About Me

Friday, October 12, 2012

Francais S'il Vous Plait?!?!

So yes, I was one of those brilliant teenage girls who thought I should take French in high school because it's so beautiful and practical. I thought, I'm sure one day I'll need it when I go to France. Well guess what? Paris is not in my apparent future but that's ok. Luckily, even though spanish would have been oh so helpful, I am relived to know that many of my friends who did take spanish in high school don't remember a lick of it. This being said, I just had to share a funny story. This story actually happened several years ago, but I think of it often because of the high population of english language learners in my district. And it's always those real-life experiences that really bring things home for you. So, it was the early part of the year, kind of like now. We were getting finished with the first quarter and I was going to read one of my favorites, Hooway for Wodney Wat You've read it, right?
The story about poor Rodney who can't say his r's. Wodney. And he's a rodent. A wodent. Such a sweet story, by Helen Lester, about insecurities and bullies and how tough life can be as an elementary school student. Well, I love this story and I love to read this story. To wead it. It's fun to wead. And of course, I wead it as it's supposed to be wead. It never occurred to me how this story might sound strange to someone who's first language is not english. So, as I said, I sat down to read this story. And you must understand, this was before the days of the picture walk. Before the days of applying prior knowledge. Before the days of setting up goals and expectations. We picked out a story. And we read it. That was that. Yes, we usually had an activity to follow, but it was often, Write about your favorite part of the story. Done. The End. So, I sat my class on the carpet and said, Today, boys and girls, I'm going to read you a story that I love about a poor rat. This story is called, Hooway for Wodney Wat I began reading. "Poor Wodney. Wodney Wat. His real name was Rodney Rat. But he couldn't pronounce his r's. To make matters worse, he was a rodent. A wodent. What's your name Rodney? Wodney Wat. And what's another name for a bunny, they asked knowingly. Wabbit, he said miserably. And how does a train travel? they winked at each other. A twain twavels on twain twacks." I'm reading along, enjoying myself, when I hear a boy in the front row, one who's first language is spanish, lean to his neighbor and say, "Ummmmm...., is she speaking French?!" Am I what?!?!?! I wanted to say! Poor thing. I just never realized how odd this book had to sound to these guys who were still learning english! What an eye opener for me. Rememeber that the next time you sit down to read! :) So anyway, how're things? I just wanted to share this funny, to maybe make you laugh and remember we're only human and we can't think of everything. Even though I REALLY wish I could. :)


  1. Ha ha! Cute story:) I always wonder how the kids with speech problems handle these kinds of stories too.
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

  2. I haven't read this book! I wish I knew about it last year. I had a student last year who couldn't pronounce his r's until April, with the help of the speech path, and that was only once. Maybe this book, would have let him know it was ok, and that he could work on learning those sounds.
    Thanks for sharing such a great story!


  3. Thanks for sharing the book. I haven't read the book either. Sounds cute. I "boo-ed" you! Check out the details on my blog.
    Kelly Teach


Thanks for the comments!