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Skills put to the test

CONCENTRATE ON FRENCH LISTENING FOR GCSE. By Steven Crossland plus two cassettes pound;19.99 + VAT

CONCENTRATE ON FRENCH WRITING FOR GCSE. By Peter Davies pound;5.99

CONCENTRATE ON FRENCH. Reading for GCSE. By Caroline Woods pound;6.99

CONCENTRATE ON FRENCH SPEAKING FOR GCSE. By Michael D Evans pound;6.99 plus one cassette pound;17.99 + VAT. Hodder amp; Stoughton

These books focus on improving exam performance in listening, reading, speaking and writing. Each follows the same pattern which is clearly set out in the introduction. Ten topic-based units are divided into three sections targeted at particular levels of attainment at GCSE, grades F, C and A.

Exercises are closely linked to the type of activities that appear in GCSE exams and the books give extensive practice to pupils of all abilities in the standard rubrics, symbols and tests currently in use by the major exam boards.

The tips on improving performance when pupils tackle new activities, written by principa examiners, are extremely useful to both pupils and teachers.

Answers and a progress chart are provided.

The tone is constantly encouraging: pupils are given an idea of what is satisfactory performance and encouraged to tackle more challenging exercises.

Model answers in the writing book are pitched at a realistic level and have useful phrases underlined with a commentary on what the examiner is looking for.

This series will be useful in the classroom as intensive revision practice, or as independent learning materials. Its thorough approach will be appreciated by the experienced French teacher and its clarity and useful information will be an invaluable support for the less-experienced teacher or confused pupil.

Departments can target a particular skill that needs developing and so purchase one practice book, but the set represents a good investment .

Nuala Leyden is head of modern languages at Carlton-le-Willows school, Nottingham

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