Title: Becoming an Outstanding Languages Teacher

By:  Steve Smith

Price: Paperback: £16.99

David Shanks

ALL Council Member and Harris Federation MFL Consultant

Following on from co-authoring “The Language Teacher Toolkit” (2016), Steve Smith has written another excellent book packed full of practical and easy-to-implement language teaching ideas. The book is an accessible and informative read for new MFL teachers and more experienced practitioners should also find plenty here to make the purchase worthwhile.

Becoming an Outstanding Languages Teacher goes light on explicit discussions of research, opting instead to place the practical “dissecting a lesson” chapters front and centre. These chapters shine a welcome light on possible teaching sequences, example activities and the minutiae of teacher-student interactions.

Chapters such as “Running a room”, “Purposeful games”, “Getting grammatical”, “Teaching all abilities” and “Moving them forwards” help ensure that Smith’s ideas don’t sit in abstract isolation and that they are linked to the realities of today’s languages classroom. Plentiful tables, boxes and tech tips support each chapter to good illustrative effect and up-to-date case studies in the final chapter offer some interesting methodologies as food for thought.

In summary, Smith has offered up a veritable smorgasbord of language teaching ideas for us to choose from, free from any methodological dogma. I suggest we enjoy the feast.

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