I was doing a lesson with my fourth graders on transportation vocabulary. Bus, train, car, boat. I go to school by car. I go to the park by bus. You get the picture. One of the vocabulary words was helicopter. (It’s a fun one. Where do you go by helicopter?)
If you know anything about Spanish, you know that the letter H is silent. Always. No matter how many times I repeated it, and made them repeat it back to me, I kept getting “elicopter.” After approximately 573277432 times, I threw the book down.
“You guys watch the Simpsons, right?” Blank stares.
“Los SEEmpson?” I tried. Ah of course!
I wrote “Homer” on the board. “How do you pronounce this?” I asked.
“Homer!” they all exclaimed with perfect pronunciation. You see, all good Spanish children, like I was, are raised on the Simpsons, and are familiar with character names.
“How is the H pronounced?” I continued.
“Como la jota.” they responded.
“Then how do you pronounce this?” I said pointing to the word helicopter.
“Helicopter!” they all shout, finally pronouncing the H properly.
Toma! English lessons via the Simpsons. Thank you Matt Groening.