Memes, dad jokes and donkey bridges

Welcome back to a new school year! I have taken the summer to relax and now I’m back and aim to be blogging regularly throughout the school term. In weeks zero and one I have been busily setting up my first real classroom and planning new units for the best year ever but now on an Australia Day long weekend I finally have time to get a new post out to you all.

Today I’m writing about memory hooks, little quirky ways to help students remember meanings of works, grammatical structures and features of their second language. Last year I learned a fantastic new German expression – Eselsbrücke.

Ahhh German, you have a wonderous way with words!

Many teachers use mnemonic devices and sayings to give students triggers to remember things, today I’m sharing a few memory triggers I use in my teaching.

Dad jokes I’m sure you are familiar with, memes maybe not so much. Meme has two definitions, one is a more official definition – an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means. The other definition is more clear and is what the kids know as a meme – an image, video, piece of text etc, typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations. Social media is full of memes.

Here as an example of one of my favourites, skeptical baby:

Last year I combined some good old fashioned puns or dad jokes with memes for my students…

My kids love my German sausage joke! And by love I mean they groan and roll their eyes – but – they remember it.

Do you use donkey bridges? How do you help students remember word meanings or grammatical structures?

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