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Images de l'échange

Got back last night after nearly two weeks of the exchange. Most of the group were very happy with the usual quota of pupils not wanting to leave or else glad to be coming home. One student got taken to Spain, a couple to Paris and one on a tour of the Dordogne by motorhome. It struck me that doing an exchange is less of an ordeal than it was for some students because of the internet. Fifteen years ago you could be really on your own for a week or so, which was good for the language but more of a personal test. Now, nobody is isolated whilst carrying a mobile or going online with Facebook. I slightly regret this.

Meanwhile yours truly and family had a relaxing few days of wandering around, cycling, reading, watching Mad Men and seeing friends. So, in the lull before the return to controlled assessments and A-level orals, here are a few photos:

French and English at Futursocope:



RGS students by the Germanicus Arch in Saintes:


The Roman arena in Saintes:


Our shot of the Château de la Roche Courbon - interesting guided tour too:


Steve and Joel in La Rochelle:


By the Sèvre-Niortaise:


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What teachers are saying about The Language Teacher Toolkit

"The Language Teacher Toolkit is a really useful book for language teachers to either read all the way through or dip into. What I like about it is that the authors Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti are totally upfront about what they believe to be good practice but back it up with research evidence." (Ernesto Macaro, Oxford University Department of Education)

"I absolutely love this book based on research and full of activities..  The best manual I've read so far. One of our PDs from the Australian Board of Studies recommended your book as an excellent resource.  I look forward to the conference here in Sydney." Michela Pezzi, Teacher, Australia, Facebook)

"Finally, a book for World Language teachers that provides practical ideas and strategies that can actually be used in the classroom, rather than dry rhetoric and theory that does little to inspire creativity in ways that are engaging for both students and teachers alike." (USA teacher, Amazon review)

Making words memorable

Most teachers and researchers would agree that knowing words is even more important than knowing grammar if you wish to be proficient in a language. As linguist David Wilkins wrote in 1972: "Without grammar little can be conveyed, without vocabulary nothing can be conveyed."One of the frustrations for teachers is pupils' inability to retain vocabulary for productive use. A good deal of research has been done over the years into how pupils might better keep words in memory. Two concepts which have come to the fore are spacing and interleaving.

Spaced practice

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