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Showing posts from December, 2022

A worksheet experiment with ChatGPT

 ChatGPT , the AI tool for creating conversations, texts and no doubt much more, is all the rage at this start of December 2022. So I thought I would dip my toe in, since it clearly has possibilities for language teachers - the main one, as far as I can see it, being speed. So I asked ChatGPT "Parlez-moi de Francis Cabrel" (then the same for two other singers), and ChatGPT produced three short, factually and linguistically accurate texts in French. I chose to edit them very lightly. A bonus I discovered is that, because ChatGPT draws on its bank of formulaic language, you end up with a narrow reading activity, with similar turns of phrase being used in each of the texts. I would judge the level of the language to be around A2/B1 (CEFR) in standard - in this case suitable for a good GCSE or typical Y12 class in England. I chose to add my own exercises to ensure careful reading, plus some vocab building and writing. An optional extra task would be for students to research thei

My five most viewed posts this year

 As we approach the end of the calendar year, I thought I'd share the five most viewed posts I have written this year. Actually, I blog less frequently than I used to, but still managed to upload 49 posts, with this the fiftieth.  Generally, speaking teachers click on posts which feature practical lesson ideas, more than reflections on or summaries of research. A curriculum change also gets teachers clicking and it was a post about the proposed curriculum change for GCSE which topped my chart for 2022. As it turned out, what the exam boards came up with later in the year was, predictably, more of an evolution than revolution. Yes, the oral will have reading aloud and less conversation, and the listening test includes a dictation task worth a few more marks than I would have liked. We'll see how basing listening and reading texts on a more tightly defined high-frequency vocabulary list changes things. I suspect not much, since existing texts already strongly featured high-frequ

An A-level discussion lesson

Do you ever feel that you would like to do a lesson totally unconnected with the syllabus? Do you like the idea of your advanced level students just communicating with each other on thought-provoking subjects? You know how language acquisition works: comprehensible input and interaction = acquisition! Below is a set of questions/prompts which should get your quite proficient class talking. You don't have to join in, but you could be available when they get stuck for a turn of phrase or item of vocabulary. I'll give you my French prompts (from a worksheet on, then translate them in case you teach a different language. French version 1. Si vous pouviez changer une chose dans votre vie, cela serait quoi et pourquoi ? Est-ce que votre vie serait différente aujourd’hui ? 2. Quel est votre plus grand exploit dans la vie ? Pourquoi était-ce important ? 3. Si vous aviez un superpouvoir cela serait quoi ? Vous feriez quoi avec ? 4. Si les scientifiques découvraient qu