Basic models of what to say;Secondary;Reviews

15th May 1998 at 01:00
VORSPRUNG 2. By Kate Corney. Collins Educational. Student's Book pound;7.99. Workbook pound;2.75. Teacher's Resource Book pound;15.50. Resources and Assessment Pack pound;52.50. 8 cassettes pound;62.99 + VAT.

Age range 14-16

Vorsprung 2 is the second level of a two-year course for pupils preparing for the foundation tier of the revised GCSE syllabuses in German.

The basic format established in Vorsprung 1 (TES, November 15, 1996) is retained, but significant amendments provide for progression, differentiation and revision. Thus the objectives (Lernziele) given to pupils and exemplified in Book 1 in the form of individual "important expressions" (die wichtigen Ausdruecke) now take on the more substantial form of complete model dialogues, which will prepare pupils more directly for the speaking examination. Although there is still an emphasis on listening and speaking, supported with clear visuals and carefully structured tasks, there is increased use of authentic reading material, centred this time on Austria, and demanding more deduction from pupils.

A distinctive additional feature of the workbook (Arbeitsbuch) is the revision unit, recycling the topics from Book 1, as well as giving advice on learning strategies and examination preparation. The resources and assessment pack includes module tests, overhead transparency masters and tape transcripts, but, additionally, vital extension worksheets to stretch pupils at the top end of the foundation tier, aiming for the C grade.

The teacher's resource book contains homework suggest-ions, assessment advice and the most precise guidance on differentiation, spelling out exactly what is required to achieve that C grade - this latter feature will be a particular godsend to teachers coming to terms with the new GCSE.

The claim of basing the whole in a "vocational framework" is less easy to substantiate than that of providing pupils with a passport to success in foundation tier German. Ultimately, this is a course-book that provides excellent advice on learning skills and exam technique and for this reason alone should commend itself to teachers and pupils as the new GCSE establishes itself.

* Nigel Norman is a lecturer in education at the University of Wales, Swansea

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