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De retour

Juste un mot pour dire que les vraies vacances sont terminées et nous sommes de retour de Puyravault. On a passé trois semaines à la maison en Charente-Maritime, y compris trois jours avec nos amis Douglas et Isabelle (avec leur fils Thomas - un copain de Joel) et quatre jours avec mon ami d'école Jonathan et ses deux filles Naima et Yasmina.

On a eu du beau temps presque tous les jours et il a fait plus chaud que d'habitude dans l'ouest de la France, comme dans la plupart des régions. On en a profité pour aller à la plage sur l'Ile d'Oléron et sur la côte sauvage près de La Palmyre. Elspeth et Joel aiment bien faire du body-board, moi moins! Autrement on s'est amusés à faire de la barque dans les marais, on a visité La Rochelle plusieurs fois et on a fait des marchés de nuit. Celui de Surgères (le marché d'Hélène) est le plus animé. Ah, et on est retournés à St Palais sur Mer pour assister au festival de rock progressif Crescendo - le seul festival de rock progressif gratuit du monde!

On a découvert également St Jean d'Angely avec ses petites ruelles agréables et son abbaye.

Et, chose remarquable, Elspeth et mois avons fait un peu de footing presque tous les matins! Malheureusement, mon ventre reste très visible.

C'est le seul moment de l'année où j'arrive à lire un peu sérieusement. Eh bien, cet été j'ai lu D-Day: The Battle for Normandy de l'historien Antony Beevor, deux romans plutôt déprimants (mais bien) de Richard Yates. Ayant lu Revolutionary Road, il faut que je regarde le film du même nom. Le livre que j'ai apprécié le plus, c'est One Day de David Nicholls:

Sur DVD nous avons revu pas mal d'épisodes du West Wing et quelques Seinfeld.

Je n'ai pas encore vu les résultats des examens. J'aurai certainement quelque chose à dire là-dessus la semaine prochaine.


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Instead of getting students to transcribe immediately what you say, or what a partner says, you can enforce a 10 second delay so that students have to keep running over in their heads what they have heard. Some teachers have even used the delay time to try to distract students with music.

It’s an added challenge for students but has significant value, I think. It reminds me of a phenomenon in music called audiation. I use it frequently as a singer and I bet you do too.

Audiation is thought to be the foundation of musicianship. It takes place when we hear and comprehend music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. You can audiate when listening to music, performing from notation, playing “by ear,” improvising, composing, or notating music. When we have a song going round in our mind we are audiating. When we are deliberately learning a song we are audiating.

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Display around 15 sentences on the board, preferably ones which show language patterns you have been working on recently or some time ago.Hand out four cards or slips of paper to each student.On each card students must secretly write a sentence from the displayed list.Students then circulate around the class, approaching their classmates and reading a sentence from the displayed list. If the other person has that sentence on one of their cards, they must hand over the card. The other person then does the same, choosing a sentenc…

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To remind you, here is a typical sentence builder, as found on the frenchteacher site. The topic is talking about where you live. A word of warning - formatting blogs in Blogger is a nightmare when you start with Word documents, so apologies for any issues. It might have taken me another 30 minutes just to sort out the html code underlying the original document.

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A major challenge for language teachers just now is selecting and sharing work with students to do at home. Here a few suggestions on the issue to add to your own. The sites I mention are the tip of the iceberg and focus mainly on French. I have stuck to free resources, not subscription sites.

By the way, I'm not getting into the use of tech here, as I have no great expertise on that. In any case, I imagine for younger learners especially it may be a question of setting other types of work.


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