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Showing posts from May, 2020

Book review: Learning to Plan Modern Languages Lessons

Learning to Plan Modern Languages Lessons: Understanding the Basic Ingredients is written by Cheryl Mackay, a freelance educational consultant who is a former MFL teacher, Head of Department and tutor at St Martin's College in Lancaster (now the University of Cumbria) and Newcastle University. The book is published by Routledge and runs to just over 200 pages of A4. The stated aims of the book are to provide structured, practical starting points for beginning teachers, deepen understanding about the subject and how it is learned, develop understanding of planning lessons within a cycle and, finally, to enhance understanding of strategies and professional development opportunities to improve further planning abilities. The book is divided into four parts; 1.  Getting started (with a focus on drilling, target language use and the PPP model). 2.  Planning whole lessons (including structure, objectives, lesson examples and the lesson planning process). 3.  Planning for a balanced langu

A yes/no game to practise simple negatives

This simple game could be used once pupils have had some time being introduced to or revising the negatives ne... pas and ne... jamais . It's effectively a pairwork drill where pupils have to avoid saying yes or no. Unlike the well-known yes/no game, the structured nature of the task means pupils should not easily fall into the trap of saying oui/non , but it could be made competitive if you suggest they lose points if they do so. It might encourage the questioners to try hard to make their partner say oui or non . Here is the resource you could use (from Personne A      Oui/Non game Ask your partner the following questions. You must answer without saying oui or non . Every time you say oui or non you lose a point. Take turns with the questions. 1.           Tu vas au lit à sept heures du soir? 2.          Tu vas à l’église le dimanche matin ? 3.          Tu aides tes parents beaucoup à la maison ? 4.          Tu es membre d’un club au collège ?

An aural gap-fill pair task

Aural gap-fill pair task  (about 10 minutes to complete) Instructions for the teacher Here's a simple brief, low preparation  pair work task  with a focus on listening.  Partner A  is given a gapped text at the right level (about their current level of competence with little or no new vocabulary). There should not be many gaps, say about one missing word every sentence or two.  Partner B  has a list of words which can fill the gaps, but the words are not listed in the same sequence the gaps will be heard. You could add distractor wor ds to the list (words which  will  not be used). See the examples below. Partner  A  reads aloud at a slow - ish  pace the text, pausing when there is a gap. Partner B then chooses a word from their list which could plausibly fill the gap. Partner  A  then re-reads the sentence to include the new word supplied by Partner B. Then partner  A  reads on to the next gap, and so on. If the text is relatively short, I'd suggest that when Partner

A truth or lie game

Vérité ou mensonge ? I can't recall where this idea came from, but I think it's a cracker. Students work in pairs and ask each other questions from the list below. The student answering must always say they did the activity, whether they did or not . Then the questioner can ask any number of follow-up questions to try to establish if their partner actually did the activity or not. The questioner then has to decide if their partner has told the truth. The fun should arise as the interviewees use their imagination and skill to divert their partner away from the truth. The game would work with advanced level students or high-attaining intermediates (Higher GCSE). The English translation is provided if you want to use the game for another language.   1.     As-tu jamais volé quelque chose? (Have you ever stolen anything?) 2.     As-tu jamais fait un sport dangereux ? (Have you ever played a dangerous sport?) 3.     Es-tu jamais resté dans un hôtel quatre étoiles ? (Ha