Proverbs will very often reflect the history and values of a community of people (Ciccarelli, 1996). Since these phrases tend to be short, the vocabulary and sentence structure don’t require a lot of time to understand linguistically. When a new vocabulary list is presented to students, consider providing a few proverbs or idioms that use some of the words and engage a conversation about how the phrase might be important in the target language culture as well as who might use it and in what circumstances. This is also a great opportunity to have students reflect on cultural similarities and differences as they consider whether or not the proverb exists in English, and if not, why?
Here are some proverbs by language for use in the classroom:
Reference: Ciccarelli, A. (1996). Teaching culture through language: Suggestions for the Italian language class. Italica, 73(4), 563-576.