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NCELP revisited

NCELP stands for National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy. You may recall that this was the organisation set up by the government some time after the publication of the TSC Review of MFL Pedagogy (2016). Based at the University of York (England) and led by Dr Emma Marsden and Dr Rachel Hawkes, the role of the NCELP is to disseminate via hub schools what they consider to be the most effective pedagogy for MFL classrooms in England.Worth recalling is that the original pedagogy report, accessible via the ncelp.org site, was based on a trawl of research considered relevant to the English context, as well as classroom observations of classes and interviews with school teachers. In my meetings with teachers I have found it is surprisingly little known, so I wonder how well their work has been publicised.
Since its inception in 2018 (I think), their work has progressed and, for most teachers, its fruits are visible on the website. These resources are varied and are a mixture of th…
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The Motivated Classroom podcast

Liam Printer’s podcast The Motivated Classroom has been going for a few weeks now and is well worth a listen. Liam teaches in Switzerland and has a real knack for sharing research findings and lesson ideas in a clear, fluent and engaging fashion. As I write this, he has recorded six episodes which can be listened to on various platforms. Here’s a link:https://anchor.fm/themotivatedclassroomLiam’s website is here:https://www.liamprinter.com/Each podcast is easily digestible, lasting around 25 minutes, just right for a journey to or from work. The thread running through the programmes, as the title suggests, is motivation, so his starting point is a self-determination theory of motivation based on the notions of competence, relatedness and autonomy. Liam favours a comprehension/communicative-based (“CI”) approach to teaching (in contrast to a very traditional grammar and vocabulary based, structural approach) and believes that approach is more likely to foster positive motivation and fe…

Listen and translate. La Corrida by Francis Cabrel

This is a third post featuring songs I like and this one is a real favourite which I enjoyed using with A-level classes. If you don’t already know it, La Corrida is Francis Cabrel’s powerful song about the evil of bullfighting - the corrida. He brings a Spanish flavour, and even a little Spanish language, into the song. The music itself is dramatic in its ebbs and flows and, as usual, Cabrel’s voice and delivery make him a good source of language input.So here is a translation into English which students would have to retranslate into the original French. It’s therefore a listen and transcribe task. Quite a challenge for a good class, and a possible alternative to gap-fill.On a technical/pedagogical note, I often mention the importance of comprehensible input. When you provide a translation like this, the language is instantly understandable.
Since I’ve been waitingIn this dark chamberI hear fun and singingDown the hall Someone opened the lockAnd I burst into the daylightI saw the band…

Zaz - Je veux

A lot of teachers seemed to like my last post, so here is another song by Zaz. Students listen and translate the lyrics. Best done in class, of course, otherwise the temptation to cheat may be too strong. These are extremely quick to prepare with the help of Google Translate or Deepl.
Give me a suite at the Ritz, I don't want one!Jewelry from Chanel, I don't want any!Give me a limo, what will I do, papalapapapalaOffer me staff, what would I do with them?A mansion in Neufchâtel is not for meGive me the Eiffel Tower, what will I do with it, papalapapapalaI want love, joy, to feel happyIt's not your money that will make me happyI want to put my hand on my heart, papalapapapalaLet's go together, discover my freedomSo forget all your c,ichés, welcome to my realityI'm sick of your good manners, it's too much for me!I eat with my hands and I'm like that!I speak loudly and I say what I think. Sorry!No more hypocrisy, I'm out of hereI'm sick of waffleLook at …

Zaz - Si jamais j'oublie

My wife and I often listen to Radio Paradise, a listener-supported, ad-free radio station from California. They've been playing this song by Zaz recently. I like it and maybe your students would too. I shouldn't really  reproduce the lyrics here for copyright reasons, but I am going to translate them (with the help of another video). You could copy and paste this translation and set it for classwork (not homework, I suggest, since students could just go and find the lyrics online). The song was released in 2015 and gotr to number 11 in the French charts - only number 11!Here we go:Remind me of the day and the yearRemind me of the weatherAnd if I've forgotten, you can shake meAnd if I want to take myself awayLock me up and throw away the keyWith pricks of memoryTell me what my name isIf I ever forget the nights I spent, the guitars, the criesRemind me who I am, why I am aliveIf I ever forget, if I ever take to my heelsIf one day I run awayRemind me who I am, what I'd pr…

Running a room

The little phrase "running a room" is one I picked up from behaviour consultant Tom Bennett a few years ago. I notice he uses it as the title of his forthcoming book on behaviour. I'm sure that book will be worth reading. When I wrote Becoming an Outstanding Languages Teacher in 2017, I chose to begin the book with a chapter called Running a room. This is part of that chapter and may be a useful read, particularly for trainee (pre-service) language teachers.Starts and ends of lessonsJane is an outstanding teacher.Before the lesson begins her students are lining up outside the classroom. They’re quiet or talking calmly. She stands by the doorway as they enter in single file. She says bonjour to each student. Because her school has a clear uniform code, she sometimes has the odd word with them about their appearance, maybe a little ça va?, a bit of personal chit-chat in English here and there: “What lesson have you had?How was it?” “How did that piano exam go?” “Did you wa…