Check-out time at Humberside Hotel?

Tes Editorial

Sound, pictures, role play, music, the highlighting of key vocabulary, the repetition of words and phrases. Multi-media CD-Rom has enormous potential for teaching foreign languages, a fact which language teachers at Driffield School, Humberside have embraced.

One of the few schools in the country to have developed language units for GNVQ Leisure and Tourism, they have also produced their own CD-Roms, in collaboration with other teachers in Humberside, which they use across the curriculum.

As part of the school's aim to encourage self-study, students from key stage 3 onwards use CD-Rom graded readers in Spanish, French and German, and work on them at their own pace. The readers are suited to both vocational and academic courses, and have proved effective and popular, making language learning fun.

Humberside du Nord, and Humberside Hotel, two CD-roms about the region designed for geographical and tourism projects in French, have also been produced locally by staff. "CD-Roms are what we want in language teaching, " says Janice Sadler, Driffield's head of languages. "You can hear the sound and read the word simultaneously. You can get involved in wordplay, it's very effective."

Staff training and production of the CD-Roms came out of Driffield's TVEI funding because staff felt that the available commerical packages were poor and that producing their own would be worth the investment. It undoubtedly helped that they were able to use the region's TVEI offices in Hull equipped for CD-Rom production.

Nadine Johnson, a French teacher who helped to create the CD-Rom said: "These packages have been given to all schools in the area and are selling outside it. This is the best quality stuff for us. But we could not have done this without TVEI."

One of the major uses of TVEI funds in Humberside during the last two years has been the development of GNVQs. Driffield School which was the only county school to pilot GNVQs from the beginning and is now involved in piloting GNVQ Part 1, is apprehensive about life after TVEI. The school has received Pounds 36,000 annually through the scheme. "That is a lot of money suddenly not to have any more, " said Ken Johnstone, the school's deputy head in charge of the curriculum.

"TVEI has formed the backbone of our staff development and the majority of curriculum work for GNVQ has been paid for by it. When we have to prepare units of work for GNVQ we use TVEI funds to cover for staff."

GNVQs are expensive courses to develop for schools since they require extensive staff training. The school has used TVEI money for this and now provides GNVQ training to other schools. In addition, there are between 12 and 15 GNVQ curriculum groups of teachers across Humberside, all being funded by TVEI. "Without this, " said Mike Conquest the TVEI curriculum development co-ordinator for Hull and the East Riding, "schools would be achieving their present results three or four years down the line, to the detriment of pupils".

Driffield feels TVEI money has enabled it to develop GNVQs to required standards, but feels other schools without the benefit of this extra funding could not possibly provide the same quality of courses: Ken Johnstone says "we could not have made the commitment without this money".

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