Hey Ben –
Q. We made a OWI; the character was a potato. So all through the first questions I asked, Est-elle grande ou petite, etc., because pomme de terre is feminine. Then when we named it it turned out to be male. So now it’s Ricky, and I find myself switching to il–il est jaloux, etc. I don’t know how to type it up or how to talk about it. Your thoughts?
A. Even if they notice, and they shouldn’t be if their focus is on meaning now during the auditory input, this is what I tell them:
“The word is feminine* but the character is masculine. Therefore, when I talk about the potato, I will make it feminine and when I talk about the character I will make it whichever it is in the story, feminine or masculine.” (I used to say I would use feminine articles and adjectives, etc. but those words have been banished from my classroom bc they make no sense to most teenagers.)
*In my opinion, explaining gender is not teaching grammar. It’s a cultural point that we need to teach, in my opinion.