Greg Horton Special Mk III – Group Talk

December 1, 2013

Group Talk phrasesThe London Branch of the Association for Language Learning hosted another Greg Horton Special yesterday, inviting Greg to speak about his inspirational and award winning project for getting pupils to use the target language spontaneously and in an authentic way – Group Talk.

Following his previous visit about 18 months ago I got together with our lovely Hanban teacher and put together the following presentation to teach pupils the key phrases for introducing the first stage of Group Talk to the my Year 12 learners.  They responded incredibly well and with great enthusiasm;  they were able to see how the core phrases could be used across a range of topics.

To begin with we gave them the following sheet of these core Group Talk phrases laminated for reference on the desk, but as they grew more familiar with them the support became less necessary.  What is particularly gratifying is the fact that they will now come out with some of the core phrases at an appropriate moment during the normal course of a lesson.  For example, I might make a statement about something and they comment with 真的吗?! (really?!) or 我不同意 (I don’t agree) off their own bat.


Did you know……..?

March 2, 2013

Did you know that Regional TV programmes are the second most popular type of TV programme that Germans like to watch?  In the number one slot come news programmes with sport at number 3.  Crime and detective series are number 4 followed by programmes about politics and economics.

All this is according to the statistics put out by Statista.de and comes from a section entitled Toplisten.  This section of the website includes picture galleries of favourite snacks (fruit and raw food comes in at number 1), the most annoying things that women say (!), the actual most watched TV programmes in Germany, what Germans like to do in their free time and the most popular uses of a mobile phone amongst other things.

Statistics are an example of an authentic resource that can easily be exploited in the classroom:

  • For giving a cultural angle to whatever topic is being studied.
  • In a Group talk type speaking scenario;  if pupils have been learning the vocabulary for food and snacks they could be shown pictures of Germans’ favourite snacks and ask to speculate which they think comes top and why and compare it to their own favourites.
  • For practising numbers.
  • As a comparison to the results of surveys that they carry out in the classroom.
  • The short text that accompanies the pictures in the “Top lists” mentioned above could be used for introducing language and/or helping pupils develop strategies for working out the meaning of new words.

This website also has infographics which are ideal for use with KS5 classes, although some like this one on fast food could easily be used at KS3 and KS4 as well.

Sites that have statistics relating to France include Statistique publique   and Insee, although neither of these present the information in quite such a user friendly way as Statista.de….


Group talk – ALL London Greg Horton special

March 12, 2012

It was great to see so many people give up their Saturday morning to hear Greg give us the follow up session to his talk at the ALL London January event.  A report of the event has been posted on the ALL London website together with photos and the progression chart he showed us.


ALL London – Greg Horton special

February 29, 2012

Those of you who came to the ALL London branch January event will have heard Greg Horton talk about his amazing project Group Talk.  He has agreed to come back and give us part 2 of his talk which goes more into the nuts and bolts of delivering Group Talk on the morning of Saturday March 10th at Westminster Academy (near Royal Oak tube station).

He will deliver Part 1 of his talk again first, for anyone who missed it in January or who wants a refresher, and then do the second part.

Full details of the event and a booking form are available on the ALL London blog.