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Eric Rohmer


La première fois que j'ai vu un film d'Eric Rohmer au cinéma, c'était L'ami de mon amie. Si je m'en souviens bien, ça se déroulait dans une ville nouvelle d'Ile de France, on parlait beaucoup de choses banales, il se passait peu et j'y trouvais très peu d'intérêt (un peu plus qu'Elspeth, par contre). Franchement c'était barbant. Plus tard j'ai essayé Pauline à la Plage où l'intrigue prenait une place un peu plus importante et où les belles images du caméraman Nestor Almendros font penser à toutes nos plus belles vacances passées au bord de la mer. (Les films de Rohmer sont pleins de dialogues sur des sujets relativement banals.) J'ai même montré ce film à mes élèves des Sixth Form qui l'ont trouvé pas mal (mais pas mieux).

C'est en regardant Conte d'Eté que j'ai vraiment commencé à apprécier l'art de Rohmer. Les acteurs dans ses films sont souvent inconnus, souvent non-professionnels, souvent jeunes. Rohmer aime analyser les relations entre les gens et les subtiles motivations des personnages. Il entre dans le détail du comportement, des sentiments et des mots. Des fois il se moque légèrement de ses personnages (c'est le cas de Pauline à la Plage), mais la plupart du temps c'est au spectateur de goûter les faiblesses, les petits plaisirs et les problèmes quotidiens de ses personnages. Ce sont des films qui vous récompensent de votre patience. On en trouve peu de ce genre.

Bref, j'ai décidé de me relancer dans les films de Rohmer et j'ai commandé deux coffrets DVD: les "Comédies et Proverbes" et les "Contes des Saisons". Mon fils, amateur de films et élève de terminale, pourra les regarder avec moi, tout en révisant son français.


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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)

The Language Teacher Toolkit review

We were delighted to receive a review of The Language Teacher Toolkit from eminent applied linguist Ernesto Macaro from Oxford University. Macaro is a leader in the field of second language acquisition and applied linguistics. His main research interests are teacher-student interaction and language learning strategies pupils can use to improve their progress.

Here is Professor Macaro's review:
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. So for example the ‘methodological principles’ on page 11 are supported by the research they then refer to later in the book and this approach is very similar to the one that we (Ernesto Macaro, Suzanne Graham, Robert Woore) have adopted in our ‘consortium project’( The point i…

5 great zero preparation lesson ideas

When the pressure is on and there are only so many hours on the week, you need a repertoire of zero preparation go-to activities which promote input and/or practice. Here are five you might well find useful.

1. My weekend

We know that listening is the most important yet often neglected skill for language learning. It's also something some pupils find hard to do. To develop listening skill and provide tailored comprehensible input try this:

You tell the class you are going to recount what you did last weekend and that they have to make notes in English. The amount of detail you go into and the speed you go will depend on your class. Talk for about three minutes. If you spent the whole weekend marking, you can always make stuff up!

You then make some true or false (maybe not mentioned too) statements in the target language about what you said in your account. Class gives hands up (or no hands up) answers. This can then lead into a simple pair work task where pupils make up their own tru…