There are scenes that could have been left out, the knights on horseback fail to capture the wonder of a boy’s imagination. They are just a bunch of men dressed up as knights. But the story comes across, we know that Max and Kevin are seeing real knights, and the magic works every time. It has become an indispensable tool in my teacher’s kit.
I have found Embedded Readings, as developed by Laurie Clarq and Michele Whaley, an excellent way to encourage students to read. The idea, like all great ideas, is quite simple. You make three or more versions of the same text which increase in difficulty.
Some days, if I want to have some fun, I ask my francophone students how many verb tenses there are in English. Their guesses are all over the place, usually somewhere between ten and twenty. And they are guesses; no one is really sure that they know the answer to my question.
In Besançon Teri and I were hosted by Rachel, a lively English girl who gives private English lessons and teaches in a business school. She has given her company the very appropriate name of Smile, since it’s difficult to think of Rachel without seeing her radiant smile.