There's no better place to research new materials than the Language World exhibition. This annual event runs alongside the Association for Language Learning's conference; entry is free and open to all. It features a lot more than the latest from mainstream publishers - cottage industry outfits and multimedia packagers are also represented - and the whole gamut of languages.
Heinemann will be among the publishers hoping to catch teachers' interest. latest offerings include French Grammar 11-14 and German Grammar 11-14 (pound;4.99 each). These are accessible grammar books for key stage 3, written with young pupils in mind. Usable alongside any course, they contain simple grammar explanations and a revision section.
Spanish is well catered for. Also from Heinemann comes the fourth stage of AArriba!, with differentiated tasks and an assessment scheme.
Encuentro is Heinemann's Spanish course for low ability students at key stage 4 following courses at foundation GCSE or certificate of achievement level.
John Murray launches Captado, a two-stage Spanish course to GCSE. Book 1 can be used as the first stage of a GCSE course or for a short course. Book 2 covers the skills needed for a good GCSE.
A-level teachers in search of contemporary texts will welcome Facettes de France Contemporaine, a photocopiable book of eight free-standing dossiers covering such topics as la pollution, le chomage, les sans domicile fixe and le recyclage. (pound;29.95 from Advance Materials, East Hatley, Sandy Beds. Tel: 01767 652140.) Users of Authentik newspapers and cassettes in French, German and Spanish will notice some changes. From September publications for GCSE will have an exam focus, while A-level publications will include a lower-level section to bridge the gap between GCSE and A-level. (Authentik, 27 Westland Square, Dublin 2, Ireland. Freephone: 0800 387 027) France File 2 provides current information about France - in French. Available on subscription (64 pages pound;17.50) from Carel, 4 Hewson Street, Carlisle.
Sarabec, maker of equipment for the hearing impaired, is promoting Video Reader 3, a device that identifies hidden subtitles and displays them on screen. A German version is available, French to follow. (Sarabec, 15 High Force Road, Middles-brough. Tel: 01642 247789.) Breakthrough is an integrated bookcassette course based on understanding, speaking and listening. As well as updating and repackaging the books and cassettes, the publisher, Macmillan, has produced the French and Spanish versions on CD-Rom. Breakthrough French Interactive and Breakthrough Spanish Interactive (pound;69.33 each) allow students to talk with native speakers and mark and correct their work.
Equipe is a broad ability four-part French course available on the Internet. Set in Dieppe, it helps teachers integrate IT into their lessons but includes coursebooks with a rigorous approach to grammar and pronunciation. (Oxford University Press: 01865 267597). OUP also features its starter dictionaries in French, German, Spanish and Russian, as well as new editions of the Oxford Spanish Dictionary and the Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary.
Collins Educational will show its new Easy Learning Dictionaries for 12 to 16-year-olds; exam practice materials and part two of the GCSE German course, Vorsprung.
Ruslan, a small publisher whose Russian course has been popular as a sixth-form starter course and in adult education, has launched a CD-Rom with 300 interactive exchanges, alphabet practice, glossary of grammar terms and an interactive map of Russia. A video, Moscow for You, contains 40 minutes of survival situations with a simple storyline. (Ruslan, 19 Highfield Road, Moseley, Birmingham. Tel: 0121 449 1578.) Channel 4 features its new series TOP for beginners in French, German and Spanish. It uses a game-show format and is accompanied by three photocopiable workbooks (pound;4.95 each), and a video for each language is available (5 x 20-minute programmes) price pound;4.99.
Also from Channel 4 comes the Channel Hopping Guide to France, which helps young people aged 14 to 19 get the most out of a holiday or exchange. Covering sport and entertainment, travel, shopping, language and culture, it can be used with or without the TV series. (Channel 4 Learning: 0171 291 8705.) Philippa Davidson teaches French in north London