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Pancake Day in an ESOL Lesson

Pancake Day is a term used in the United Kingdom for Shrove Tuesday. This is the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It is a day of penitence to clean the soul and the last chance to feast before Lent begins.

This year, we at asphaleia training in West London did lots of learning about Shrove Tuesday. During our lesson, we shared about the Christian traditions. Including the 40 days before Easter known as Lent, which mark the time that Jesus spent fasting in the desert.

Pancake Day ESOL learning

Our learners, who come from different parts of the world learned that traditionally, Christians would mark the period with prayers and fasting, abstaining from a whole range of foods, including meat, eggs, fish, fats and milk. They learned that Shrove Tuesday is also known as “Pancake Day” or “Pancake Tuesday”, as it became a traditional custom to eat pancakes as a meal. We also discussed how some other countries celebrate the day too.  For instance, in France, it is called Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. In Sweden, it is called Fettisdagen and interestingly, in Spain, it’s actually ‘Omelette Day’ or ‘Día de la Tortilla’ where they eat omelettes! We discussed if there are pancakes eaten around the world and if they were similar or different. It was revealed that anjero is a type of pancake in Somalia, dosa in India, okonomiyaki in Japan, pannukakku in Finland, crepes in France and of course pancakes in the United Kingdom.

We also took the opportunity to learn how to make pancakes by watching a video on Youtube. The learners’ comprehension was later tested with a Q&A session. At the end of the lesson, all of our young people celebrated Pancake Day by savouring delicious pancakes with a topping of their choice. The options were maple syrup, Nutella or a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of castor sugar. They all enjoyed it very much!

Pancake Day eating pancakes in ESOL lesson

Finally we told our learners… “So now that you know how to make pancakes and the history behind Pancake Day, go make yourself a few pancakes as a treat!”

To find out more about our ESOL classes and/or OnTrack programme for 16-18 year-olds, call us on 01903 823546.

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