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August 23, 2007


University of Maine at Fort Kent Assistant Professor of French, Dr. Katharine N. Harrington, has co-authored a foreign language reference book, Recipes for Success in Foreign Language Teaching: Ready-Made Activities for the L2 Classroom, which provides classroom teachers with successful teaching strategies for foreign language instruction. 

Dr. Harrington and her colleague, Tina Ware, a professor of Spanish at Oklahoma Christian University in Edmond, Oklahoma, met as graduate students at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and have always shared teaching ideas together.  Harrington and Ware decided to put a book together of effective and fun activities for teaching French, Spanish and other foreign languages.  

“We sent out a call for contributions in the spring of 2005 and chose the 50 best language teaching ideas from foreign language educators all over the world.  In addition to editing the volume, I also contributed a teaching activity of my own: Bienvenue à l’ONU: Teaching Prepositions with Place Names,” said Harrington. 

Much like a collaborative cookbook is a collection of best-loved recipes, Recipes for Success in Foreign Language Teaching: Ready-made Activities for the L2 Classroom” is a collective volume of fifty teaching strategies, activities and ready-made lessons from language educators from all over the world. The lessons, both traditional and contemporary, are teachers’ personally-developed and road-tested second language classroom activities that will benefit all French and Spanish instructors. 

An eclectic mix of instructional approaches, the “recipes” address common beginner-level lessons, such as the teaching of verb tenses and other common grammar points, and essential target language vocabulary. It includes three categories of lessons and activities: those designed specifically for French classes, for Spanish classes or those that can easily apply to either language. 

Each “recipe” includes an introduction to the activity and an explanation of how to implement it in a classroom context. The activities are clearly described and user-friendly with step-by-step instructions written in a straightforward manner. In many cases, teachers are able to photocopy flashcards, handouts, games, and images directly out of the book for their own classroom use. This volume is designed as an everyday tool to complement any language teachers’ lesson planning. 

“We really enjoyed this project, so we are considering following it up with another future ‘Recipes for Success,’ said Professor Harrington.  “That project would be dedicated to a specific theme in language teaching,” she added. 

Recipes for Success in Foreign Language Teaching: Ready-Made Activities for the L2 Classroom is published by Lincom Europa of Munich, Germany; publishers of textbooks and handbooks for introductory and advanced courses in all academic disciplines.