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Get off to a flying start

Valerie Hall previews lots of useful features and activities in Petit Pont 2, a vibrant French resource for primary pupils

Following on from Petit Pont 1, version two builds on children's familiarity with people and places, leading them into new areas of language and culture. The approach provides for a wide variety of learning styles and the accompanying key stage 2 teachers' guide contains numerous teaching tips and activity ideas.

Children can listen to stories about Carnaval, the village fete and Domino the dog, who finds his own solution to being made to wait for his lunch.

There are also catchy songs, poems and all kinds of games and puzzles, including the Adventure Game, in which Domino is kidnapped by aliens.

Using the CD-Rom, the children can fling open the shutters with Youssef to see what the weather is like; rush to grab named articles of washing before they blow off the line and make their way around the virtual-reality world of Petit Pont, asking directions to someone's house. All can be done by working individually on PCs or together as a class using the interactive whiteboard.

With more than 70 different activities, including many 3D animations and conversations into which they can record their own voices, the single-user version of the CD-Rom enables children to continue in their own time what they have begun in class.

The French already learned by the children is regularly recycled, helping to build their confidence. Grammar finds its way naturally into the process, without becoming an obstacle to expression. The makers claim that "while children are enjoying understanding and using French, the teacher can be confident that, with Petit Pont 1 and 2, they are both covering the required scheme of work and laying down solid foundations for future language learning".

* Petit Pont 2 Pupil's Book and VR Interactive CD-Rom (single-user licence), pound;16; VR Interactive CD-Rom (network site license), pound;175; VR Interactive CD-Rom whiteboard site license), pound;65; Flashcards and (fully editable) Copymasters CD-Rom, pound;30; Audio and Song CD, pound;13.50; Teachers' Guide, pound;12; Domino Glove Puppet, pound;9.99.

Discounted school packs available. For more information contact Eclipse Books

* Eclipse Books Stand PZ-J22

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