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Teaching secondary modern foreign languages
Teaching secondary modern foreign languages

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2 How can the target language be used effectively in the classroom?

As you have seen, learning a language is not learning about the language but learning the language itself in order to communicate in that language. If this is the case, how can you as a beginner teacher create a more authentic context in the classroom for this to take place? One way of doing this is to use the target language as the main method of communication in lessons.

There is much debate regarding how best to implement this:

  • How much target language should be used in a lesson?
  • Is it appropriate to use target language in all circumstances?
  • How should target language be introduced with complete beginners?
  • How do you introduce new vocabulary about classroom routines?
  • How should translation and code switching be used?
  • What are the benefits of using target language as the main or sole means of communication in the classroom?

This section will address some of these considerations and help you to think about your own use of target language with students you teach.