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Planning to write a book about teaching A-level languages

I like to have a project, and I recently suggested to my friend and fellow former languages teacher Steve Glover that we could do something useful to help teachers develop their skill at teaching A-level languages. The provisional title of our book is Teaching A-Level Modern Languages

My own expertise in this field is as a teacher who taught A-level French for 32 years and who writes a lot of resources for A-level teachers and students. I am well read about second language acquisition and, as you may know, have written a good deal about language teaching already, including with Gianfranco Conti. 

Steve Glover runs the website (formerly and has a great deal of expertise in the production of resources for A-Level. He also taught A-level when he was a full-time teacher and he now writes and runs courses for teachers. Steve was a pioneer in using internet technology for language teaching - I first came across his work when he made The Really Useful French Teaching Site. (I hope I recall that correctly.) 

Steve and I have often chewed the cud about language teaching over the years, notably during walks around the countryside of northern England. I am looking forward to this collaboration - it's long overdue.

As far as I know, there is no book covering all aspects of A-level teaching at the moment, although I often recommend the excellent book by Kaherine Raithby and Alison Taylor on teaching literature at A-level. I reviewed it here. (If you teach literature, you should really get this book.)

We are in the early planning stages, but you can expect us to cover areas such as: general principles such as the role of input and communication, exploiting aural and written texts, interculurual understanding, task-based methodology, teaching film and literature, preparing for assessment and developing essay-writing skill. We shall no doubt look carefully at the various specifications, on the assumption that there will be no major changes in the next very few years. Let's see what the Labour government want to do. We may also get into international A-levels and IB - we'll see.

We shall give examples of lesson plans and a multitude of specific activities which we know work well at advanced evel. The book will be useful for teachers in training, recently qualified teachers and more experienced practitioners. (Yes, writers often say that, but I know from my own long experience, that even veteran teachers have plenty to learn and frequently welcome different ideas.)

We expect this project to take a few months, but in the end we hope to produce something of real value for language teachers in England, Wales and elsewhere.


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