classroom language – ¡Vámonos!
 

Category: classroom language

Also available – 50 English Phrases

When bsmall contacted me to say that they were updating their 50 Phrases series and would I like a sneak peek, of course I said yes!

bsmall are a “small but mighty” (love that description!) award-winning independent children’s publishing company that creates and publishes children’s books for sale in the UK and around the world. “We’re on a mission to empower all readers with critical literacy skills, and our books are creative, educational and encourage children to think for themselves.” I’ve written about some of their books before. You can find out about their Hello Languages series here, one of their UKS2 parallel text books Los Mellizos del Tiempo here and their I can read series of books here (update – there are a couple of Spanish ones and more French available now £1.99 each from Apple Books)

The 50 Phrases series are currently available in French, Spanish and English, and aim to give children ‘a head start’ with a new language. Over 32 pages, they introduce some common phrases and useful vocabulary for beginner learners including how to introduce yourself, talk about your family and express opinions as well as asking questions about where and what things are, inviting others to play and requesting things. Each double page spread has between 2 and 5 key phrases that are highlighted, adding up to 50 over the whole book, as well as boxes of vocabulary that can be used with those phrases. There is also the suggestion of a game or activity to rehearse those phrases, and also a little bit of grammar is explained throughout. You can see an example below.

Each phrase is written in Spanish and English, and is also written ‘phonetically.’ I’m not a great fan of this ‘how to pronounce it’ guide as it can lead to very odd pronunciation, but I understand that some people find it helpful, particularly as this is intended to be used at home/independently. And that’s where the update comes in about which I am very pleased.

The book now comes with a QR code that gives the reader access to audio files of the 50 Spanish Phrases (and the same for English and French if you purchase those books.) that give a clear native speaker model of the pronunciation. You can see how it works with the sample below.

Links to the English book.

By giving the pronunciation of the key phrases, learners now have access to what they actually sound like which will facilitate more educated understanding of the pronunciation guide and more accurate Spanish pronunciation. So this is a great resource that can be used at home without need for a Spanish speaker to be present!

As I said, I was given a sneak peek as the updated versions are not released until May 3rd but you can preorder the Spanish French and English books via the bsmall website.

While you’re on the site, check out some of the other books they publish. My eye was caught by the Hide and Speak books with flaps to lift and the Mix and Match flashcards for practising questions and answers. Or download the Language Learning brochure to browse at your leisure! And make sure you check out the Activity Hub where you can download a copy of the Rights of the Language Learner as well as a beach picture labelled in French and Spanish – perfect for Y2s summer topic.

Image from wikipeques - click for site

Image from wikipeques – click for site

Ever since #ililc5 when Janet Lloyd introduced us to this French song for gaining attention and restoring quiet in the classroom, I’ve been searching for a Spanish equivalent. So far I’ve not found one but it got me thinking about using songs and rhymes to create calm.

I have to admit that I tend to use them to either create excitement and action – see posts about La Vaca Lola and Choco Choco la la, two of my favourite songs, or to teach vocabulary – for example, see these posts on Yo quiero ser by Nubeluz or La finca del Tío Ramón and Hojas Hojas that I subtitled using Amara. However, I began to use this song to start all my lessons in KS1 at the start of the year and noted that as well as signalling the start of the Spanish lesson, it focused us all and calmed everyone down.

Part of the appeal is the routine, but I also think that the actions help. And as I was searching, lots of the songs and rhymes I found were either about or used your hands so I thought that warranted a post!

 SONGS

I came across some lovely songs that I think would certainly work for restoring calm, focusing attention and creating a ‘brain break’ during class:

1. El pourri de las manos

I love this collection of songs which could be used separately or as a whole! Each is only about 40 seconds long and all can be sung/acted on the carpet as well as in seats. Some helpful (opposites) vocabulary too – content/triste, arriba/abajo, abre/cierra, allí/allá.

I also like the way that it starts very calm and then gets a little more animated but not too much!

You can find the lyrics for this song here.

2. Saco una manito

This is one of the songs included in the above video – I think the ‘band’ will be very popular, and it’s still very chilled with the saxophone and calm actions!

Saco una manito. La hago bailar, / I take out one hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco la otra manito. La hago bailar, / I take out the other hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco las dos manitos. Las hago bailar, / I take out two hands. I make them dance.
Las cierro, las abro y las vuelvo a guardar. / I close them, I open them, and I put them away again.

3. Dedos

A very very simple song in which you touch each finger together one after the other then all together.

Palmas con un dedo, palmas con el otro, doy con el más largo, luego con el otro,

viene el más pequeño…

¡Y luego con todos!

Éste dedo es la mama,éste otro es el papa,el más grande es el hermanocon la niña de la mano,

el chiquito va detrás.

Todos salen a pasear 

4. El zapatero

This song about a shoemaker is the Spanish equivalent of Wind the bobbin up with arm rolling forward and back, pull, pull and then ‘pan pan pan’ as you gently hammer the shoe.

Envolviendo, desenvolviendo,

estira, estira y pan – pan – pan

envolviendo, desenvolviendo,

estira, estira y pan – pan – pan

zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar

zapatero a remendar los zapatos sin parar

5. Arramsamsam

I’ve seen this rhyme before but had forgotten about it. A nonsense rhyme, but with hand actions that require some concentration.

Arramsamsam, arramsamsam

guli guli guli guli guli arramsamsam

Alamis, alamis guli guli guli guli guli arramsamsam

6. Con mi dedito

A calm song for saying sí and no, firstly with a finger, then a foot then the head.

  Con mi dedito, digo: si, si

Con mi dedito digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y este dedito se escondió.

  Con mi piecito, digo: si, si 

Con mi piecito, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y este piecito se escondió

  Con mi cabeza, digo: si, si

Con mi cabeza, digo: no, no

Digo, digo: si, si

Digo, digo: no, no

Y esta cabeza se escondió.

7. Manos divertidas

Another song about hands with lots of actions to copy!

  Ya mis manos se despiertan y ten van a saludar,

se sacuden con gran fuerza y después se enrollan de aqui por allá.

  Son mis manos divertidas, siempre salen a jugar

suben por una escalera y después se tiran por el tobogán.

  Ellas tocan la bocina, ellas te van asustar

y después de tanto juego, cuando están cansadas,

te invitan a soñar.

If you’re interested in more traditional action songs, have a look at Diversión con juegos de mano which includes Dos manitas, diez deditos and Los deditos.

RHYMES

Continuing on the original thought of bringing the class together, this might work as I’ve yet to find a class that don’t want to wiggle their bottoms given half a chance!

Mis manos hacen clap clap clap

Mis pies hacen stamp stamp stamp

Mi boca hace la la la

Cintura hace cha cha cha

Other rhymes using your hands include Los dedos de las manos and there are several more here including Dedo pulgar (the Spanish version of Tommy Thumb) and Cinco ratoncitos in which one less finger or ‘ratoncitos’ comes out each time to play! And the ever helpful Spanish Playground has some other suggestions too.

I was going to talk about clapping rhymes but I think I’ll save that for another post as they aren’t really very calming 😉

I’ll try some of these out in class and let you know what happens.

PS Over the last two weeks Y2 and I have been exploring world dance and this week we did some ‘flamenco’ arm work. There was utter concentration so perhaps that’s another avenue to explore!


I did a day of ICT in PLL training today at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form Centre. More of that in another post..

However, at lunchtime, we were able to visit Lingua, the language centre at Hillcrest. Similar to the Europa Centre, Lingua offers schools the opportunity to visit their shopping street which transports itself between France, Germany and Spain on a regular basis. groups can visit for a half day or whole day, taking part in activities for half the time and then venturing into the street to buy items – virtually, or in the case of souvenirs, actually!
Below are pictures I took today of the street – it’s currently in Germany!

Have a look at the Lingua website for more details!

Japanese warm up!

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Primary language learning isn’t restricted to learning one language.

My pupils may learn Spanish, but they are also exposed to other languages in their lessons. Whether it’s for interest, comparison, to celebrate the languages spoken by pupils at our school or just for fun, those opportunities are welcome and add to their language learning experience.
Youtube recommended the following clip to me and I love it! In 90 seconds, I’ve learned half a dozen useful phrases in Japanese and am warmed up and ready to boogie with my kids who this weekend have discovered punk!!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-vPmoyoSgs&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6&border=1]

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