Posted on

Dictionary fails and Google distortions


I have been playing around with simple animations (as some of you know from my Tour de France video) and have created a series of whiteboard animations. I love them and think they are so engaging as a short interlude or as a hook into a new topic. I’m just putting the finishing touches to them all but in the meantime I am releasing this one all about dictionary fails and google mistranslations. In response to my blog post last year ‘30 things you will only understand if you teach French‘, loads of you left comments and some of them were genius. As in comically genius- definitely not linguistically genius! I have made a little compilation of them for you. Please feel free to add to the list! Enjoy!

Dictionary fails and Google distortions animation


Have a lovely break,

Betsy Belle

PS. I have started meeting people in real life who presume I am called Betsy. I’m cool with that. When I started making resources and blogging I was way too shy to go by my actual name so hid behind this pseudonym. But if you ever bump into me outside of the internet… I also answer to Michelle!


Posted on

Le Tour de France for the classroom

Tour de France Poster Inforgraphic

So this is kind of embarrassing…I have never watched the Tour de France. Never. I have seen snippets of course and I knew the basics about the yellow vest and the hills and the general hard graft. But that was it. So what did I do every summer when my colleagues mentioned a cultural lesson on it? I chickened out. Probably made the kids do a dictation or something equally mean!

This year I was determined to be prepared- but when did the tour even start? June? July? I actually had no idea so I started making some materials in May! It seems I am still a whole month ahead of schedule so there is plenty of time for me to share some bits with you.

Firstly there is the animated video I made. This is crammed full of every fact I researched about the Tour de France. I have shared this on you tube but if your school filters You Tube you can download it for free via my TES shop.

Then I made some follow up activities including a board game, an infographic, a jersey design activity and some colouring sheets. I’m sharing the infographic with you (the image from the top of the post),  it contains all the facts from the video and would make a great poster or help sheet. Click on the link to download the Tour de France Poster Infographic

The board game has already had some great feedback. One teacher is going to add extra challenge by getting pupils to complete a translation when they land on a new number. It would be very easy to do this by printing out a list of 34 questions or translations relating to your current topic. Here is the link- it is £2 but if you are new to TES you can get £3 free credit by entering JUNEOFFER at the checkout.

tour de france board game

The other products are available individually or as a bundle which costs £4 and includes the two activities form above (the video and the infographic) plus the ‘design a Tour de France jersey activity, the colouring sheets and the board game. Link to bundle here

Tour de france jersey design

This is the official website in French but there is an English version as well.

There is lovely video in French about the Tour de France on 1jour1actu as part of their animated series

One last thing and NOT FOR CLASSROOM USE but hilarious if you haven’t seen it before is this video by Remi Gaillard. If you aren’t familiar with his work then I urge you to find half an hour and sit back for some chuckles- or full on belly laughs in my case!

Betsy Belle


Posted on

Friday Freebie: Follow Me The Basics

It has been a while. A long while. I have had a slight change in direction and have switched form secondary to primary so much of my effort has gone into that. And boy did I make a good move there! I am absolutely loving every second. I whizz in and out of classrooms and up and down corridors calling out ‘bonjour’ and ‘hola’ as I go. I deliver nifty little 30 minute sessions and cram as much as I can into every second. These kids lap it up and I am constantly in awe of how much they can produce in that short space of time. I must do a blog post about ‘speed teaching’. And another on storytelling. But I am simply posting to say:

  1. I am back to blogging
  2. It’s Friday so it’s time for a freebie.

This freebie is a follow me game. I’m sure you know what to do but just in case you haven’t played before…

Cut up the 16 cards. Distribute at the door for a snappy start to the lesson. The pupil with the word START stands up and asks, “who has ‘bonjour?'”, triggering the next pupil to stand up and say “I have ‘hello’, who has ‘merci?'” and then the person with thank you stands up and says “I have thank you, who has…” and so on.

To make it more fun and competitive you could do it twice and time it to see which group completes it fastest. For a small group see if they can beat their previous time. Tell them how quickly the other class did it. Or one of my favourite things to do is ask them to form a circle by standing next to the appropriate card. This causes chaos but chaos of the best kind. And it really does get them to communicate.

follow me basics french and spanish


Happy Friday.

Betsy Belle

More follow me cards and other resources at my tes shop