Happy New Year!  ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!  Bonne Année !

Thank you for joining me again in a new term.  When I started writing this blog in February 2011, it was mainly as a way of forcing myself to be specific in my thinking about what I am trying to do with my classes as well as responding in some depth to some of the very varied questions that come up during consultancy visits to schools or in conferences.  I’ve always been a convinced target-language teacher and I’ve always been interested in the “Yes, but how?” perspective, but I had no idea how much interest there would be from others or how far afield it would stretch.  It has been a real encouragement, therefore, to welcome on board during the course of this last year readers of a whole range of experience, from PGCE students to NQTs, teachers with a couple of years behind them to Subject Leaders, senior managers, Heads and advisors.  WordPress tells me that readers of this blog are joining us from 21 countries, most of them from the UK, USA and Spain, but also from Ireland, France, Canada, Mexico, Antigua, Honduras, Brazil, Russia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Angola, Nigeria and Libya.  Thank you very much indeed for your interest and for the kind words I have received.

As we are at the beginning of a new year, it’s all about beginnings on this blog, too.  Next week, we’ll take a trip back to the start of the academic year and look at how an NQT or someone who is relatively new to target-language teaching might take stock of the autumn term with the benefit of hindsight and use that to plan for the spring term.  We’ll also think about how next September might be approached slightly differently based on what actually happened this year.  We’ll also be taking a look at some lesson beginnings, activities to blow away the cobwebs of English and focus pupils on communicating in the target language right from the beginning of the lesson.

2012 looks like a busy year ahead (is there any other sort?!).  This year sees the publication of two new DVD resources which have been 18 months in the making, one in the summer, a detailed guide to techniques for getting going with target-language teaching, and then another in the autumn, a step-by-step approach to teaching advanced grammar, which builds on the Teaching Grammar Through The Target Language: Mission Impossible? series released last year.  Also, once I have the nod from the organisations concerned, I’ll post information here about the public events coming up in London in which I will be providing a session or a day’s training.

So, batteries all re-charged?  Happy New Term!