Dissecting a lesson: using a set of PowerPoint slides | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)

I was prompted to write this just having produced for frenchteacher.net three separate PowerPoint presentations using the same set of 20 pictures (sports). A very good way for you to save time is to reuse the same resource in a number of different ways.

I chose 20 clear, simple, clear and copyright free images from pixabay.com to produce three presentations on present tense (beginners), near future (post beginner) and perfect tense (post-beginner/low intermediate). Here is one of them:

Below is how I would have taught using this presentation – it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea,…

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Parallel reading: Superheroes | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)


On oublie souvent que les vrais premiers super-héros nous viennent de la mythologie. Dans la mythologie grecque ou romaine on trouve beaucoup de personnages qui accomplissent des exploits remarquables : c’est le cas par exemple de certains dieux ou demi-dieux comme Hercule chez les Grecs ou Thor dans la mythologie scandinave (oui, oui le blondinet avec le marteau). Pour une fois, ça ne vient pas des Américains !

Le personnage du “surhomme” apparaît d’abord dans les fameux romans-feuilletons du XIXe siècle. Ces histoires paraissent sous forme d’épisodes de quelques pages dans les…

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Towards a programme of listening instruction | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)

Gianfranco Conti and I are gradually working towards publishing a book about teaching listening skills in the languages classroom. We hope to achieve our goal by around Christmas when the aforementioned volume could easily fit into your stocking!

The proposed title is Breaking the Sound Barrier, and both Gianfranco and I have written and spoken a number of times about the so-called Cinderella skill of listening. In prepping for this book, which will be mainly focused on practical classroom ideas, I have been re-reading John Field’s 2009 book Listening in the Language Classroom. Its main…

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Using authentic recordings in listening lessons | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)

This is a summary of and reflection on some key points from Chapter 14 of John Field’s book Listening in the Language Classroom (2009). Field is one if the most eminent researchers on listening and his meticulous book is required reading for anyone wishing to study this aspect of language learning. Chapter 14 focuses on the use of authentic recordings.

So, a few questions for you to begin with:

What do you consider an authentic recording to be?
Does your course include any?
How often do you think we should use them?
Should they be used at all levels, including beginners?
What are the issues…

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Jim Scrivener Teaching Tips | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)

Jim Scrivener is well known in the field of teaching English and has written, for example, a widely selling handbook called Learning Teaching  now in its third edition. There is a collection of his teaching tips at this site:

Here are a few from the site which made great sense to me as a modern language teacher-trainer.

Managing time 

“If an activity does start late or looks like overrunning, don’t wait until the end and then suddenly cut it short. Decide early on how to alter the activity so that it still achieves what you want it to do. It’s often better to speed up an earlier part…

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Latest additions to frenchteacher.net | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)

Below are new resources I have posted in the last month. As exams in England and Wales approach you should find some really useful stuff which could help your students. 

 If there are any particular resources you would like me to work on, just ask. I can always say no. But I sometimes say yes.

Key Stage 3 (beginner to low intermediate)
A picture with various exercises to practise prepositions. Vocab provided, then true/false, gap-fill, questions and oral pair work memory task. Could be used with a weaker Y8 group.  Perfect tense crossword – phrases to translate. Avoir and être verbs….

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Book review: Explicit learning in the L2 Classroom by Ronald P. Leow (2015) | noreply@blogger.com (Steve Smith)

A scholarly, highly referenced and occasionally entertaining book about the importance of awareness (consciousness?) in language learning and teaching, providing a detailed theoretical and research background to such notions as consciousness, attention, information processing, input, intake, working and long term memory, and learning itself. This is detailed material, tough at times (because the subject matter), but sweetened by the author’s lucid style, occasional use of metaphor for the benefit of readers without a research background, and his own acknowledgment of the complexity of the…

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