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Teaching English using The Cat in the Hat

September 23, 2010

My French school-age pupils are loving The Cat in the Hat! Its light poetic style is good for learning pronunciation and meter. French people seem to like slapstick, so when they’re more advanced we’ll be moving on to Horrid Henry! I don’t think you need to be either French or English to find that amusing!

Adults prefer news stories and song lyrics. For the news-based lessons I lighten them up by also including one “People” story (such as one I found on Heather Mills’ vege café in Hove – very funny!) As for the lyrics, translating them in situ as part of the lesson is interesting, and songs are a great way to learn a language a phrase at a time, rather than by vocab and grammar.

If only I’d understood Serge Gainsbourg’s lyrics when I used them as my starting point for learning French….. I would almost certainly have chosen Brassens instead….!

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