Last Chance to Read…!

This Saturday sees the launch of All Aboard!  All Abroad! Volumes 1-4, the new DVD series for MFL teachers looking to start or move on in teaching entirely through the target language.  Each volume looks at a different aspect of communicative language teaching, from presenting new language, through setting up interaction and routines and introducing progression, to identifying the principles of what makes target language teaching successful.  I’m really excited about this project, it’s one I’ve been working on for 18 months now and draws on lots of the work I’ve done with my classes in French, Spanish and English over the last 15 years.  There are Pause for Thought sections on each volume, which help you to think through the issues presented and apply them to your own teaching situation, whether you use them on your own or as part of a whole-department initiative.  Some of the articles from this blog have been edited and feature on the CDs that come with each volume as part of the further reading, so this is your last chance to read them before they disappear from the blog on Monday 18 June!

If you’re in London this Saturday, come along to the Association for Language Learning London June Event to be held at the London School of Economics.  I will be presenting my session, ‘Sowing Seeds for Spontaneous Speaking’, and Jeremy Harmer and Rachel Hawkes will be presenting their sessions during the morning too.  I’ll have all of my range of methodology DVDs with me in the exhibition, so come along, get a discount, and pick up some resources which will keep you going for the next year!

The articles which will disappear on Monday 18 June are:

Welcome back… and Happy Holidays!

After a spot of paternity leave following the birth of my beautiful daughter nearly three weeks ago, it’s now time for the Easter holiday!  On the blog this term we’ve looked at ‘Beginnings’ from different perspectives.  In the summer term we’ll take a look at some activities I’ve been having fun with this term and some alternative applications of some of the principles in the Sticky Grammar posts.  Quite a few of the readers of this blog are newly or recently qualified teachers and PGCE students – we’ll have a think about some issues surrounding wrapping up that first academic year and preparing for the next one, including juggling lesson-planning, report-writing and exam-marking in the summer term.  If you find the articles useful, like any of the material on this blog, please feel free to share them using the buttons at the bottom of each post.

I’m very much looking forward to a couple of INSET trips to the UK in the next few weeks.  One is for the PGCE MFL course at the University of Cumbria, Lancaster – this will be the 21st time I have been invited to run a day’s training there on teaching grammar communicatively through the target language, and I always love spending the day there!

Another is for the Association for Language Learning London Branch on 16 June.  I challenge anyone to find a more energetic, committed group of language teachers intent on encouraging others!  A couple of times a year they organise conferences in London with a range of practical sessions on offer.  My session, “Sowing Seeds for Spontaneous Speaking” will look at how the spontaneous language we want from a class (taking Year 7 as an example) by the end of the academic year can be set up in the September-October half-term through classroom interaction and topic language and then grown between November and July. We’ll look at some techniques for introducing and repeating the language and how to introduce progression in the structures pupils are using.  I will also have a stand in the Exhibition, so come along and say hello!  There will be special discounts available on my methodology DVDs and that day will see the launch of a brand new series of training materials for helping teachers either to get started or to move on some stages in teaching through the medium of the target language.  For more information on the day, click here.

So Happy Easter, enjoy the break, and we’ll chat again after the holiday!