Thursday, October 10, 2013

Country Unit Studies: Making a "We Say, They Say" Chart

We're currently in our first unit study of a country - to wit, England! - and one very fun thing that we are doing is keeping a "We Say, They Say" chart. It's exactly what it sounds like - a basic chart that keeps a side-by-side list of American words and phrases with their equivalent in the language of the country under study.

For a study of a non-English-speaking country, this would be word translations and phrase equivalents. For England, of course, it is American English v. British English. Some of these may be archaic rather than modern, but one way or the other, it's a lot of fun!

Here is our current "We Say, They Say" list for England!

[Page 1]

[Page 2*]

* Just a note that there is one error in this chart - "swat" should be spelled "swot." My mistake! 

We also enjoyed these two videos - the first deals specifically with British v. American words and phrases, and the second deals with a couple of pronunciation variants:

We had fun watching these videos and adding the words and phrases to our "We Say, They Say" list!

I should say, as a side note, that reading British literature as a child and young adult is a wonderful way to learn these terms naturally. Being that I was raised with a constant flow of British literature, I learned much British vocabulary quite naturally as a young person, and as a result, none of these terms has been new to me - I already knew them! It's a great help to know British American words and phrases, and it avoids a lot of puzzlement when dealing with British literature and online articles. I highly recommend the organic absorption of vocabulary through literature as well as this method - making a list has been fun, but reading gives more lasting knowledge.

We plan to do this with future country studies as well, and it's a lot of fun! Enjoy!

* * * * *

"There even are places where English completely disappears; 
in America they haven't used it for years."

- Professor Henry Higgins, "My Fair Lady"

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