Using Portuguese in the English Class

USA-Brazil-flagWhat? Adir, are you nuts? Have you totally lost it? Well, actually no. Let me give you guys a tip on how to use Portuguese and translation (two taboo issues!) in your English class. This works nicely with grammar topics, like tenses and comparatives.

1. Choose a small paragraph of a text with the grammar topic you want to review and/or practice. Let’s suppose I want to practice the Present Perfect with a text about things someone hasn’t done yet, like, “Oh, my brother is so sloppy. Mom told him to do some chores but nothing yet. He hasn’t done the dishes yet; he hasn’t taken out the trash yet and obviously he hasn’t gone to the post office for her yet.”

2. Ask your students to translate this particular paragraph and hand it to you. Remember to set a time limit, for every activity.

3. Some days later, hand it back to them and ask them to translate it back into English. Also set a time limit and have them refer back to the original text.

It is amazing how revisiting (hello, Vygotsky!) material previously studied helps them lay the right foundation for their learning. They’re goig to be critical of their work and you’re going to have better results.

And you? Do you have a favorite activity that uses Portuguese as a good resource? Tell us!!!

See you next time!

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