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English by Yourself

Voici une superbe intitiative pour les apprentis d'anglais, proposée par le CNED (Centre national d'enseignement à distance). Selon le site:

"English by Yourself a été conçu pour vous permettre, quel que soit votre âge, d’améliorer votre pratique de l’anglais (écrit et oral) en mettant à portée de clics un ensemble de ressources anglophones soigneusement sélectionnées par une équipe pédagogique pour correspondre à vos attentes et, si vous souhaitez aller plus loin, un ensemble de propositions pour construire un parcours de formation en adéquation avec vos besoins repérés.

Les ressources en ligne sélectionnées par nos experts sont des articles de presse, des animations, des podcasts, des mini-jeux, des vidéos, des jeux éducatifs, des jeux sérieux, des applications, des émissions de radio ainsi que des modules de formation.

Toutes ces ressources vous sont proposées sous la forme de billets qui vous permettent de découvrir d’un seul coup d’œil les caractéristiques d’une ressource : niveau requis, temps nécessaire pour la consulter, thème abordé, origine (USA, Australie, GB…), intérêt pédagogique, etc."

Le site est optimisé pour les navigateurs les plus récents et fonctionne bien sur iPad et d'autres tablettes. L'inscription est facultative et réservée aux plus de treize ans. Ces derniers peuvent créer un espace perso qui vous permet de suivre l'actualité en anglais, de connaître votre niveau à tout moment et de "modeler le contenu du site" selon vos intérêts.

Les ressources que j'ai regardées étaient toutes gratuites, mais, semble-t-il, certaines ressources sont payantes. Il faudrait approfondir le site pour en savoir davantage.

Le site fonctionne avec le soutien du British Council et de France Télécom. Il mérite d'être suivi par un public nombreux. Dommage qu'il n'y ait pas un site semblable au Royaume Uni pour les étudiants du français.


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

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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…