Activity 1C: Ageless Idioms in Spanish Extension: Other Language Idioms

This activity is suitable for English classes that have a lot of native Spanish-speaking children or for classes that teach Spanish. The Spanish language (as do all languages) has its own set of idioms or sayings (dichos). In this activity, students will be exposed to Spanish language idioms related to aging. Put a copy of the Spanish language ageless idiom(s) on an overhead projector or on the chalkboard. Ask the students if any one of them knows what the idiom means or what the literal translation of the idiom would be in English. Then give the students the literal translation of the idiom. Discuss the meaning of the idiom with the students. Does the English translation of the idiom make any sense? Does it sound really silly? Why or why not?
An example of a Spanish ageless idiom is “Está a la media rueda.” Literally translated into English this phrase means “He is at the half turn.” This expression is commonly used when someone turns fifty. What common English expressions might be equivalent to this one? Explain to the students that the “half turn” of a wheel refers to the fact that the person has reached about the “halfway point” in their life, that is, halfway to being 100 years old. 

Extension Activity 

Other Language Idioms:  This activity can be done with other Spanish idioms or idioms from any other language. The activity may be adapted to other language classes (French, German, Latin) and to idiomatic phrases other than ones related to aging. 


Idiom, Spanish idiom, Spanish, culture, idiomatic language, stereotype, age


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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Embracing Diversity
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 1: Ageless Idioms