I’m feeling the urge to get blogging again on teaching in the target language.
In these strange days of furlough, I’ve had a bit more time on my hands to write up some posts that have been bubbling away for a while, mostly related to conferences I’ve given in recent years on using linguistic routines and teaching grammar inductively in a target language classroom. I’ve tended to post materials on here for those who attended, but never had the time to write up the explanations for those who were not there. And the materials, of course, are only part of the picture. It’s how they are used that makes the difference to whether they will work or not. Many of the materials will make their way onto posts that are not password-protected. Many posts will probably be a bit long, but if they only told half of the story, there would be no point and tips for teachers only get us so far, but if they’re helpful, that’s good.
As always, these posts are written with the intention that anyone else who wants to jump on board with target language teaching might find some help here. They are not written from a position of having got everything perfect in my own classroom. Nope. But I have read a few bits and pieces online recently telling us that you can’t use the target language for this, and you can’t use the target language for that, but … I do. So anything I put on here is written in the spirit of trying to make a positive contribution, sharing a few materials and ideas, not to stoke a heated debate!
Some teachers, for all sorts of understandable reasons, give up on target language teaching quite early. Hopefully some will find encouragement here to have another go one day when we have some degree of normality back again. I’ve been really inspired by a large number of teachers I’ve bumped into at conferences who have stuck with it, often under difficult circumstances, and who have pushed beyond the basics of target language teaching, innovating and creating, trying out new ideas and adapting old ones and who have done amazing things with their classes, just by plugging away. I salute you! Hopefully you’ll find things here that you can use too.
So, as routines are the absolute basis for me in target language teaching, first up very soon is: Routines: What, why, who, when, how?