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My 50 Lesson Plans for French Teachers is published



I'd originally planned to write this book early next year, but when lockdown happened I decided to get on with the job and worked solidly on it through March, April and May.  Then my wife (and editor) Elspeth Jones worked on the editing and formatting of the book for independent publication on Amazon. I am also grateful to Steve Glover and Nathalie Kaddouri of dolanguages.com for checking through the French, as well as the general content.


How did it come about?

Well, when I wrote Becoming an Oustanding Languages Teacher (Routledge, 2017) I included a few chapters bearing the title "Dissecting a lesson". I thought teacher trainees would find it useful to see how a lesson plan can be broken down into steps, with careful analysis of questioning techniques and other procedures, such as how you might use a sentence builder or run an information gap lesson. So this new book is an extension of that principle: careful descriptions of 50 lessons, broken down into steps, to help teachers think about how to build a lesson.

What's in it?

From the outset I was keen for the book to show a range of methodologies and procedures. With that in mind, the lessons feature aspects of communicative language teaching, lexicogrammar (sentence building, narrow listening/reading and chunking à la Conti, oral-situational teaching (question-answer and drilling of various types), knowledge organisers, task-based language teaching and even a little traditional grammar teaching, with grammar-translation. In the introduction to the book I do make the point, however, that all the lessons feature a lot of target language use, comprehensible input and interaction. Most lessons integrate the different skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

20 lessons are written for near beginners (roughly KS3 or the first two or three years of learning), 20 are for intermediate level (KS4 or GCSE) and 10 are written for advanced level (6-7 years of learning). Each lesson includes a rationale for its use, so there are light references to research points such as input, rehearsal, recycling of chunks, retrieval practice, cognitive load and spaced learning, for example.

Nearly all of the lessons come with accompanying resources. These are either photocopiable sheets (the book is A4 size) or PowerPoint slides which are freely available on my frenchteacher.net site (search Free Stuff, 50 Lesson Plans). many of the resources are adapted from ones on frenchteacher.net, though a few have been freshly written.

I don't claim any great originality for the lesson plans. They are not flashy or gimmicky, but they do offer ready-made lesson examples, or models to adapt. All the lessons or lesson types have been used by teachers, including me.  For example, Lesson 1 is a traditional opinion survey lesson on school subjects, but could easily be adapted to other topics such a favourite pastimes or foods). I have also included lots of space for note taking, so just like a cooking recipe, you can tweak lessons as you wish.

I don't recall seeing a book quite like this before and I do think it will be extremely useful, especially for teachers learning their craft.


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