Celebrating Robert Burns at ELA!!

As all Scots know January 25th is Burns Day in Scotland, the annual celebration of our national poet and a good excuse to let our hair down in the dark days of January! At ELA it was a golden opportunity to get our students involved in learning at little bit about Scottish culture and tradition.

ELA Burns supper 2017

 

Scottish people across the world celebrate the poet-farmer from the South West of Scotland every 25th January with traditional Scottish food and drink, his poems and songs. Copious amounts of haggis, neeps and tatties are eaten while whisky and Irn-Bru (Scotland’s national soft-drink) wash down the food. Scots believe Robert Burns is worth celebrating not only because of his beautiful poetry and songs but also because of his eloquent commitment to equality and fairness.

The Immortal Memory

Typical Burns Supper nourishment

Students and staff tuck into their Haggis

We held our Burns Supper on Wednesday afternoon after class, but not before our teachers made sure that the students knew something about our famous poet. As all good teachers know, it’s very important to let the students do all the hard work. So we decided that the students would make the speeches at our Burns Supper. The first speech gives some information and thoughts on the life of Robert Burns, this is the Immortal Memory. Our students delivered it in their own unique style, drawing on their own national traditions for support!

 

The highlight of any Burns Supper is very often the ‘Toast to the Lassies’ (or girls). This should be funny and self deprecating but ultimately complimentary. Our toasts quoted Bob Dylan and featured some original poetry, written especially for the occasion.  At all Burns suppers the lassies have the last word with the ‘Reply to the Laddies’ (boys). Our reply went down a storm and was greatly appreciated by students, teachers and guests.

 

 

The toast to the lassies

To put it in a nutshell, everyone at ELA had a wonderful time celebrating Robert Burns and we believe that this kind of fun is part of learning a language. At ELA we are lucky to have such amazingly friendly staff and students to make events like this a great success!

 

 

The reply to the laddies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vocabulary builder:

Can you guess what the under-lined words from the text mean?

Let your hair down: a) Dance b) Have fun c) Read poetry

Golden opportunity: a) Perfect chance b) Lots of hard work c) A small chance

Eloquent: a) Elegant and persuasive b) honest and caring c) long and difficult

Supper: a) Breakfast b) Lunch c) Dinner

To draw on: a) Using an experience b) Remembering c) Ignoring

Toast: a) Hot bread b) Drink to health c) Joke

Tuck into: a) Start eating b) Enjoy eating c) Stop eating

Self-deprecating: a) Have no fun b) Make fun of others c) Make fun of yourself

Go down a storm: a) Be controversial b) Be very funny c) Be very popular

Put it in a nutshell: a) Talk for a long time b) Tell a lie c) Say something in just a few words

 

Tweet us @E_L_Academy when you have the answers!!!

Warming up the class with some ‘Spike’.

A great 5 minute warmer before a class:

  1. Write the poem below, onto the board before the students come in.
  2. When they sit down and start looking at what’s written ask one or two of them that may already be smiling to read the poem aloud.
  3. Then ask each student in turn to come up to the board and draw a picture for each word in the poem (yes, prepositions, verbs, nouns everything!).
  4. Then get the class to read the poem together in unison.
  5. Finish! get on with the rest of the lesson.

(extension at end of class 2 minutes)

Rain is uncountable, so WHY does Spike refer to “THE rain“?

 

RainThere are holes in the sky

Where the rain gets in

But they’re ever so small

That’s why the rain is thin.

By Spike Milligan


The son of a highly mobile British military officer actor / comedian / director / playwright / poet / author Spike Milligan was born in India and raised throughout the ‘colonies’ of the Far East.

spike