February 2012 – ¡Vámonos!

Month: February 2012

My very short presentation at the Show and Tell was really a reflection on being the language learner as opposed to the language teacher.

In my new incarnation as a Swiss resident, I am learning German. I sit in my German class and try to apply all the advice I’ve given my pupils over the years – say things with confidence, make a sensible guess, use your prior knowledge of other languages to help you, make up logical words if in doubt and so on.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. For example, ages. In French you say ‘I have x years’ to give your age. In Spanish you say ‘i have x years’ to give your age. So in German I applied my previous language knowledge and said ‘Ich habe x Jahre’ Except that’s not right. You say ‘Ich bin x Jahre alt.’ So I thought that perhaps it would be OK then to translate ‘ I am hot’ literally in German, despite it being a no-no in Spanish and French. Wrong again. THAT’s the same. You say ‘Mir ist warm’

I shared my colour coding system which amues the others in my German course – red, green and blue pen for accusative, nominative and dative cases; blue, pink, green and yellow pencil crayon for masculine, feminine, neuter and plural nouns.

And I also shared that looking at a country with new eyes is enlightening for those who live there all the time, or have grown up there.

My reflections on life in Switzerland are published daily at TipTopSwiss366


A day early I know but I figured it would be more useful to tell you about it BEFORE the day so that you might be able to use it ON the day…

Via Twitter, I discovered this lovely activity from OnlineFreeSpanish.com for making Valentine’s Day cards.

I particularly like this resource as it offers lots of choice! You can choose a border, an image and a bilingual message to suit your personality and the recipient. Not all the messages are ‘slushy, lovey-dovey’ ones so it’s quite safe to use with a group of children who might not be into romance. And you can also choose to have the image in colour or leave it black adn white to be coloured in. Additionally, you can choose to print the card as a poster (one loveheart icon), as a sheet of four (four lovehearts) or as a sheet that can be folded to form a proper card (heart on card icon) The only downside is that the inside of the card is only in English 🙁

More Spanish Valentine’s fun here  on Youtube from Babelzone/LCF with a little video and a new take on He loves me, he loves me not!

For more Valentine’s ideas (mostly in French) check out Jo Rhys-Jones’ post on Talkabout Primary MFL.

And why not get adventurous and follow the lead of @wizenedcrone aka Fiona Joyce who had her Y9 learners writing a simple collaborative poem. Following a simple structure

Te quiero como ………… quiere a …………

learners can use dictionaries to suggest nouns to fill the gaps. In the example from Fiona, my favourite line is

‘Te quiero como las abuelas quieren a los crucigramas’

My example –

Te quiero como el mono quiere al plátano.

Te quiero como el pato quiere al agua.

Te quiero como los profes quieren a las vacaciones.

Te quiero como la fresa quiere a la nata.


Or you could try it with this pattern

…………. son rojos

…………. es azul

Quiero a ……………

Como quiero a tí

substituting the dots with a plural noun, a singular noun and another noun that you like a lot.


My poem might be

Las cerezas son rojas

El cielo es azul

Quiero al chocolate 

Como quiero a ti


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