The Language Gym

CriticElt

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Gianfranco Conti’s The Language Gym is a blog, but really it’s a sales pitch for his book The Language Teacher Toolkit. Actually he’s the co-author but it’s hard to find the other bloke’s name.

There’s another web site too, with a front page that reminds me of Orwell’s 1984. Try it. I think it’s horrific, like you’re trapped, like you can’t get out, like you have to do the work out, like come on, sign up, follow. Conti’s approach to selling sends shivers up my spine.

The book is preposterous. It claims that the tools it describes can successfully help teachers to get learners to transfer knowledge held in some version of working memory to some version of long term memory, and then ensure some version of communicative competence. It’s gung-ho this-is-the-way crap. It’s soaked in half-baked references to SLA theory, and it gets it all wrong.

Conti and his co-author use the distinction between working memory and long term…

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One thought on “The Language Gym

  1. This blog post states “the book is preposterous” yet the author of the post, Geoff Jordan, has not read it. If he had he would know the name of the “other bloke”. I am the co-author, Steve Smith. Our book is a practical handbook for language teachers which refers to experience and research, but which primarily contains practical advice, examples of lesson plans and classroom activities.

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