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Quel temps fait-il?

Selon AFP:
Les Britanniques passent six mois de leur vie à parler météo
LONDRES — Obsédés par l'état du ciel, les Britanniques passent en moyenne l'équivalent de six mois de leur vie à discuter de la météo, selon une étude publiée vendredi.
Les spéculations pour savoir s'il va faire beau ou non, les récriminations contre le froid ou la chaleur fournissent le principal sujet de conversation avec des étrangers ou des relations d'affaires pour 58% des Britanniques, montre cette étude.
L'enquête, effectuée par le très sérieux institut de sondage ICM auprès de 2.018 personnes, établit que les Britanniques parlent de la météo pendant au total 49 heures chaque année, ce qui en fait le premier sujet de conversation devant le travail, la télévision, le sport ou les potins.
De plus 19% des personnes âgées de 65 ans ou plus estiment être capables de prévoir le temps aussi bien que les météorologues professionnels.

J'ai toujours eu l'impression que les Français parlent autant de la météo que nous autres sujets de sa gracieuse majesté. Il y a plus de vingt ans j'allais régulièrement dans le Vaucluse (on faisait un échange avec un lycée à Orange). A chaque fois quon entendait le moindre bruissement des feuilles dans les arbres on me disait: "c'est le Mistral". Ils ne savaient pas que la météo m'intéressait pas mal - je suis anglais, c'est normal. La plupart du temps ce n'était pas du tout le Mistral. En linguistique on appelle ce genre de communication entre les gens la "communion phatique" (phatic communion). Ce gebnre de communication joue un rôle fondamental. Voici une définition:

La communication phatique se réfère à ces stades de transition dans lesquels les interlocuteurs pratiquent des conversations conventionnelles, stéréotypées et triviales mais qui servent à établir une certaine harmonie et une bonne dynamique communicationnelle entre eux. Dans la phase d’ouverture d’un dialogue, la communication phatique permet de trouver un langage commun, un champ sémantique partagé de même qu’à établir des formes de hiérarchie et des relations entre participants.
A cet égard les Anglais (et les Français d'ailleurs) ont un avantage par rapport à certains peuples, car nous sommes gâtés en ce qui concerne l'intérêt de notre climat.  Je me demande sur quels sujets les habitants de l'Arabie Saoudite se penchent quand ils ouvrent un dialogue.


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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…

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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…