Why Learn a Second Language by the Second Languages (French) Advocacy Project

Ahhh, the Spanish language

How can you not love it? Every country, every region with its own vernacular. One thing meaning something so innocent in one country and then something dirty in another; so here you are traveling around, thinking that what you are saying is totally innocent like "I can pick you up.", but what you are actually saying is...well, I'd rather not write it down on the PG rated blog!

That is why the song 'Qué difícil es hablar el español' by two brothers, Juan Andrés & Nicolás Ospina, is so fantastic. They sing about many different words and how their meanings change according to the country you are in. They are witty and comical and sound great. They are from Colombia and I remember having a prof in university from there as well and she had a very distinctly different type of vocabulary than mine, which I would say is a mix of Spanish from Spain and Mexico.

I would have loved to share this with my classes, but my students wouldn't understand it, as the level is quite advanced I would say, and at times it can be difficult to understand completely what they are saying (for me, that is).
Jaun Andrés has also done quite a bit of work in the jazz field of music and has composed and arranged music for a few artists. 

All in all, this is a very entertaining video to watch for those who have a great interest in the Spanish language. 



And I thought I was passionate about languages!

Have you seen this young man? 
Alex Rawlings, a second-year student reading German and Russian won a national competition in the UK to find its most multilingual student. He is 20 years old, a student at Oxford University and speaks 11 languages! I don't know to what extent he speaks each and every one of them, but from this sample of his abilities, he sounds amazing, at least in the languages that I am familiar with. 
Publisher Harper Collins bestowed the title on Rawlings as part of a nationwide search they launched last June in promotion of their new language and learning courses, according to the company's website.
I showed this to my Grade 9 French class today who were whining about revision of regular present tense verbs and not being able to remember the endings. 

Click on the image to watch the video from the BBC News website.


So simple, yet so fun

Have you ever used a fly swatter in your classes? And no, I don't mean to swat a fly. And no, I don't mean to swat a student! 
They are such simple things, yet provided my classes yesterday with SO MUCH fun.
I wanted an activity that was short, kinaesthetic and that obviously provided the opportunity for learning, in this case it was a bit of revision. And what better way to do this than to have races incorporating fly swatters in order to prepare for their numbers quiz. 
On 2 white boards, I wrote a series of numbers between 0-100. I created 2 different teams and had the students name them (for example we had Los Baños and Los Perros Mexicanos). Two by two I called up students and had them stand in the middle of the room. Then I would simply call out a number and the first student to run and swat the number would win a point for their team. Team members are not allowed to give any verbal hints or point. We had a few fouls so had to begin clearly stating 'hands to yourself' rules, no pushing, shoving, blocking, etc. 
My students really got into it, particularly the boys. They became very vocal (in a good way) and even those sitting in their seats always tried to figure out the answer. 
This proved to be an activity that was very active and fun and allowed everyone a chance to review.
I will definitely to do it again, but not too soon so they don't get bored of it.