Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday's Torch Story

There are ties between us, all men and women living on the earth...
...we are bound together in our desire to see the world become
a place in which our children can grow free and strong
~ James Taylor (Shed A Little Light)

One of our discussion questions coming up in my ESL class has to do with important lessons to teach a child. I decided to informally coordinate the songs that we are learning during these weeks around the topic of parents and children. This week we worked on "Forever Young" (the Rod Stewart version - in case the picture didn't give it away.)

The lyrics proved to be a bit of a challenge, as they are contain a number of figurative phrases. Some examples:

...when you finally fly away, I'll be hoping that I served you well

...whatever road you choose, I'm right behind you, win or lose

I wasn't sure how many of these figures of speech in English are also figures of speech in Spanish. For example, do they speak in Spanish of children "leaving the nest" and "flying away"?

The song also contains the golden rule ("And do unto others, as you'd have done to you"), and I thought that would be an easy one, but Ana said that the golden rule in Mexico is phrased in the negative - don't do anything to others that you would not want them to do to you.

I'm not sure those are actually equivalent - what do you think?

One funny moment came when we were trying to discuss the phrase "Build a stairway to heaven, with a prince or a vagabond."

I asked what message Rod was trying to give his child.

Maria Milagros suggested the advice that, if you have your choice, it would be better to go with the prince.

While I have to admit that I can see her point, I think that Rod was perhaps suggesting something different - that it was what was in your heart that matters, not how much money you have.

Of course, given his probable bank account, that's easy for him to say! ;)

We'll bookend this "section" of the class with another Father/Son song - Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle." Most of the song is a pretty concrete story that I think should be easy to understand. But the refrain with the nursery rhyme references is going to take a bit of pre-planning on my part... Maybe I'll give them an illustrated handout with the relevant nursery rhymes ahead of time.

On the grammar front, we're still working on conjugating regular verbs - I'm sure you're just dying to hear all about that! ;)

Next week, I promise! :)