Tu comprends les phrases de Bart Simpson ?;Modern languages

19th June 1998 at 01:00

This can be used to promote dictionary skills. To support learners further, you could underline key French words so learners can more quickly identify the matching English: 4 - "Je ne ferai plus de skate dans les couloirs." When using dictionaries for the first time, learners need to know:

* that a bilingual dictionary consists of two halves, French-English and English-French

* that they need only look at the top of each page for the head and tail words on that page

* how to find the meaning among other elements of each dictionary entry, such as pronunciation and the type of entry.

You could reinforce the "Futur proche" by replacing the future tense in phrases with "Je vais", plus the infinitive: "je ne vais pas photocopier mes fesses".

To make exercise A more challenging, you could combine Bart's sayings from exercise A with the completed sayings in exercise B. Learners must then select the English equivalent from a choice of 16 alternatives rather than eight.

Answers Exercise A

1F 2G 3D 4B 5H 6C 7A 8E

The national curriculum level of achievement for successful completion without support: AT3 levels 2-3.


This is far harder than exercise A, as it requires a good understanding of grammar. The exercise lends itself to considerable extension work. For example, many of Bart's sayings use the first person of the future tense, providing ideal models for learners to adapt by drawing up a list of their own new resolutions:

"Je ferai mes devoirs a la maison et non pas dans le bus." Learners could also manipulate the future tense about Bart in the third person, for example exercise A, no 4: "Il ne fera pas de skate dans les couloirs."

Bart also uses negatives frequently. You could exploit these by having learners remove the negative expressions such as "ne I pas" and "ne I plus" to produce phrases representing what Bart will really do. Alternatively, you could present learners with Bart's negative statements in the affirmative: learners turn these back into Bart's negative statements.

For learners who need more support with exercise B, you can check that they understand key items: that in number 3, for example, "sans" means "without".


You may first need to help learners understand words such as "Xerox" and think about exactly what is meant by American words such as "bathroom". Encourage learners to spot idiomatic rather than literal translations, such as "sous-vetements" for "underpants".

EXERCICE B Complete les phrases 1 a 6. Exemple : 1D

A) A burp is not the answer

B) I will not skateboard in the halls

C) I will not charge admission to the bathroom

D) I am not a dentist

E) I will not sleep through my education

F) The cafeteria deep fryer is not a toy

G) My name is not Dr Death

H) I will not Xerox my butt

1 Les hamsters

2 Je n'ai pas vu

3 Je ne dissequerai plus d'animal sans

4 Je ne crierai pas au feu

5 Mes sous-vetements

6 Le postiche du proviseur

7 Je ne conduirai plus l'auto

8 Cette punition n'est ni ennuyeuse

A la permission de mon professeur.

B du directeur.

C ni sans signification.

D ne peuvent pas voler.

E en pleine classe.

F n'interessent personne.

G Elvis Presley.

H n'est pas un frisbee.

Answers Exercise B

1D Hamsters cannot fly.

2G I did not see Elvis Presley.

3A I will not dissect things unless instructed.

4E I will not yell "fire" in a crowded classroom.

5F No one is interested in my underpants.

6H The principal's toupee is not a frisbee.

7B I will not drive the principal's car.

8C This punishment is not boring and pointless.

Typical national curriculumlevel of achievement for successful completion without support: AT3 levels 6-7

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