Salut mes amis! Welcome to the first blog post for the Crescent! We have made the switch from a newsletter to a blog and I am excited to hear what all you have to share! Today's post is one dear to my heart, but I am excited to hear about any submissions you may have! Share what is going on in your and your colleagues' classrooms! Any interesting news you want to push out? This blog is for you! Contact me to get featured/be a feature writer!
"To have another language is to possess a second soul"
These words, spoken by Charlemagne, have us all shouting "YESSSSS! Oui! Si! Ja!". A few years ago, I came across the article The Voice of a Translingual Memoir by Mary Besemeres where she begs the question:
Do specific ways of speaking impact particular ways of feeling? Does living 'in' a language help to engender certain emotions?
Since then, I have been fascinated by how the language we speak shapes the way the see the world. Take a look at bilinguals. What language do they express anger and frustration in? What about feelings of admiration? If language affects our emotions, how does it affect the way we see and hear things? Below is a great Ted Talk on the topic.
Simple Activities to do with students to get them thinking about the impact of language:
Activity 1: Animal Noises
-Give students a list of animal sounds in the language like "Coin Coin!".
-Have students try to guess what animal the sound goes along with (They have a blast pronouncing the words out loud and trying to pair it with an animal!).
-Discuss how the languages we speak affects the sounds we hear.
Activity 2: Beliefs
-Find an authentic blog about children's beliefs. You will find that many of children's beliefs are based off their native language. A French example is "perdre les eaux" vs. "perdre les os". These francophones believed that women lost their bones when giving birth because of the similarity in pronunciation of "os" and "eaux".
-Have students categorize the beliefs into categories such as: religious, linguistic, cultural or media to discuss further. Make cultural comparisons to our own native and culture.
Tell me your story! How do the languages you speak affect the way you see the world? Any interesting classroom activities to share on the topic?
Editor of the Crescent
Bonjour! I am Kathrine Zahm, French immersion teacher at Midway Elementary and editor of the SCFLTA Crescent Blog! SCFLTA would love to feature you and your colleagues being advocates in and outside of the classroom! Have a topic you would like to see discussed, colleagues or students you want to give shout outs to? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your submissions. Don't forget to use #scflta on social media so we can spotlight the teachers, advocates and students of world languages!