Faculty Room Director, Niven Whatley, has written and resourced an educational toolkit for teachers of Language-based subjects entitled:
A Million Modern Language Lessons
Please see the publishers proposal for this book below and if you are interested in more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are in the process of adapting the book to be an elctronic tool for both teachers and learners of languages, as well as an app for use on smartphones, computers and tablets.
We are also currently working on creating VLE resources with associated contents of the book and on adapting the contents and style to serve as a tool for teaching and learning any subject.
1. Statement of aims and outline of the rationale behind the book
- This book is a modern and innovative working compendium of teaching and learning strategies, pedagogy, lesson activity plans and classroom resources.
It comes in two key sections and is written coherently around the core themes of motivational teaching, classroom behaviour management strategies, insights into learner psychology, and modern day ideas for improving the fun, engagement and effectiveness of language learning for students of all ages.
The first extended section of the book explores the links and differences between early age, primary, secondary and further education, as well as important features of adult language learning and draws chronologically on the most important cognitive, behavioural and motivational aspects which teachers need to embrace in order to provide a full, relevant and enjoyable learning experience to their students. In this section there are academic essays, motivational ideas and resources, planning, revision and evaluation ideas and a step by step look at current, recent and proposed features of such things as the National Curriculum, interim government reviews and teachers’ observations of the best techniques for strengthening student progress in grammar, vocabulary and communication.
As the author I have a wide range of teaching experience, both in the teaching of Modern Foreign Languages (in British, Spanish and American High Schools, as well as to private adult and junior learners) and in the provision of structured, interactive and intensive English as a Foreign Language learning (in China, Spain and the United Kingdom), and I have drawn on observations, success stories and evaluations from my own experience, as well as that of numerous colleagues, lecturers and students of all age groups. In this way, I feel there is a lot of strong, current and relevant material to inspire better language teaching, reinforce and expand on international teacher training courses and bridge the gaps between the learning needs of different age groups in this first section of the book.
The second section of the book presents the idea of “A Million Modern Language Lessons” and it follows the conventions of having three parts to a lesson (starter activity, development activities, plenary activity). The whole of this second section is divided into detachable, traffic light-coloured page-width cards, which are around one third of a page length deep. The impression given is obviously of a three-part flick book and the colour of the cards represents the progression of the lesson from red, through amber and into green (from new learning objectives, through experimentation and learning processes, towards mastery of the learning outcome). The three banded cards can be flipped over randomly or with more careful consideration by the language teacher using the book and the result will be a ready-made lesson activity plan at their fingertips: at the top of the page will be a red starter activity idea, below this an amber extension classroom activity and at the bottom is a green plenary activity plan. Each card has a named activity and brief explanation of how a teacher might use it with their class as a tool for teaching whichever topic or objective is required. There is also a small, simple display stand for the traffic light cards to slot into, to ensure that both teacher and student can see the outline of the learning progression and refer it back to their learning objective and to their intended outcome. This sharing of the learning process is important in itself, since it is a hugely visual way of involving learners in their own progress, it provides an at-a-glance view of a lesson to any late arrivals, classroom visitors, OFSTED inspectors in schools or less capable learners and also because this saves the time, paperwork, confusion and stress of a teacher having to always rack their brains to devise, plan, prepare and introduce several lessons every day. With this system they can be sure to have easily-tailored, innovative, varied and engaging lessons every time by simply doing a mix and match on any one or several from each of the three parts and benefit from 100 starters, mains and plenaries. Including all possible variations, the second part to the book therefore allows instructors and students access to at least a million complete lesson plans, but is effectively a limitless resource bank of lesson ideas.
- Teachers, schools, the governments of countries worldwide and of course learners themselves are always going to be driven by the desire to provide and receive excellent, effective and engaging language lessons and there are obviously existing books on the market, such as “The Teacher’s Toolkit”, “The Behaviour Guru” and “100+ Ideas for Teaching Languages”, amongst many others. These have all received acclaim and recognition, however my book goes into far more explanation of HOW to provide the best language learning and offers a wider, more useful, more adaptable, more creative and far more time-saving tool for teachers to use in their preparation and practice.
1. Synopsis and chapter headings
- Below is a list of what is included in the book already and then a brief introductory synopsis to explain what the purpose, aim and design of the book are.
- Outstanding teaching
- Primary and early age teaching
- Literacy planning
- Early age literacy
- MFL in primary
- Pastoral in primary
- Links between primary and secondary teaching
- Key stage 2
- KS 2 curriculum
- KS 3 curriculum
- From my observations of KS2 and KS3
- Development of the National Curriculum
- Changes to the MFL National Curriculum
- Nuffield Report
- The Dearing Interim Review
- Rose Report
- Behaviour for learning in schools
- Contract of learning and behaviour
- Essay 1 – Strategies used by adolescents as they learn
- Essay 2 – The constraints on adolescent learning
- Action research – Pupil Pursuit
- Original action research – intellectual and emotional
- development issues in MFL teaching and practice
- Placemats or wall displays with level and progress
- indicators for students and teachers
- Linking up learning
- Vertical learning
- Behaviour clubs
- Student language leadership initiative
- Language cricket series
- Language plays and assemblies
- How to progress from young learners towards school
- leavers and vocational language learning
- Extended written and spoken presentations
- Encouraging the use of target language in the classroom
- Common usage placemats
- Strengthening and supporting grammar for students
- Verb tables
- Using the recognizable: images and acronyms
- Using the recognizable to help prepare work
- Six hats debate and preparation
- Project planning
- Checking work and preparing for success
- Teaching adults
- Planning your language lessons
- Detailed planning of individual lessons
- Evaluating your lessons
- A MILLION MODERN LANGUAGE LESSONS
- Resource 1 – Class entrance ticket
- Resource 2 – Class exit ticket
The working lives of school, academy and institute teachers and tutors is well known for being hectic and busy and it is not unusual to hear teachers talking about how long they spend devising, planning, preparing and evaluating lessons for their students.
This book is designed to reduce some of that time and to step in wherever inspiration and time might be in short supply.
I am a qualified and experienced teacher of Modern Languages and of English as a Foreign Language, and as such I am continuously looking for new lesson ideas and for ways to ensure that my own teaching is as effective and innovative as possible and that it leads to the best possible progression and outcomes of my students.
The idea behind the presentation of A Million Modern Language Lessons follows the conventions of having three parts to a lesson, and with 100 starters, 100 development activities and 100 plenaries, teachers can simply mix and match any one or several from each of the three parts and thus benefit from up to 1,000,000 different lesson plans.
The earlier and the concluding part of the book includes essays, information, guidelines and resources which teachers, tutors and trainees can dip into as and when it suits them, and I hope that readers will find the contents and resources, together with the lesson activity ideas to be useful, creative and time-saving tools in their own future teaching preparation and practice.
- In this book there will be: 100 detachable red starter activity cards; 100 detachable amber development activity cards; 100 detachable plenary activity cards; 2 extended essays; 1 piece of original action research; 2 pupil pursuit case study activities; around 30 tables; around 15-30 classroom “place-mat” student support resources; 1 design for a display stand; around 20 diagrams or images; and around 20 other separate resources for students and instructors to use.
- As it stands, with the book already written and excluding the additional resources which are still to come, the book currently stands at about 25,000 words.
- The typescript is almost completely written, and the additional resources which need to be written and designed can certainly be ready within 2 to 3 weeks.
- I have a printed, but unformatted version of the book already, should you wish me to come forward and display it to you, and I have electronic copies saved as well. I will provide photographs of the different sections, a few of the printable resources from the book, a sample of the lesson plan ideas and two chapters of one of the extended essays together with my proposal and the above introduction for you to consult.
- I have already shown brief snapshots of the book and discussed the aim and intent of the book with various MFL and EFL schools and teachers and I have received universal approval for the idea, which makes me hopeful about success in publishing it.
2. A description of the target market
- This book is primarily targeted at teachers, trainee teachers and language or EFL tutors. Some discussions within the first section of the book are specifically written with United Kingdom school teachers in mind, since there are reviews of National Curriculum, governmental reports and links between key stages of education, however there are also sections about early age teaching, further education and adult learning and all activities in the lesson plan second section are designed to be useful for teaching both Modern Foreign Languages and English as a Foreign Language to students of all ages in all countries or education systems.
- The book will be particularly useful to PGCE students, Trainee Teachers and Newly Qualified Teachers as well, since it provides a simplified but wide-ranging exploration of many of the areas of child protection, pedagogy and practice covered in induction courses and certificates and also provides a structure through which the strains of lengthy planning, delivery and evaluation of teaching can be facilitated and shortened.
- It is aimed at both an undergraduate and a postgraduate student audience.
- It is a mixture between research writing, textbook and reference work and is also a resource tool for lesson plans, classroom displays and classroom learning resources.
- As a research work, it could sell to bookshops, training centres, public and academic libraries.
- The subject area of the proposal is widely taught and researched, and education both within the UK and worldwide is a key focus politically and economically currently. Language and EFL teaching will always be a huge focus and the quality and success of teaching and learning of languages are in the spotlight now more than ever as the world moved closer together and education markets become ever more competitive. Furthermore, in the UK in recent years and in all the plans for the future of primary, secondary and tertiary education, there have been huge steps taken nationally to boost the importance, rigour and efficacy of language teaching. There are proposals from September for Primary Schools in England and Wales to offer at least one Modern Language as a minimum; in Secondary Schools, the English Baccalaureate is already being used as a benchmark for school and pupil performance at GCSE and this includes 1 foreign language together with English, Maths, Science and a Humanity subject; most 6th form colleges and FE institutions require evidence of a successful secondary qualification to allow enrolment; certain universities will only accept applications from students with a language.
- Finally, in terms of EFL teaching, English is already the world business language, the EFL teaching market is a massive global phenomenon which grows exponentially each year, and in which I have worked as both a teacher and as a Media Sales Executive and Conference Organiser for a well-known publication called Language Travel Magazine. (Hot House Media).
3. A list of the main competing and related books
This book will be entering a competitive and well-read market, due to the factors previously discussed, but will have the edge over competitors in the following ways:
Current competitor books Why my book is a better option
“100+ Ideas for Teaching Languages” My book offers considerably more lesson ideas
(Nia Griffith) and presents them, together with important
complementary reference materials, in ready-
structured formats for teachers and students.
“The Behaviour Guru” This book offers behaviour management strategies
(Tom Bennett) for teachers, but mine does this in a way to
complement and indeed boost Modern Language
teaching specifically. My book also has learning
activity ideas, which it does not.
“Meanings Into Words” This book provides learning activity ideas for English
(Adrian Doff et al.) as a Foreign Language teaching, but is far more
dated and limited than mine and does not allow
as much scope for teaching learners of all ages and
“Au Point” This is a text book for French classrooms, but
(Michèle Deane et al.) although it is rigorous in its high level of teaching,
it, like most other such text books, focuses too much
on teacher-led reading comprehensions and
“The Teacher’s Toolkit” This is widely used by teachers of all subjects
(Paul Ginnis) to provide variety of learning activities and
promote independent and active learning by
students. It is a good book and is very useful,
however it does not put the lesson activity ideas
into a lesson structure and it also makes some
ideas over-complicated, without providing a
subject-specific context for them.
- The book is of a consistent academic quality and follows a logical structure around a coherent theme.
- There is a balance between pedagogical information, relevant background observation and simple, useful lesson activities.
- There will be resources available for teachers to use together with the book, both for classroom use, but also as wall displays etc. and I would be prepared to work towards making an accompanying CD rom and/ or online tool as well.
- It will appeal to an international audience and I have also already begun planning potential similar books in a series, which could be more tailored to other academic subject teaching and learning.
- All chapters are written by myself.
- I have already received messages of interest and compliment from fellow teachers, school management and linguists who have seen snapshots of what I am proposing.
Additional student, reader and instructor resources
Instructor / Student Resources
- Reference essays, reviews and observations.
- Behaviour management and learning motivation hints.
- PowerPoint Presentations.
- Over a million usable lesson planning ideas.
- Classroom wall display and place mate learning support materials.
- A CD Rom and/ or online accompanying resource.
- A stand upon which to place the traffic light-coloured learning activity plan for learners and teachers to follow. (Design pictured below).