Teaching Tricks: Be a dork

How To Learn Spanish

I often act like a complete goof for my students. I create silly songs, tell embarrassing stories, and draw funny cartoons, all in the name of evoking an emotion, creating a pocket for a place where the memory may climb up and store away forever, or at least for more than a moment.

Sometimes I do something SUPER goofy. Like with the verb colgar.
When I learned Spanish a thousand years ago, there were more verbs. Like about a million more verbs, surely, and I distinctly remember being required to know each and every one in all 78 tenses (Yes, I know there are only 14. I'm being funny. Laugh.)  Also, they were all irregular and impossible to memorize or pronounce. So I had to become creative in my studies. (There was no Señora Gose around to help me, after all!)

Colgar means "to hang." I used all kinds of cartoons to help me memorize verbs. I won't bore you with all of them now. Maybe next week, if you're good.

But for colgar, during class, I drew a picture, a simple little line drawing of a toothpaste tube of Colgate hanging on a coat hanger. I stood back from the white board and admired my simple art work with a grin.

The teen students were incredulous: "Why would you even do that?" 
"You wouldn't. But you'll never forget colgar, will you?"
"No ma'am, no ma'am, we won't." Big grin.

Mission accomplished! 
Fast forward three years, and an advanced student sends me this picture.
She saw the hanger, the toothpaste, and seized the day. Reality mimics art!

COLGAR #flipflopspanish
Be a dork. They'll never forget it!

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