We all know that “practice makes perfect,” don´t we, teachers? That´s why exploring the language that we teach is so important, specially because it is a mirror of the people who speak it, it reflects their approach to life, something we can not ignore when teaching a language.
Proverbs and sayings are an excellent example of how popular wisdom puts into words what they believe in, be that advice, warning, or simply a funny way to look at things.
The following link will take you to the Voice of America –VOA– site where you can listen to (MP3 available) and read (printer friendly version available) the story behind some popular sayings in English. You will notice, while reading it, that the Spanish counterparts are sometimes very different! How would you answer a student who asks you: “Teacher, how do you say “Dios los cría y ellos se juntan” in English?" The cartoon that accompanies this entry gives you a hint.
The VOA site features many more excellent programs in its section “Words and their stories,” a real treasure chest for us teachers.