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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) continues to sell in large numbers around the world.

In 2019 I’ll be continuing to work with the PGCE and IPGCE students at Buckingham in February and May. I’ll be doing very occasional school CPD visits, either on my own behalf, or for AQA. I’ll be starting with a visit to Walsall on January 10th to lead a session on teaching grammar, with later sessions in Cambridgeshire and Portsmouth. In addition I’ll be presenting st Language Worldon March 22nd in Loughborough. My topic will be interpetsonal and task-based listening. If you want to book me, just ask and I’ll look at my diary. I don’t make my living out of running CPD, but sometimes say yes if I’m free and the job appeals to me. Mainly I enjoy being a teacher again, working with other teachers and talking about our craft.

Most excitingly, sometime in the spring Gianfranco and I are intending to self-publish our second book together. This one, called Breaking the Sound Barrier, is about teaching listening skills in the classroom. We are well ahead with the text and should end up with 200 pages of practical advice and activities, strongly rooted in Gianfranco’s “Listening As Modelling” approach. In reality, the bulk of the material will consist of specific tasks aimed at beginner and intermediate pupils. There is nothing else out there which so specifically looks at listening in MFL classrooms (rather than, say, EFL). Look out for more news on this soon.

I’ll be keeping frenchteacher.net fresh, of course. There currently over 1700 resources on the site and expect to see plenty of new additions at every level. Last year I built up a decent set of PowerPoints and sentence builder frames, while continuing to enhance all the textual and video material for GCSE and A-level. If you’d like me to. write any particular resources just get in touch and I’ll give it consideration.

Expect to see plenty of blog posts too this year. In 2018 I was a little less prolific than usual with around 100 posts and I often think I’ll run out of things to write about, then another set of thoughts come to mind! I’m open to guest posts too, so once again let me know if you have something to share but don’t have your own platform. Expect to see plenty of language teaching related tweets and Facebook posts. I’m most active on the GILT group, which now has its own Twitter feed. Check it out at @GILT_ FB.

In the meantime, thanks for reading and I wish you a Happy MFL New Year!

PS Let’s hope Brexit never happens and Trump resigns.


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