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Showing posts from December, 2019

How can we make sentence builders more communicative?

Many teachers are having success with their classes using sentence builder frames (substitution tables). these allow for quick wins with students, enabling them to receive comprehensible listening and written input with a series of scaffolded tasks, from which they can create their own output. The principle behind their use can be summed up: from comprehensible input to output.

But not everyone goes for these, and some anecdotal teacher feedback is suggesting that the most able classes enjoy using them less than than other groups. It's hard to know whether this is owing to the way the tables are used, or whether the principle itself is just not quite challenging enough for the best linguists.

In addition, one slight concern I have had with them is that the games and activities done with them are often based on paired or whole class reading aloud, transcription and translation. These are all well and good, but I have been asking myself if we can use them in more communicative ways.…

10 most viewed posts on my blog in 2019

Best wishes of the season to one and all!

It occurred to me today that I've been blogging for nearly eleven years. In that time I've written over 1500 posts and had over 2.2 million blog views. In 2019 I wrote 88 posts, rather fewer than usual. Either I am running out of things to write about (less probable), or (more likely) I have less time to write, what with travels to France and around the world with my wife, and other commitments, such as writing Breaking the Sound Barrier and keeping frenchteacher.net fresh with new resources.

So here are my ten most read blog posts of 2019, starting with 10th position and working up to the most read. By the way, my most read post ever with around 30,000 views, according to the stats on Blogger, was written in May 2016 and was titled New GCSE Resources on frenchteacher. (Not the most interesting post by any means, but in England if you use the four letter G C S and E, you often get plenty of reads.)

10.  Informed Language Teacher

This …