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Video listening update

One of the innovations I am most happy with on is the concept of "video listening". Some time ago I began adding worksheets to the site which link to online videos. For me this is handy because it avoids copyright issues and for teachers the resources should be very convenient since sheets can be printed off and given to students for either self study in school or at home, or presentation from the front of the class with projector.

My impression with classes was that that they were more motivated to listen when they could also see something, even a simple face to face interview.

A survey I have done suggests plenty of teachers are making use of these listening worksheets. I only ever create worksheets I would have used myself in class. It may sound immodest, but I had a pretty good sense of what worked!

I have sheets at all levels, but with more at advanced and intermediate level. Easy listening online is much harder to find. My Free Samples page is here.

Here are the topics covered at advanced or adult level:

Talking about sport
Why learn French?
Christmas in France
The Eiffel Tower
Song: Une bonne et heureuse année
Tablets and smartphones
Legalising c....bis
Love and marriage
Internet safety
Health - making vegetable soup
Holiday plans
Military school
La Ligue contre le cancer
Describing a film
Cinema - Etre et avoir extract
National stereotypes
La Terre est ronde - song by Orelsan - materialism, happiness...
La corrida (song) - bull-fighting
Savoir aimer - love
Hors saison song - relationships
Derniers baisers song - holidays, relationships
Describing a holiday
Alternative energy
Job interview advice
Assisted dying
Forensic science - interview with a coroner
Animal rights
Bullying at school
Massed brawls of football hooligans
Beauty pageants for girls
Madame X - song by Cabrel about poverty and inequality
Châtelet Les Halles - song by Florent Pagny about life in the inner city
Villes nouvelles
Restos du coeur
Genetic modification
Deadly pollution in Italy
Extreme weather and climate change
Carbon capture and storage
What is democracy?
20th anniversary of the Channel Tunnel
The new Zoo de Vincennes - from BFM TV/Youtube
International Garden Festival, Chaumont-sur-Loire - from
Monet’s garden in Giverny – from Youtube
Comté salad recipe – from Auchan/Youtube
Appetiser recipe – from LeChefTV/Youtube
Boeuf bourguignon recipe - from 750 grammes/Youtube

Here are the intermediate (GCSE) resources:

Future tense - song Octobre by Francis Cabrel
Why learn French?
Family - a mother describes her daughters
Food - report on a Strasbourg restaurant
Health - walking
Health - Peppa Pig video on exercise
Home life/DIY - Peppa Pig - Papa accroche une photo
Home life - Peppa Pig video - une chasse au trésor
Health/sport - roller blading in paris
Holidays - talking about favourite holidays
Peppa Pig - Polly va en vacances
Peppa Pig - La fête de l'école
Peppa Pig - A la plage
Describing a film
Guided tour of Lyon
Funny talking animals

Finally, here are the few resources for post beginners:

Peppa pig goes shopping
Buying groceries
Daily routine
 Trotro joue à cache-cache - video listening
La famille Berrow


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"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)

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"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…