Hilary McColl, owner of this website, and Susan Thomas of MLG Publishing fervently believe that empowering learners to use the target language for immediate, practical communicative purposes in the classroom is a vital component of successful language learning. Teachers tend to agree that such a policy is needed, but putting it into practice often proves difficult, for various reasons, and enthusiasm wanes. Before finally retiring, Hilary and Susan have attempted to combine all their resources to provide materials and suggestions for overcoming some of these difficulties. We hope the ideas and resources will be helpful anyone who teaches a language, shares our convictions but doesn't know where to start.
This website provides the opportunity for us to contribute to the national discussion about using the target language in class. It will also allow us to add further materials as the work develops. We hope that visitors to the page will feel they can contribute to the additional language lists we plan to add here in due course.
Details of our earlier work to support increasing use of the target language generally can be found here:
SALT CONFERENCE 2015
Hilary McColl and Susan Thomas gave a seminar entitled Developing Classroom Language at the SALT Conference in Glasgow on Saturday November 7th, 2015. Here is the first of the PowerPoint presentations and the associated handout and survey.
If you have questions, comments or news, or if you would like to trial materials for us, or if you can return a completed survey sheet, please contact us by email at email@example.com.
If you spoke to Susan after the seminar about being willing to trial materials, please email us. Your details disappeared in the changeover...
It occured to us that the coloured sheets you filled in during the seminar could provide a starting point for the first draft of your classroom language syllabus! We've collated them below.
Other materials from the event will appear here over the next few days.
Download Presentation 1 (PPTX) (TIP: If you print out as 'notes' you will see frames and commentary.)
If you haven't come across Hilary's 5-stage cycle before, this will save you looking for it. It includes a bit on making a distinction between practice language and real language: Structuring learning (PDF)
My final point at the SALT Seminar was about recording language learned. Compiling an aide-mémoire has proved a useful way of doing this. Making an aide-mémoire (PDF)
A version of the points we made at the SALT seminar was subsequently written up and later published by SCILT in the Scottish Languages Review & Digest. Here's a copy of the pre-publication article:
It is our intention to use this website to recycle some of the materials we produced in earlier publications. We will also start to make collections of useful vocabulary that may be hard to find in dictionaries or in other collections of 'classroom language'. Sometimes we will be able to add some pictures, sometimes not. If you can contribute, please contact us!
REGISTRATION: We made, but eventually didn't publish, PowerPoint presentations in several languages for teaching and practising registration routines for developing use of TL. They need a page to themselves, so click here.
FURTHER READING – WEBLINKS & PRINT
[Links checked 3.2.15 unless otherwise indicated]
Languges without Limits
Increasing Use of the Target Language in Classroom Interactions An excellent and helpful article by Constance K Knop from a Canadian website. Full of sensible advice and practical suggestions. http://www.oomroom.com/resources/knop_article.PDF
Using the target language Notes for trainee teachers at the University of Alberta, Canada. http://www2.education.ualberta.ca/staff/olenka.bilash/Best%20of%20Bilash/targetlanguage.html
American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL)
Improving the quality of language learning in schools: Approaches to teaching and learning
Teaching in the target language
Links into Languages: Talking to Learn project
Speaking and Spontaneous Talk in the Languages Classroom
Hampshire Languages - Phonics
As others see us
Rejoinders and common expressions to keep the conversation going
Using the target language to discipline students
Talk so that pupils listen and listen so that pupils talk
The quiet revolution: transformational languages research by teaching school alliances
Interact! Learning through spontaneous speaking in Modern Languages
[15.1.16] Thanks to SCILT for this link!
[11.2.16] Unplanned talk
[13.5.16] Students' use of the target language