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Bilingual poetry These resources can be used for

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1 Bilingual poetry These resources can be used for
Cross-curricular topic work involving children’s different languages Language classes in the community MFL classes See also resource sheet (link), full versions of poems (link) and scheme of work (link)

2 Kajla Didi: well-known Bengali poem about a girl whose sister has mysteriously disappeared

3 Transliterated and translated versions
Kajla Didi by Jatindra Mohon Bagchi Baash baganer mather upor chad uteche oi Mago amaar solok bola Kajla didi koi? Pukur dhare, nebur tole thokai thokai jonak jole Phooler gondhe ghum ase na ekla jege roi Maago amar koler kache Kajla didi koi? The moon has appeared on the top of the bamboo garden Mother, where is my quiz teller sister Kajla? Near the pond and underneath the lemon plant Where lots of fire flies are flying The flowers’ smell kept me awake and it’s only me who is awake Mother, where is my very dear sister Kajla? (Transliteration and translation by Shabita Shamsad) First verse: see document for full version

4 What Has Happened To Lulu?
What Has Happened to Lulu?: English poem by Charles Causley, also about a missing sister What Has Happened To Lulu? What has happened to Lulu, mother? What has happened to Lu? There's nothing in her bed but an old rag-doll And by its side a shoe. Why is her window wide, mother, The curtain flapping free, And only a circle on the dusty shelf Where her money-box used to be? (first two verses: see document for full version)

5 Bilingual learning approaches
Use all three versions of Kajla Didi to investigate meaning Involve parents and grandparents: ask questions about poem and ask if they know poems in other languages Compare Kajla Didi and What Happened to Lulu – similarities and differences Write own poems about loss, using Bengali, English or other languages

6 Questions about the poem at Bengali school: children use transliterated Bengali, Bengali script and/or English for their answers Questions written by children at primary school, taken home to parents in transliterated Bengali, leading to discussion about Bangladeshi life and culture arising from the poem. Questions include: What does firefly mean? Do birds hide in trees? Is the doll <in the ‘dolls’ wedding’ game> a boy?

7 Child’s poem about loss

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