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An approach to translation which keeps emphasis on target language.

I'm going to be writing some beginner and near beginner resources with translation in mind. You know I'm not a huge fan, but many schools will want to include more translation with the new curriculum in mind, so I have to keep the customers happy!

So here is a sample of what I'll be doing where translation features but with the focus still on comprehensible input. This one is an adaptation of an existing parallel reading task called Mon chien.

The original is in landscape format with French on the left and English gapped translation on the right. I have added true/false and sentence completion to keep the emphasis on target language input. This one is pretty easy.


Mon chien s’appelle Bouba. Il a cinq ans. C’est un labrador noir.  On l’a trouvé dans un refuge pour chiens.

Il est énorme et très mignon. Quand je rentre de l’école, il saute et veut jouer dans le jardin. Il adore courir, jouer à la balle et se baigner dans la rivière ou dans la mer.

Il mange beaucoup et en particulier il adore le chocolat et les gâteaux. Il adore monter en voiture avec la famille et faire des promenades à la campagne. Mon père le promène tous les jours.

Quand on a des invités à la maison il s’excite et aboie beaucoup. La nuit il couche dans la cuisine. Quand il va se coucher, il prend toujours un de mes chaussons pour dormir, il s'en sert comme d'un doudou.

C’est un chien vraiment adorable et très affectueux. Je l’adore.

English gapped version

My dog _______ Bouba. He is ____ years old. He’s a _____ Labrador. We found him in a dog ____________.

He is ____ and very _______. When I get ____ from school he jumps up and wants to _____ in the garden. He _____ running about, playing ____ and swimming in the _____ or the ___.

He ____a lot and in particular he loves ________ and _____. He loves going out in the ___ with the ______ and going for _____ in the __________. My father _____ him every ___.

When we ____  ______ in the house he gets _______ and barks _____. At _____ he sleeps in the ______. When he goes to ___ he takes one of my _______ and ____ it like a cuddly ___.

He’s a really _______  and very ___________ dog. I ____ him.


1.       Bouba a cinq ans.
2.       C’est un chien rose.
3.       Bouba est très agressif.
4.       Il est très petit pour un Labrador.
5.       Il n’aime pas jouer dans le jardin.
6.       Il aime jouer avec une balle.
7.       Il aime aller dans une rivière ou dans la mer.
8.       C’est un chien végétarien et il ne mange pas beaucoup.
9.       Il aime le chocolat mais pas les gâteaux.
10.     Il fait des promenades à bicyclette.
11.      Il monte dans la voiture avec la famille.
12.     Maman promène Bouba.
13.     Quand il y a des invités Bouba s’excite.
14.     Il reste toujours calme.
15.     Il dort dans la chambre des parents.
16.     Il aime dormir avec un chausson de papa.
17.     Bouba est sympa et donne beaucoup d’affection.

1.       Bouba est un _____.
2.       Bouba n’est pas blanc, il est ____.
3.       Il n’est pas _____, il est énorme.
4.       Bouba n’est pas méchant, il est ______.
5.       Il _____ jouer dans le jardin avec une _____.
6.       Il aime les ________ et la mer.
7.       Bouba mange _______.
8.       Il préfère le _______ et les ________.
9.       Il aime les ___________ en voiture.
10.     Papa _______ le chien.
11.      Quand des invités arrivent Bouba _______.
12.     Il ______ dans la cuisine.
13.     Il dort avec un ________.
14.     Bouba est un chien __________


  1. Hi Steve! This is interesting. Can you tell my what is the purpose of the English? Is it designed to be a comprehensible input? What is the rationale in some methodologies of using English translated text? Thanks!

  2. Just another way of practising/showing comprehension rather than exercises such as true/false, matching, multi-choice. The CI comes from the original text and I add the other exercises to reinforce the input. My producing this type of resource is partly because the latest national curriculum in England expects children to be able to do some translation. The powers that be seem to think translation is more rigorous than other forms of practice/assessment. You'll know from my blogs and website that I am not a huge fan of using English and usually try to avoid it.


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