German: Mixing der + die

When doing German lessons, previously I took care to use only “male” items, because mixing the grammatical genders can be very confusing. I’ve been doing German sessions with Ben for the last weeks, and recently I decided to try mixing them. He has some foundation in using the male forms now, so I thought it might be interesting to see if using both in a controlled environment could actually help him get a better feeling for the differences between the two.

At first I replaced all items with female ones. After playing a little bit with these (»Das ist eine leere Schüssel«; »Ich gebe dir die leere Schüssel«), I added a “male” item that we had used earlier (»Ich gebe dir den roten Stift«). When I had the feeling that this was settled in his mind, I went to the really confusing »Wo ist die leere Schüssel? – Die leere Schüssel ist hinter dem roten Stift« vs. »Wo ist der rote Stift? – Der rote Stift ist vor der leeren Schüssel«. It turned out that this was a really good moment to introduce it. While challenging, it did not make him Full, but rather helped in separating the two. I will play around with mixing the two in later sessions.

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