The Language Teacher Toolkit (Second Edition)

Steve Smith & Gianfranco Conti

The Language Teacher Toolkit is designed with both practising and trainee (pre-service) teachers in mind and uniquely bridges the gap between research and classroom practice. The heavily revised second edition builds on the success of the first edition.

It is a comprehensive and clearly written handbook, particularly useful for teachers of modern foreign languages (world languages) who work in high schools (secondary education).

It offers copious up-to-date research references, along with many practical classroom activities and tips which can immediately be applied in daily teaching.

“Loved the original, and this updated version is better still. Thanks Conti & Smith!”

Reviews of the First Edition:

"A treasure chest for every language teacher."
(Languages Today, the magazine of the Association for Language Learning.)

"It's jam-packed with creative ideas for the classroom, and it's really inspired me."

"The best book I could get for my assignments during my PGCE. If you are a MFL teacher, you must buy it!"
Available from Amazon

Becoming an Outstanding Languages Teacher

Steve Smith
Becoming an Outstanding Languages Teacher (2nd ed, 2023) explores the skills that it takes to deliver effective language teaching. It's a perfect introductory book for new teachers, with useful reminders for more experienced professionals. Offering support to all language teachers, this clearly written book, free of jargon, offers a wide range of approaches to teaching and learning that will help to keep students engaged when studying languages.

" many good ideas that I have almost run out of page markers!"

Available from  Routledge and Amazon

Memory: What Every Language Teacher Should Know

Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti

This is an introduction to the cognitive science of memory and how it impacts language teaching. The 16 chapters examine different types of memory, how to build long-term memory, how we learn from errors, learnability, emotional factors affecting memory and building a memory-friendly curriculum. Along the way, we describe research studies and specific lesson activities, provide questions for reflection and links for further reading and watching.

“Sure to be another classic on every MFL department’s bookshelf.”

“Already given me a lot to consider and sprinkled with fun tidbits from memory research. Don’t let the topic intimidate you. Get this book and dive in!”

Available from Amazon.

50 Lesson Plans for French Teachers: Step by Step

Steve Smith

This book provides detailed descriptions of 50 French lessons, from beginner to advanced level. The book contains many photocopiable pages and links to PowerPoint slides on a dedicated free page of A range of teaching approaches and procedures are presented, the aim being to help trainee teachers (and others) develop their skill in lesson planning. Lots of planning tips are provided along the way.

“Excellent and clearly presented. The lessons have worked well with my classes so far.”

Available from Amazon.

Breaking the Sound Barrier: Teaching Language Learners How to Listen

Gianfranco Conti & Steve Smith

Published in 2019, this book is a research-informed guide about how to help students become more confident and effective listeners. The 12 chapters consider various aspects of the listening process: processing sound, lexical retrieval, grammatical parsing and meaning construction. Chapters cover phonology, vocabulary, grammar, interpersonal listening, task-based listening, assessment, listening-as-modelling, songs, strategies and curriculum planning. The book provides over 200 ready-to-go classroom activities with a focus on listening and would suit all teachers, whatever their experience.

“The most stimulating CPD read I’ve had in a long time.”

Available from Amazon.

Published in 2024, these workbooks are for students working towards the new specification GCSE French, first teaching from September 2024, first exam 2026. Each of the five units in each workbook contains a mixture of intensive Conti-style exercises, exam-style tasks (reading, role=play, photo cards) and knowledge organiser-style sentence banks. A4 photocopiable, 129 pages each book.

Available from Amazon here and here.