex your verby – as good as Conjugations Back?

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

I was speaking in Brighton about the wonders of Youtube several weeks ago, and showed one of my favourite videos – Conjugations Back. if you haven’t seen it, you’ve missed a treat! Check it out NOW!

Then there was Cry me a verb Some great dancing in this one!

Well, today I think I found another gem.

SrMara strikes again – this time with reflexive verbs.

Great punchline!  And the hair!

Yo ? Pocoyo

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Given my love of Pocoyo and the imminent festivities, I just had to share this clip with you.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKSke9yWnOU&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x402061&color2=0x9461ca&border=1]

Learn Spanish hand gestures.

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

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Spanish Hand Gestures, originally uploaded by KatsAsleep.

Just picked up the following from Twitter via @josepicardo who was alerted to it by @luciax.

Published by The Guardian in its Language Resources – Spanish area, ‘Learn Spanish gestures’ is a guide to some typically Spanish gesticulating that you could employ to look truly authentic as you complain of being fed up or tell your friend how busy the bar was at lunchtime.

Gesticulating is something that I can’t help doing when speaking, especially in Spanish so this is just up my street. And I can see that this would be a useful resource for intercultural understanding activities, comparing typical gestures. I recall discovering the hard way that gestures that are innocuous in one country can cause offence to other nationalities – not my fault that Greece lost 5-0 in the football and noone had told me that holding up five fingers with my palm facing a Greek was rude!

¡Adiós Señorita Ovejita Rosita! ¡Hola Pablito Pingüino!

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Many of you who are regular visitors may have been puzzled at one time or another by a odd munching noise that started a few seconds after the page opened and went on sporadically whilst you read, Some worked out what it was, others remained puzzled, whilst still more asked me what it was.

For those who are still none the wiser, the noise was Señorita Ovejita Rosita, my virtual pet pink pig, who was a bit of a greedy guts and was constantly munching grass. There was an ‘off’ switch for her noise and as I had set it to ‘off’ I was unaware of how noisy she was.

However, after she freaked out attendees at a recent Flashmeeting and provoked comment in the chat, I felt enough was enough, and Señorita Ovejita Rosita has been moved on to greater things.

Her replacement is the altogether more placid (and silent!) Pablito Pingüino. Feel free to toss him a fish every so often – he’d very much like that.

adopt your own virtual pet!

There’s only one….

Monday, March 23rd, 2009


I’m a great one for writing songs and little ditties to help children (and those slightly older!) learn languages. We’ve had Diez animales to the tune of Ten green bottles, Hace sol y hace calor to Half a pound of Tuppeny Rice and ¿Quieres un helado? to a random (very annoying!) tune I composed myself.

It seems that some of my songwriting (dis)ability has been passed on in the genes as my eldest was inspired to song by Tottenham beating Chelsea on Saturday. Odd, as he is a Man Utd. fan , but his Dad and little brother are Spurs fans so I guess it is explicable. Very catchy, I have to say.

Strange that you weren’t inspired to song by last week’s match against Liverpool – now what was the score, Isaac? Oh yes – Man Utd 1 – Liverpool 4 :o)
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-U6VheJQRo&hl=en&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1]

Mike is back!

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

For those of you who read my post a while back about the One Semester of Spanish Love song, you’ll be pleased to know that Mike hasn’t given up on wooing his ‘chica’. Now, with another semester (term) of Spanish behind him, and with a little help from a friend, he’s back with the Second Semester of Spanish Love Song.

Enjoy!