Tuesday, September 13, 2005

ziss und zat

My little English group down at the school library starts this afternoon. I have no idea yet how many kids I'm getting or who's taking part so I'll just be winging it today, brainstorming to see how much English they already know and how much I think they can absorb.

Tongue twisters are always good and this is one of my favourites. Lots of those tricky "th" and "t" and "d" sounds that can often be mighty difficult for German speakers. Just ask my husband!

A tree toad loved a she-toad

Who lived up in a tree.

He was a two-toed tree toad

But a three-toed toad was she.

The two-toed tree toad tried to win

The three-toed she-toad's heart,

For the two-toed tree toad loved the ground

That the three-toed tree toad trod.

But the two-toed tree toad tried in vain.

He couldn't please her whim.

From her tree toad bower

With her three-toed power

The she-toad vetoed him.

Let's see if my new students manage to wrap their little Teutonic tongues around all those interdental fricatives and stops. (Hmm...does that sound naughty?)

Funnily enough, Boy9 has pretty much mastered the two different "th" sounds in English, while Boy12 still occasionally substitutes a different sound for the "voiceless th", usually a "d" if I don't remind him to concentrate on his pronunciation.


At September 13, 2005 12:07 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

That is soooo mean!

At September 13, 2005 2:35 p.m., Blogger hippo_pepperpot said...

I liked reading your blog yesterday. I can't imagine how homesick you must get at times. I was homesick for over a year when I moved to England. I am over it now... I love it here. I don't know how I would get on in a country that didn't speak English... yikes...that would be hard. You and Tat are brave.

At September 13, 2005 3:30 p.m., Blogger christina said...

elemm - I know, I know. :-) Trying saying it really fast with a bunch of crackers in your mouth

Hi hippo! I'm still not over it, I'm afraid. It keeps getting worse, but what's a girl to do? The language part is the least of it, actually.

At September 13, 2005 6:30 p.m., Blogger Ms Mac said...

"fricatives" Snigger!

At September 13, 2005 9:31 p.m., Blogger Calamity Tat said...

I tried I failed, just so many darn fricatives!

Ps, what's a fricative? hehehe

At September 13, 2005 9:48 p.m., Blogger Hannah said...

Blimey, that's tricky even for a native English speaker! I wonder how many of the kids end up reciting that poem on a psychiatrist's couch?

At September 13, 2005 9:49 p.m., Blogger Hannah said...

Heck, that's the first time I've seen my photo come up next to a comment - I look like I've got 47 teeth! (Scrabbles to find a better image...)

At September 14, 2005 8:15 a.m., Blogger Karen said...

It is good to hear sat someone out sere is working on the children's proper enunciation of english words.
Sat is fery good. ;-)

But seriously, that poem is a tongue-breaker!

At September 14, 2005 9:35 a.m., Blogger Sparky said...

I think "fricative" sounds kinda frisky, frankly freaking freezing fringe teutonics on a cold day out.

Wow. That turned out to be a quasi-alliteration instead of the desired fricative :(.

At September 14, 2005 9:54 a.m., Blogger christina said...

Well, the tongue twister is really meant for English speakers, who have enough trouble with it already but it just happens to drive Germans nuts as well!

I wish I could say "Blimey!" and get away with it! :-)


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