Spanish Christmas Traditions: Comprehension Activity

In the build-up to the festive season, learning about Spanish Christmas Traditions is a fun way to encourage interest amongst language students. Making language learning fun and relevant makes learning easier.

Download our free printable Spanish Christmas Traditions comprehension exercise to give to your students or read it out loud to them (subject to their ability) and then ask them to answer the questions.

spanish christmas traditions

Tradiciones Navideñas Españolas

 

La Campaña de Navidad

Spanish Christmas TraditionsEn España, es normal comenzar a ver decoraciones de Navidad en Noviembre.

Muchos edificios importantes están decorados así como las calles y las casas. Alrededor de Noviembre empieza también la Campaña de Navidad en todos los centros comerciales y en pequeñas tiendas.

La intención principal de la Campaña de Navidad es decorar las tiendas de forma navideña y ofrecer descuentos y rebajas para incitar a la población a iniciar sus compras de Navidad.

El Portal de Belén

Spanish Christmas Traditions

Una decoración muy típica en España es el “Portal de Belén” que representa a Jesús y sus padres. Estas decoraciones se pueden encontrar en casa particulares y en tiendas, bares y restaurantes y, en algunas zonas del país.  

Cuando se acerca el día de Navidad, se pueden encontrar representaciones de belenes en vivo y en directo, en la calle.

 

Nochebuena y el Día de Navidad

Tradiciones Navideñas Españolas Nochebuena es un día muy celebrado en España. Se celebra en todo el país.

La comida servida ese día puede variar dependiendo de la zona, pero todas tienen algo en común: siempre se sirven mucha comida.

Después de la gran comida, es común comer algo dulce, principalmente “turrones”, que se parecen a las tabletas de chocolate pero suelen ser más gruesas y con diferentes tipos de frutos secos.

 

El Día de Navidad se celebra normalmente con la familia. Todo el mundo abre los regalos de debajo del árbol que ha traído Papá Noel.

A los más pequeños de la casa les encanta esta parte y, por esa misma razón, esta parte del día está dedicada a ellos aunque los adultos también reciben regalos.

De nuevo, la comida servida puede variar según la zona del país pero es común servir grandes cantidades de comida.

 

Nochevieja y Año Nuevo

Spanish Christmas TraditionsEn el 31 de diciembre, es común quedar con la familia y amigos, tanto en casa como en la calle, para celebrar Nochevieja y el Año Nuevo. Hay muchas fiestas y celebraciones por todo el país.

Cuando llega la medianoche, es común beber champán o cava y comer doce uvas de la suerte. Se come una uva cada vez que suena el reloj, en los últimos doce segundos del año. Se dice que comer dichas uvas trae buena suerte para el siguiente año.

En algunas zonas del país se “recomienda” llevar ropa interior de color rojo para iniciar el año, ya que se dice que también trae Buena suerte.

Día de Reyes

Spanish Christmas TraditionsEs España, el día 6 de enero, celebramos algo parecido a la Navidad: un día en que los pequeños reciben regalos y dulces y las familias se reúnen de nuevo para pasar el día, juntos.

El día antes del Día de Reyes, por la tarde, en las calles de todo el país se lleva a cabo “La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos”. Los Reyes Magos y sus ayudantes pasan por las calles, tirando dulces a los pequeños. A los niños y niñas les encanta estar en la calle recogiendo caramelos y saludando a los Reyes Magos.

En este día, es muy común comer el “Roscón de Reyes”, un tipo de bizcocho con un agujero en medio y con frutas y frutos secos encima.

El Roscón contiene dos sorpresas: una pequeña figura y una alubia. Quien sea que encuentre la figura, puede ponerse la corona que viene con el Roscón. Quien sea que encuentre la alubia tiene que comprar el Roscón del año siguiente.

 

Now the Questions/ Las Preguntas …

 

  1. ¿Cuando es normal comenzar a ver decoraciones de Navidad en España?

  2. ¿ Qué es la intención principal de la Campaña de Navidad?

  3. ¿A quién representa el portal de belén?

  4. ¿Qué es un belén en vivo?

  5. ¿En qué parte de España se celebra nochebuena?

  6. ¿A qué se parecen turrones?

  7. ¿Done deja Papá Noel los regalos?

  8. ¿Los adultos también reciben regalos?

  9. ¿Cuando se celebra nochevieja?

  10. ¿Cuando se come las uvas?

  11. ¿En qué fecha se celebra el Día de Reyes?

  12. ¿Qué es La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos?

 

Use the link below to DOWNLOAD OUR FREE PRINTABLE

Christmas Comprehension Text

 

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5 Tips To Incorporate Food Culture Into Your Language Classroom

A language classroom is not just about learning the grammar and the vocabulary. It is also about learning the culture or cultures to better understand the language. We all know how food is a fabulous way to get to understand a culture and its people. So what better or more fun way to learn a language than through food?

Today, we share 5 simple and easy tips to incorporate a country or a language’s food culture into your language classroom, your homeschooling routine or your language learning experience.
food culture
The key here is the authenticity of the content. Every decent educator will know that to learn a language authentic materials work best and are the most useful. Nobody wants to learn about made-up artificial conversations between a French baker and a customer talking about bagels!

Here are our 5 authentic yet simple tips:

Design Your Own Food Packaging

In a globalised world, it is not difficult to find food packaging containing foreign languages. Just head to your local (ethnic) supermarket and pick something that fits your target language. You get to use the packaging to learn a few words (and taste whatever is inside if it is relevant). Alternatively, next time you are visiting your target language country, bring back food packaging.
fod culture


 Create A Menu

Once again, you don’t need to travel far to find menus written in a foreign language. Either visit your favourite restaurant or check out menus online from restaurants in your target country to get a taste of your favourite dishes.
As an activity, get your students to search for menus, study them and create a brand new one for their very own restaurant.

 Role-play: At The Restaurant

You have created your very own menu, all you need to do now is to set up a little role-play with that menu: waiter and customers. Asking questions about the menu, ordering from it, paying the bill are all wonderful authentic practice situations for any language student. Food vocabulary is obviously important here too but you get to add much more to it.
 

Cook a Typical Dish

Of course, one of the most obvious things you can do to incorporate food into your language lessons is to cook a typical dish from your target country. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or complicated and if you have no cooking equipment, a salad could work too.
If you are learning French or English, we have a fun pancake/crepe counting challenge and recipe here.
Take a look at our ever-growing collection of authentic recipes on Pinterest. They are organised by target language for easy planning.

Write Your Own Recipe

If your students are up to it, you could even ask them to write or translate their very own recipe. Imagine you are to cook something typical from your own country for people who only speak your target language. You will need to translate the recipe for them. You could supply them with a recipe or they could make one up. Watch out for translation of weights and measure units! They need to be culturally appropriate too. This is a wonderful activity to do to practice cooking-related verbs too.

food culture

Have you got any other tips to add to this list? We would love to hear about the ways you do incorporate food into your language lessons or classroom.

Download FREE materials and great gifts …

Be a Winner in our Exclusive Colouring Competition #KOTCColourComp

To celebrate the launch of our first Cooking With Languages products, our bilingual English/Spanish Activity Cookbook and Apron, we are offering our very first giveaway.

#kotccolourcomp

This competition is in exclusive conjunction with the latest publication of the wonderful Kids on the Costa (KOTC) magazine and can be followed on social media using the hashtag #KOTCColourComp

KOTC is our favourite magazine for kids and families on the Costa del Sol and southern Spain!

 

About Kids On the Costa Magazine:

#kotccolourcompHow old is KOTC?
The first publication of Kids On the Costa Magazine was launched in March 2002. It is 15 years old!
What date will the latest edition be published?
The next printed edition will be published on 22nd of May 2017 but you can read it sooner online (Read Latest Version Here)
Until what date will the publication with the competition in be distributed?
The last distribution date of this publication will be February 2018.
How many copies are printed?
25,000 copies of the magazine are printed and, in addition, digital copies are distributed/promoted online
What is the distribution area?
The printed magazines are distributed at many points, from Malaga City to Gibraltar on the Coast and neighbouring inland areas such as Coin and Alhaurin el Grande. The online digital version is read worldwide.

How Can You Enter Our Competition?

  1. Grab a copy of the KOTC magazine (available from May 22nd, 2017 to February 2018)
  2. Colour in our picture of Arthur Apple and Nerea Naranja having fun and getting messy in the kitchen.
  3.  Ask your parents to take a photograph of you holding the coloured picture and upload it to our Cooking With Languages Facebook page.  (LINK HERE)  NOTE: Make sure you “Like” the Facebook Page too as the winners will be announced there!
  4. OR upload your photo to Twitter tagging @cooklanguage and using the hashtag #KOTCColourComp
  5. Add the following dates to your diary: SATURDAY 22nd JULY 2017 and SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2017 and be sure to visit the Cooking With Languages Facebook page on those dates as that is when the two winners will be announced.

 

What If You Don’t Live in southern Spain? What If You Aren’t Planning a Holiday Here in 2017? Don’t worry, You Can Still Enter …

  1. Download and print off the picture of Arthur Apple and Nerea Naranja having fun and getting messy in the kitchen. ( Use this link to download and print:  Arthur & Nerea in the kitchen )
  2. Colour it in.
  3.  Ask your parents to take a photograph of you holding the coloured picture and upload it to the Kids on the Costa Facebook page.  (LINK HERE)  NOTE: Make sure you “Like” the Cooking With Languages Facebook Page too as the winners will be announced there!
  4. OR upload your photo to Twitter tagging @cooklanguage and using the hashtag #KOTCColourComp
  5. Add the following dates to your diary SATURDAY 15TH JULY 2017 and SATURDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2017 and be sure to visit the Cooking With Languages Facebook page on those dates as that is when the two winners will be announced.
#KOTCColourComp

Download FREE materials and great gifts …

How To Plan A Cooking With Languages Competition in Your Target Language

Cooking With Languages Competition

Let Us Show You How To Plan A Cooking With Languages Competition in Your Target Langauge

Learning about a country, its customs and its food is a fabulous way to motivate children to learn languages.

In previous posts, we have explained the many different skills children learn in the kitchen and how the kitchen is a great classroom for language learning.

Today, we are going to show you how to plan a Cooking With Languages competition in your place of learning.

 

Use Simple Bunting and Fun Food Facts for Decoration

Cooking With Languages Competition

 

Follow these  Simple steps to plan a Cooking With Languages Competition in your Target Language (TL):

 

  • Select your target language (TL) e.g. English

  • List countries where your TL is spoken. E.g. England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, USA, Canada

  • Prepare templates for the flags for each of the countries

  • Research traditional and popular dishes for each country (Note: Keep it simple!) e.g. apple crumble, tatties, banoffee pie …

  • Invite your students to:

    Choose a recipe (remember they can research their own too!) and prepare step by step instructions in the TL

    Prepare photos or even a video in the TL demonstrating each step of the instructions

    Invite one set of students each week to give a presentation and bring in a sample of their foods

 

Download our English Speaking Country Flags Templates

Cooking With Languages Competition

Alternatively ….

 

  • Hold a Cooking With Languages Competition Day in your TL.

  • All students are invited to bring in their creations on a given day.

  • A panel of judges select the winning dishes.

  • Winners can be for specific age groups, food type or any other creative category you come up with.

  • Points are awarded for accuracy of TL, originality, taste and appearance.

kids-in-the-kitchen

 

Don’t forget to share pictures on your Cooking With Languages

Competitions with us on our Facebook Page

 

If you would like templates of any materials, just email

cookingwithlanguages@gmail.com and we will send them to you  🙂

 

Download FREE materials and great gifts …

Cooking With Languages Competition

Bilingual Masterchef: Learning is Fun When Cooking With Languages

bilingual-masterchef

 

Most children would love the opportunity to be put in the spotlight with the chance to release their inner diva. Whether it’s singing a song or acting out parts of their favourite movie.

How To Help Your  Bilingual Masterchef Shine!

 

Today, we want to share a winning formula to help your children, a future bilingual Masterchef, shine. They will improve their language skills by feeding their imagination as a contestant on a popular television show such as Junior MasterChef or Great British Bake Off – but with a twist.

The icing on the cake is that the show will be conducted in the language they are learning (target language). They could be cooking a paella in Spanish, a kartoffelpuffer in German or a creme brulee in French. It will be fun, competitive and educational as they get their head around a recipe in a foreign language.

bilingual-masterchef

Learning a language used to be as dry as day-old bread but not anymore. Children will enjoy cooking with languages, especially if they have the chance to win a prize and be a television star for a day.

 

Organising a Junior MasterChef or Bake Off is relatively straightforward and could be your party piece for a birthday get-together or for a sleepover.

 

Unless you have a large kitchen with more than one cooker, it is a good idea to get them all to work from the same recipe and make something that’s relatively quick to cook. With younger children,  they could prepare the recipe and you put in the oven for them.

 [bctt tweet=”Play the Mystery Box challenge in your Junior Bilingual MasterChef #languagelearning” username=”cooklanguage”]

It’s a mystery…

bilingual-masterchef-cooking-with-languages 

For Junior Bilingual MasterChef, you could play the Mystery Box challenge so they all have the same ingredients to start. They would then be given 10 minutes to find a recipe in the language they are learning to create a meal which symbolises that country.

 


For Spain, for example,  they could be given the ingredients to make albondigas (meatballs), cocas (mini pizzas) or empanadas (little pasties). The cocas would be ideal for younger children as they could just be asked to decorate ready-made cocas.

 

The German students could try kasespatzle (similar to macaroni cheese), kartoffelsalat (potato salad) – good for the little ones – or Bavarian apple strudel cake.

 

In the French corner, we’d suggest cherry clafoutis (fresh fruit and custard dessert), mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse) or moules marinieres (mussels).

 

For younger children, we would suggest that you go through a recipe with them so they are copying what you are doing or ask them to do something simple like put the toppings on cocas or decorate cupcakes.

Download FREE materials and great gifts …

 

Older children can follow a recipe in a foreign language while undertaking the Mystery Box challenge. They can be encouraged to put their own twist to it by adding a special ingredient or making it look very special.

bilingual-masterchef

Icing on the cake …

 

In the Bake Off, depending on their age, you can encourage the children to make their own cakes or simply create colourful toppings for ready-made cakes. Again, they will have to use ingredients from their chosen country and follow recipes or instructions in this language too.

 

Let them shine…

 

It is a fun idea to find a volunteer to film them while they’re baking. Then get them to introduce themselves and talk about their produce in Spanish, German or French. You can give score points for the best dish as well as the most authentic accent. If you want to be really clever, you could put these on a Facebook page or YouTube to ask their friends to vote on the best ones.

Don’t forget to share your pics with us on our Facebook Page

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bilingual-masterchef


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