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!