Sunday, 3 November 2019

Language Links

Personally, I find it difficult to teach another language (Spanish and French in my case) without comparing the words and structures in the new language with English.  For example, colours are often one of the first things that we teach new learners.  With my classes I look for clues, tips and hints that will help us to remember the words.  One of the most common ones is remembering blanco/blanc by thinking of the English word blank.  Quite often these clues, tips and hints lead us to high quality English vocabulary that I recommend to my students that they use.  In recent weeks we have mentioned azure, stupendous and phantom.  

This also links very well with the curriculum for English, where there is a big emphasis at the moment on improving and building English vocabulary.  At the beginning of July I started to make posters to formalise these links and make them available on Light Bulb Languages.  The links are designed to stimulate interest in other languages while building English vocabulary and showing links to help students to remember the new words. 

The L2 word on each poster is a translation of the first English word.  Then the second English word is linked to the L2 word (sometimes they are cognates but not always).  The two English words are always linked in some way.

I post a new link every day to the Light Bulb Languages Twitter page and Facebook page, and then every week or so I upload the new ones to the webpage.  They are available in French, Spanish, German and Italian.

There are 131 links currently on the webpage, and there is a new one ready to post for every day until 9th December so far, with plenty more in the pipeline.  If you can think of any good links, or if you come across a good one in your teaching, please leave it in the comments!


  1. Hi Clare. My son and I came across a few in doing his gcse vocab practice yesterday ! Apologies if they are not quite what you are looking for or you have already used ( haven’t had time to cross check!)

    Durer - to last - durability and/or endure
    Lever - to lift - lever
    Économiser - to save - economise
    Tourner - to turn - tourniquet
    Famous - célèbre - celebrity
    To know - Savoir - savvy
    Tranquille - calm - tranquility

    Loving the links so far. Thanks so much for your energy and hard work !

    Sara Vaughan

    1. Thanks Sara! Some I've got but some I haven't and so have added them to the list 🙂