Last week, I just finished The Language Teacher Toolkit by Steve Smith and Gianfranco Conti. I started it earlier in the year but just now had the time to finish it all. It was a wonderful book, and I highly recommend it for any language educator or soon-to-be educator. After reading it, I felt validated as a teacher as well as inspired to use many of their ideas.
This book covers almost all aspects of language teaching, and it covers many different styles. I found that it was well-balanced, and the authors recommend this balanced approach to language teaching. They mention many popular teaching theories and discuss the merits of these theories. It also gives examples of many practical ideas to implement into your practice. All of the suggestions that they provide are backed up by research. Both Conti and Smith provide this research without getting too bogged down in the details to make it pedantic. As you can see before, I already started using more tongue twisters in class (and my students really enjoyed them!). I also found a new to me game and ideas for how to use more songs in my class. I added many sticky notes to the reading section as well as the listening section to shake up my activities with these topics.
This book is beneficial for any new teacher or veteran because there is something that I could use in my class the next day easily. I did not have to finish the book before I could start using some of the strategies. I know that I will also keep this book on my bookshelf when I am planning and use it to reference when I feel overwhelmed or my teaching feels monotonous. It felt like going to a comprehensive conference where I came away with many new ideas- for $35! Still not sure? Check out this excerpt from the book!