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Une Vérité qui Dérange

Pour ceux qui n'ont jamais vu ce film extraordinaire d'Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth), je le recommande vivement aux profs et aux élèves de terminale (Upper Sixth) qui s'intéressent au réchauffement climatique. Il est disponible en version française:

Chaque fois que mes élèves l'ont vu ils l'ont suivi attentivement et ont été touchés par son message. Dommage alors de lire que l'industrie éolienne cale au Royaume Uni. La raison? Le prix des combustibles fossiles est en baisse, donc il n'est guère rentable pour les grandes sociétés d'approvisionnement d'énergie (comme E.on0 et les compagnies pétrolières (comme Shell) d'investir dans ce domaine. Donc le grand parc éolien offshore proposé pour l'estuaire de la Tamise est menacé. Shell a annoncé son retrait de cette industrie et E.on est en train de renégocier le contrat.

Résultat? La Grande Bretagne n'atteindra pas ses cibles pour l'énergie renouvelable (15% d'énergie renouvelable avant 2020). Les raisons sont d'ordre économique, pas technologique. La Grande Bretagne dispose des meilleurs ressources en vent de tout le continent et l'éolien, malgré ses imperfections, offre une part non-négligeable de la solution. Quand on compare les dépenses du gouvernement britannique dans le nucléaire, la défense et les jeux olympiques, par exemple, avec celles pour la recherche dans les énergies renouvelables, je trouve ridicule que notre politique dans le domaine de l'énergie soit dictée par des facteurs purement économiques. Il est l'heure de faire face à la crise climatique et d'investir ce qu'il faut pour réduire les émissions de gaz carbonique.

Voici quelques chiffres sur les sources d'énergie en France. A noter que l'éoline est en forte progression, mais qu'il se trouve loin derrière l'énergie hydraulique:

Pour un bilan détaillé des parcs éoliens en France (février 2009):

Ce document serait très utile pour tout élève préparant une dissertation ou une présentation orale.


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I shall not produce vocabulary lists since the exam board specifications now offer these, with translations.

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AQA-style GCSE 2016 Photo card conversations (Higher tier)
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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…