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Showing posts from December, 2018

Plans for 2019

I consider myself very fortunate in my semi-retirement. In particular I get to spend lots of time with my wife travelling around the world. 2018 saw us in our French house in Charente Maritime for about 10 weeks, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, Florida and Mauritius. Our train trip across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver was a highlight. This year we have trips to Guadeloupe, Florida, Costa Rica, France and (maybe) Japan lined up. In between our travels and my other pastimes, I still enjoy contributing to the world of modern language teaching. Last year I was pleased to present at MFL Alive in Ireland, take part in a podcast with American linguist Stacey Margarita, present a webinar for the Chartered College of Teaching, while presenting for AQA on A-level French and running three days for the trainee teachers at the University of Buckingham. My book Becoming an Outstanding Languages Teacher (2017) has sold well, receiving excellent reviews, while The Language Teacher Toolkit (2016

“Disappearing Text”

Thanks to Gianfranco Conti for reminding me of an activity I used to use a lot with beginner and intermediate classes. Let’s assume you’ve been working with a written text on the board. You’ve worked through a repertoire of interactions with the class - choral repetition, individual repetition, true/false, correcting false statements and traditional question-answer. You then want to fill around 5-10 minutes with more useful practice and input. Just tell the class to close their eyes, remove a few words or phrases from that same text, then ask them to reread aloud the text to include the missing words. Then tell them to close their eyes again and repeat the process, removing more words each time. Keep going until all or nearly all of the text has disappeared. Students enjoy short term memory activities like this. They get to hear and read language repeatedly, hold it in working memory and create more opportunity for that language to go into long term memory. In addition, the task is gre

An intermediate reading task: a holiday in the Charente Maritime

Here is a resource from, from the Y10-11 page. It would suit Higher Tier GCSE pupils (intermediate level), and also provides a nice model for an adapted piece of writing. Eric décrit ses vacances en bord de mer en famille en Charente Maritime (1) Bordée par l’Atlantique, la Charente Maritime est une destination (2) qui nous fait rêver depuis longtemps pour nos vacances en famille. Et c’est maintenant chose faite puisque l’été dernier, nous y avons passé un (3) merveilleux séjour entre les îles de Ré et d’Oléron. Comme ces îles étaient notre destination de vacances, (4) j’ai décidé de passer mon permis bateau, puisqu’il faut avoir ce document pour toute personne qui (5) compte faire des promenades en bateau. J’ai donc programmé, avant l’été, un stage à La Rochelle qui n’a duré que trois jours. Dirigées par un moniteur agréé, les formations théoriques (6) s’étalent sur trois demi-journées et quatre soirées. L’emploi du temps m’a laissé