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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!!