A second language, or translation, can be the spark that shows us our own language anew. This, in a wider sense, is what poetry does.
This lesson will look at playful use of language + translation (including bilingual poems and homophonic translations), and will finish with students playing with language themselves, using literal translations of common expressions (i.e. it costs an arm and a leg / ça coute les yeux de la tête) as prompts, or sparks, for their own poems.
In this lesson, students will have an opportunity to:
- tap into the potential for playful poetic enrichment when working with a second language
- study poems that incorporate words from another language, with conscious attention to the ‘foreignness’ of the other language, to gain a new angle on our first, or working, language
- compose their own original poems using literal translations of common expressions in the sister language
Materials and Resources
To teach this lesson, you will need:
- Mots d’heures gousses rames
- Fryer Jerker / Jaunty Ally Wetter
- Definition of homophonic translation
- Screenshare or handout for each student of “Un petit d’un petit” and “Hâte, carosse bonzes” (for an Anglophone class) or “Fryer Jerker” and “Jaunty Ally Wetter” (for a Francophone class) - alternatively, pairs of students can share this handout
- List of examples of expressions in French and English
Choose 2 or more of the following poems and use screensharing or make handouts for each student