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Showing posts from April, 2009

English Trainer Chronicles: Garlic

I know the French word for garlic: ail . I have Italian students too, but it never occurred to me to look it up. Now I know: aglio aglio aglio My learner wanted to know what "garlic" was, and I wanted her to come up with the meaning on her own. But it was a slow day--for me. Me: (Thinks of how I cook spaghetti.) Do you know "onion"? Learner: Yes, I know onion. Me: Well... it's not an onion. Learner: Okay, so it's not an onion. (Laughs out loud.) Me: (Thinking, "What have I done!") So, garlic is not an onion ... It's white and you have to peel off many layers of skin. And it comes in a bulb, so you have to take it apart, because you only use some of the parts. Then, sometimes, to use it in a dish, you have to crush it. Learner: Crush? Me: You know, you use a fork to make it, er, flat? Learner: Oh, I know! Vampires ate garlic! Me: No... vampires don't like it! Learner: Yes, vampires ate garlic! Me:  No, they don't like garli

English Trainer Chronicles: Happy April Fool's Day!

I learned, from factmonster.com, that April Fool's day is April Fish Day in France. A learner told me that children put pictures of fish on the backs of people as a prank, so I spent all day telling my French learners to watch out for fish! :-) One of my learners told me of her own experience as a child. Learner: "When I was a young girl, my friend put a fish in my butt." Me: ... Learner: "Oh no, no! My back , not my butt!" When she walked away to print our lesson for the day, I could still hear her laughing.