From Penelope Moffatt
Testimonial by Penelope Moffatt, Professor of English at la Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Sociales - Université de Poitiers
Object: Recommendation of Marianne Raynaud’s English teaching methods, in view of the publication of her book QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Book explaining these methods
To whom it may concern:
I hear that Marianne Raynaud has written a book entitled QualityTime-ESL: The Digital Resource Bookwhere she explains her teaching methods to a younger colleague. As a former colleague of Marianne Raynaud, I would like to warmly recommend the publication of such a book, which could be of great interest to the English teaching community worldwide. Thanks to her infective enthusiasm as well as her valuable experience, Marianne taught me a great deal about English teaching in the two years we worked together, even though I was already 30 years old and had nearly ten years of teaching experience behind me when I started working with her. Along with Jonathon Upjohn, (author of the Minimum Competence in Scientific English series), I consider Marianne Raynaud to have had the most positive influence on my teaching methods of all the colleagues I have ever worked with.
Essentially, I learned a method of making students improve their English both effectively and efficiently. In their two years at the CPPG, the Classe Prépa of the INPG, the students made remarkable progress in English, becoming good communicators, both on the one-to-one level and in front of an audience, and learning to write correctly, clearly and concisely.
At the same time, I learned what a pleasure teaching such an intensive program can be. Classes were always a pleasure, with varied and motivating activities. The fact that for half of the class (one hour out of the two-hour classes), the students were working autonomously on pre-prepared material (listening comprehension, grammar, vocabulary and translation activities, soundtracks from videos, songs and so on) in the language lab, and could correct their own work using the ’keys’ provided, meant that I, as the teacher, was free to give individual attention to one student at a time, which proved most effective and satisfying. Most of the time, we used this individual attention time for "tutorials" (two students per lesson, one at a time), but we also had ’interviews’ (two students together, interviewing each other), and oral tests, which worked remarkably well. The other hour of class, out of the language lab, was also a lot of fun: there were prepared student activities (surveys, projects, talks, interactive activities) as well as spontaneous oral production (snappy debates, negotiating, various pair-work activities, and so on). We also managed to find time to watch and discuss extracts of video documents (whose tape scripts the students had already worked on in the language laboratory), and to film the students’ original sketches, which was always a great success.
Two central points in the "Marianne Raynaud method" are teamwork and timing. Working as a team is obviously more efficient and more satisfactory (for the students’ sake as well as the teachers’) than working in isolation. (This seems obvious, but a remarkable number of teachers of English here in France seem unaware of it.) Timing is also essential to this method: optimal use of time is important in today’s fast-moving world; and Marianne’s students learned to get their point across in a given time. (This ranged from one minute, in the first lessons and early oral exams, to fifteen minutes, for the final talks in pairs.)
For all the above reasons, I recommend most strongly the publication of Marianne Raynaud’s book of advice and catalog of materials for teachers of English. I am convinced it will be valuable and motivating to experienced as well as novice teachers, and I am sure it is a pleasure to read.
I am looking forward to reading the book once it has been published,
Professor of English at la Faculté de Droit et des Sciences Sociales - Université de Poitiers
Qualifications: BA Oxford University in French and Italian literature; TEFL RSA certificate; DEA (French equivalent of a Masters degree) specializing in Scottish urban literature; Agrégation en anglais (competitive exam enabling one to teach as a civil servant in the French national education system.) Currently holding a tenured position at ENSAIS and working on a European research project aimed at applying the TRIZ methodology of Inventive Problem Solving to the teaching of English.