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Translation 馃槺 ... is it really that bad?

Updated: May 3, 2019

Click here for the Polish version

For the last coupe of weeks my kids have been learning about the verb "to be". We're at a stage where my morning conversation with some of them looks like this:

-Good morning Igor. How are you today?

-I'm fine, thank you. And you? I am, you are, he is, she is .....


One of the tasks that is available for them in a translation exercise. I know that many teachers are agains this type of exercise and using L1 in lessons generally. Personally I don't see anything wrong with it. My kids all speak the same language (Polish) and thanks to this sort of exercise they're starting to understand, for example, that in English you need to have a subject in every sentence, whereas in Polish you don't. I don't think translation does any harm.

I know that not everyone will like to use this material but for those who will ...

It's extremely easy to make. This time you don't need a whole season of a Netflix show to complete it 馃槣 All you need is a printer, laminating machine and dice. But not your average dice, which is the biggest incentive for my kids to reach for the translation sheets.

On one side of the sheet there are sentences in English, on the other the same sentences in L1. At this point we have sentences with "to be " in positive and negative statements. We're going to have questions and a mix sed as well. Students roll two dice, one of them has numbers 1-10 on it, the other 00-90.

00 + 7 = 7

00 + 20= 20

10 + 00 =10

20 + 7 = 27

10 + 5 = 15

If you roll a 10 + any other of the tens you roll again

The student reads the sentence in Polish and writes it in their notebook in English. They turn over the page and check whether they got it right.

The files for download are divided into English and "empty" because I know that most of you will not need the Polish part. If you do, it's available on the Polish version of the blog. You can use the empty sheets to write the translation in your students' L1.

DOWNLOAD "be positive"empty

DOWNLOAD "be positive"ENG

DOWNLOAD "be negative"empty

DOWNLOAD "be negative"ENG

Every Monday I sit down with each student and ask them how many sentences they're going to translate this particular week. Some say 10, some say 40! Some say 5 and then I say "too few" and we start the negotiations 馃槃 I make a note of what each kid tells me and ch