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Lively languages

As a former head of languages in an all-boys school, I have found many ways to motivate boys in language lessons. Some of my tried and tested tips include:

* use software and online resources to encourage them to redraft their work. It's more fun repeating a task when it's ICT.

* compile a bank of materials on subjects such as sports and computer magazines, music tapes and videos and broch-ures in foreign languages.

* practical activities that have gone well include a fashion show to revise colours, clothing and agreement of adjectives.

In a fun atmosphere class management tips include being polite but firm, setting clear boundaries, and using humour while avoiding sarcasm.

Elaine Johnson is a foreign language consultant in Brighton and Hove

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