Say "Hello" to the World
by Judie Haynes
World Hello Day takes place in November. This day is an opportunity to celebrate world language learning with all of your students. And the celebration does not have to stop with the November celebration. Ask students who speak another language to teach classmates how to say "hello" "peace" or "welcome." This to foster appreciation of world languages and cultures and builds positive self esteem.
In November we mark the celebration of "World Hello Day." To celebrate this event, ask your students to say "hello" to 10 different people using as many different languages as they can.
As ESL and bilingual professionals we can encourage our students to take this initiative a step further.
1. Help your English language learners (ELLs) develop pride in their languages and cultures by asking each of them to teach 4-5 classmates how to say "hello," "good-bye," and "Peace"in their native languages.
2. Have students trace their hands and write "hello" in one of the language they learned. Make a wreath from these hands and display it. Write the words for peace on doves and arrange the doves around the wreathes.
3. Brainstorm a list of ideas with students about how they think saying "hello" or "peace" in different languages will help foster peace and goodwill. Ask students to write their ideas on white clouds and display them.
4. Introduce the words "body language." Ask your students to observe what people from the United States do when saying "hello." Have students consider what people from different cultures do when they say "hello." Do they shake hands? Kiss? Bow? Do they look you in the eyes, or lower their eyes.
5. Have students go to the Internet Public Library and listen to the pronunciation of
6. Make a large chart to show the many ways your class can say "hello." Here are some examples:
- Konichiwa (koh-Nee-chee-wah) is hello in Japanese.
- Jambo (JAM-bo) is hello in Swahili.
- Hola (OH-la) is hello in Spanish.
- Ni hao (nee-Ha-OW) is hello in Chinese.
- Bonjour (bohn-Zhoor) is hello in French.
- Buon giorno (bwohn-JOR-noh) is hello in Italian.
- Annyong ha shimnikka (An-YOH HASHim-ni-kah) is hello in Korean.
- Czesc (Chesht) is hello is Polish.
- Zdravstvuite (ZzDRAST-vet-yah) is hello in Russian.
- Al Salaam a' alaykum (ahl sah-LAHM-ah-ah-LAY-Koom)) is hello in Arabic.
7. Promote language learning by having cooperative groups of students choose a language and learn 5 phrases. Eighty languages can be learned on the internet at TravLang.
8. Have students find out in what countries their languages are spoken. A good site for this is The World Language Resource. Ask students to find these countries on a map and list 5 facts about each country.
© 1998-2008 Judie Haynes, www.everythingESL.net