Thoughts From A Travelling Club Manager
By Jim Callahan – Fun Languages Club Manager, Melbourne
“I have just returned from a month working in remote areas of Madagascar as an English/French interpreter and many aspects of my time there left a lasting impression.
Principal among those is how difficult life is for the majority of the population, who struggle every day just to access those things we consider as a given in Australia (safe water, electricity, work, basic health care).
What I also noticed was that, despite the generally low education levels (many children leave school after Yr 6 to work to help support their families) and illiteracy being a major problem, many of the people, both children and adults, could still manage a bit of spoken French in addition to their native dialect.
It demonstrated how knowing even just a few words in another person’s language can allow you a shared moment together. It also got me thinking about the old adage ‘use it or lose it’ and how our language clubs are a great weekly environment for ‘using it’!
Some Easter Traditions From Other Countries
Free Easter craft activity sheet for the kids! Download and make an easy origami Rabbit Head or French Joyeuses Pâques Easter Card Joyeuses Pâques Easter Card
It’s common knowledge that Easter is a major celebration for Christians the world over but did you know that the holiday has pagan origins?
The general symbolic story of the death of the son (sun) on a cross (the constellation of the Southern Cross) and his rebirth, overcoming the powers of darkness, was a well worn story in the ancient world.
Early Christianity made a pragmatic acceptance of ancient pagan practises, most of which we enjoy today at Easter.
Ever wondered where the colorued eggs, cute little bunnies, baby chicks, leg of lamb dinners, and lilies come from?
Prank The French Way This April Fool's Day
Spaghetti DOES grow on trees!
April 1st has been celebrated by people around the world for centuries and is marked by hoaxes, pranks and practical jokes played out by everyone from immediate family through to mainstream media.
One of the most famous (or should that be infamous?) April’s Fool hoaxes was a hilarious 3-minute fake report broadcast on 1st April 1957 by the BBC current affairs programme Panorama.
This simple, but believable, report told the tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from their spaghetti tree and had people calling in to the BBC to ask how they could grow their own!
Remember, this was broadcast at a time when the now common place Italian staple was not widely eaten in the UK, and many Britons were unaware that spaghetti is in fact a food crafted by mere mortals rather than one lovingly produced for us by Mother Nature!
To this day, the broadcast is called ‘the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled” and one of history’s most outrageous pranks.
Celebrating Harmony Day With Fun Languages In Wollongong
“Harmony Day, 21 March, celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. It is a day for all Australians to embrace cultural diversity and to share what we have in common. The central message for Harmony Day is that ‘everyone belongs’, reinforcing the importance of inclusiveness to all Australians.” source Australain Government Department of Social Services
This little blog by our Fun Languages Manager in Wollongong, Nicole Weber, illustrates just how diverse Australia is as well as the fact that every immigration story is unique in its own way.
Nicole’s Harmony Day celebrations were also recently featured in
The Advertiser Times
Harmony Day for Fun Languages in Wollongong – by Nicole Weber (Club Manager – Illawarra Region)
“I run a small Spanish and German breakfast class at Mount Saint Thomas School on Mondays, which falls on Harmony Day this year (21st of March).
The students in the Spanish class have practiced the “Hola Amigo” song which they performed for the Harmony Day school assembly with a little introduction speech by one of the girls, saying how it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what language you speak, we can all be friends.
Our German class will read a picture book about words and love (“Die grosse Woerterfabrik”, the German translation of “Le grande fabrique de mots” by Agnes de Lestrade and Valeria Docampo – very much recommended btw!).
I was asked to speak at assembly about my journey to Australia along with another mum from Asia who will also tell her story, which is sadly much more grim and involves being a refugee.
Funny French Phrases For Brisbane & Gold Coast
French is about to get really fun (and really funny!) in Brisbane with the restarting of our popular LCF Fun French programs for ages 2 and upwards in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Thousands of children across Australia already learn languages through our FUN programs and we are very excited to be restarting in Queensland.
Just for starters, have a go at this tongue-twister:
“Si mon tonton tond ton tonton, ton tonton sera tondu.” translates to “If my uncle shaves your uncle, your uncle will be shaved”
One thing we know for sure at Fun Languages is that children, and adults, learn best while having fun. Our highly-regarded programs are designed to get your child USING the language quickly and naturally, with plenty of songs, games and role-plays.
ENQUIRE NOW if you would like to start a French club at your school or childcare centre.