Quichua people of Limoncocha are bilingual, speaking both Spanish and Quichua.
Quichua, of course,
is their mother tongue, but some know Spanish better than they know
Since some of them are learning English, they are trying to become trilingual.
Do your students
know what their "mother tongue" is? How many "mother tongues" are
used by your students?
Are any of your students bilingual or trilingual?
For fun, see how many languages your students can count to ten in. If you
have a multilingual class, figure out how many languages can be spoken by
your students and ask students what prefix can be added to -lingual to describe
the class with reference to how many languages it can speak. Ask them what
they would call groups that can speak four (quadra-), five (penta-), six
(hexa-), eight (octa-) and ten (deca-) languages. Ask them what other words
they know that begin with these prefixes.
Language Arts Lesson Idea: Dissection of the
words "bilingual and "trilingual" can lead
into fun and discovery-filled wordplay exercises. First, explain to
students that the Latin
base, lingua, means 'language,' and the suffix "-al" means "of" or
"relating to." Considering
the words "bicycle" and "tricycle," they should be able to figure out the
meanings of the
prefixes "bi-" and "tri-." Now, they'll be ready for some bi-tri-
sleuthing. With words
that have recognizable roots (bi/ trimonthly,
bi/triweekly, bi/triyearly, bi/tricolor, bimetallic, biparental, binational,
bipolar, triangle, bicultural, biplane, bistate, etc.), have them propose
then verify meanings with a dictionary. For unfamiliar words
with unrecognizable roots (biped, trilobite, trilogy, bimanual, bigamy,
bicuspid, bi/trisect, bimillennium, binaural,
bi/tricentennial, bi/trinomial, tridactyl, trifoliate, bi/trilateral, bilabiate,
look up root meanings, propose and verify word meanings.
Create matching exercises, crossword puzzles, or other word-games
or easily teachable words (binoculars, biathlon, triathlon, bicycle, tricycle,
triceps, bikini, trilobite, triple, triple play, triplets, tripod, bifocals,
of course, students can delve more deeply into the dictionary with individual
or group research
expeditions. Have them report findings and display discoveries when
Or, take your findings and create poems.