USING PROVERBS IN TEACHING ENGLISH
To promote interest in studying the English language, I actively use English proverbs. Knowledge of proverbs helps the students know the life, the history and the culture of English people better. They reflect national characteristics, the way of living as well as its language.
Proverbs are defined as short expressions of popular wisdom.
A "proverb" is a short, traditional saying in general use.
The meaning or interpretation shown for each saying is believed to be the generally accepted interpretation of the saying, though for some sayings the interpretation may be more subjective than for others.
The meaning or interpretation can be different
A big tree attracts the woodsman's axe.
Meaning: Great people will attract great criticism.
Possible interpretation: The rich make good targets for thieves and burglars.
Do you remember any English proverbs?
Fingers were invented before knives and forks.
First come, first served.
First deserve, then desire.
The first step to health is to know that we are sick.
Meaning: Do more important things before other things.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Meaning: Do not rest all your hopes on one eventuality; plan for several cases.
Many proverbs are built on consonance and rhyme, therefore they are easy to be remembered for many years and have a strong emotional impact on learners.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Eat at pleasure, drink with measure.
Better one small fish than an empty dish.
The aims of using proverbs:
-improving phonetic skills of students;
-explanation of some grammatical phenomena;
-extension of vocabulary;
-promoting speech activity.
Improving phonetic skills of students:
Губно губной звук w: Where there is a will there is a way.
Носовой звук ŋ: The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Межзубные звуки θ ð: Wealth is nothing without health. Birds of a feather flock together. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Explanation of some grammatical phenomena:
Imperative mood: Never say die. Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs.
Degrees of comparison: The more, the merrier. A good name is better than riches.
Modal verbs: A man can do no more than he can. A child must first creep, then go. A cat may look at a king.
Present Simple: Tastes differ. Bad news flies fast. Every bird likes his own nest.
Passive Voice: Rome was not built in a day. Much is expected where much is given.
Extension of vocabulary:
Live and learn. It is never too late to learn. To know everything is to know nothing. Knowledge is power. Repetition is the mother of learning. Before you choose a friend eat a bushel of salt with him. Be slow in choosing a friend, but slower in changing him. A friend to all is a friend to none.
Promoting speech activity:
A proverb can be a theme for a composition. It can be a material for a dialogue. Students can draw the pictures to let their classmates guess the proverbs. They can illustrate the proverbs using their body language or gestures. They can also think of an advertisement with the help of a proverb or comment on the proverb.
There are several phases while working with proverbs:
-presentation. During the presentation, the proverb is written on the blackboard and the students read it aloud.
-work on content. If you work on content, explain some difficult words using synonyms and translations into Russian together with the students.
-work on pronunciation. Start with focusing on difficult sounds. First students read a single word with these sounds, then the whole proverb. They do it together and individually.
-usage of proverbs in the spoken language.
Working with proverbs, have the following steps:
-match the Russian equivalent to the English proverbs;
-insert antonym to the bold word ;
-write the last word of the proverb;
-connect fragments of 1 and 2 column to get famous proverbs;
-explain the meaning of proverbs;
-write a story, the proverb can be the headline
Match the first half of the proverb to its ending.
Don't look a gift horse 1) gets the bone.
A friend in need 2) less speed.
Don't put off until tomorrow 3) is worth two in the bush.
The early bird 4) has a silver lining.
Where there is a will 5) catches the worm.
The patient dog 6) is a friend indeed.
Every cloud 7) there is always a way.
It is better to have loved and lost 8) what you can do today.
A disappointment 9) by its cover.
A bird in hand 10) in the mouth.
More haste 11) than never to have loved at all.
Don't judge a book 12) is a blessing.
Match the Russian equivalent to the English proverbs
Deeds, not words
Ворон ворону глаз не выклюет
Diligence is the mother of success (good luck)
Терпенье и труд всё перетрут
Divide and rule
Человек человеку волк
Do as you would be done by
Когда хочешь себе добра, то никому не делай зла.
Чего себе не желаешь, того и другому не твори
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Поступай с другими так, как ты бы хотел, чтобы они поступали с тобой
Dog does not eat dog
(Нужны) дела, а не слова
Dog eats dog
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