Resources for Teaching Languages to Children


Spanish Idioms for the Classroom- Comprehensible Input in Context

BRINGING CULTURE TO YOUR CLASSROOM ON A DAILY BASIS can be a challenge, but idioms, sayings and proverbs are a great way to do just that! The trick is to find ones which make sense and are relevant to your students and can be used easily and in context. I've gathered together a set of 27 which I use regularly in my elementary classes (and would be good for any level!) which lend themselves particularly well to your ongoing interaction and conversation with your students. Many are common throughout Spanish speaking countries, while others are regionalisms I've picked up from my native speaking friends. You can download the infographic here.

MANY ARE READILY OBVIOUS IN THEIR USAGE, while others might benefit from some elaboration as to how I use them. Here are some ways I incorporate the less obvious ones:

*Limón, limonero, damas primero- If I have a mixed set of kiddos, boys and girls, who are receiving something (such as birthday pencils), I always say this refrán before passing out whatever it is.

*Silencio es oro- Seems obvious enough, right? We often have 'moments of silence' when kiddos are doing an activity in their folder, and if they start chatting away, I will remind them it's silent time and say 'Silencio es oro, niños.

*Sobre gustos no hay nada escrito-  I say this regularly when we are using 'me gusta, me gusta mucho,' etc. We all have our own tastes, don't we?

*Buñolero, ¡haz tus buñuelos!- When kiddos are doing too much tattling or can't stop getting in someone else's business, I say this.  A variation on this is 'Zapatero, ¡haz tus zapatos!

*¡Caracoles!- I picked this up from a Colombian friend many years ago- when playing a game it's like saying 'Shucks!' or 'Rats!.

*Tres, dos, uno...¡ignición!- I use countdowns a lot in class, and this one is just fun! Typically, I use this when we are about to start an activity, such as a movement activity, game, etc. You could also say 'Tres, dos, uno...¡despeguen!

*Preparados, listo, ¡ya!- Another way to countdown, or to get the attention of students. I frequently use this as a call and response, asking '¿Preparados? and my students answer 'Listos'.

And don't forget all those fun words like 'yupi', 'wepa', 'ay ay ay', 'eso', pum, catapúm, uf, uy, grrrr, and so on which are part of common conversation and are easily picked up by kids!


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