Blog 7: Other Tongue Workshop

Today Hannah Sykes and I delivered our first Other Tongue workshop with a group of year sevens, who did really well, really creative in the way they responded to the tasks. It was broken down into four sections, first we warmed up with a French tongue twister, then we tried homophonically translating a French poem that was split into different sections. One group for example translated:

Riant de la pluie
Le soleil essuie
les saules en pleurs.

Into:

Remember the rain

The shy sun

The strong wind

Which I really liked as beginning to a poem! In fact alliteration was the favourite technique all round today. We next did a plan to begin thinking about their entry for the competition. The Other Tongue section of the competition requires English speakers to write creatively in their other tongue, which when you’re in school in my day (back in the day) meant French or German, but now schools open it up to many different languages, Polish included apparently! But we were focusing on the French writing today, so the five senses in French helped us write about our theme:

Je touché, je vois, je sens, je goute, j’entends.

I was looking at Pascale Petit’s excellent workshop and found an extended list of senses which I thought I’d include here as a reference point, and also because je goute in french is I taste, and in english taste is gustatory! I enjoyed the link.

Pascale Petit’s Mental Imagining List:

visual (sight, brightness, clarity, colour and motion. Also pattern, form, depth of field, perspective, scale)
auditory (hearing)
olfactory (smell)
gustatory (taste)
tactile (touch, temperature, texture)
organic sense (awareness of heartbeat, pulse, breathing, digestion)
kinaesthetic sense (awareness of muscle tension and movement, also gravity, mass and density)
synaesthesia (a sense impression produced by another sense such as “her prickly laugh”, “that loud green”)

Then having done a plan for a poem, we did two minutes free writing in silence. Which was fascinating, as at first they were completely unsure of the idea of it and we went over the rules several times, but when they began they wrote realms, some of them really planned pieces that had lots of thought, others that were random collections of consciousness that included Kermit the frog.

We concluded by translating the nonsensical words of Jabberwocky, a fun last activity to conclude the making sense out of a foreign sense!

Did you know that toves means monster’s toes? To gimble is a giggling bumble bee, and whiffling is a dry wind!

Thanks to the pupils who took part today :D. Hopefully we will see some of their poems later on.

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