9th March 2001 at 00:00
CHARIS FRANCAIS. CHARIS DEUTSCH. Photocopiable worksheets for spiritual and moral development within the modern languages curriculum. Ages 11-14. pound;9.95. The Stapleford Centre. Tel: 0115939 6270E-mail

As syllabuses move to increase the teaching of citizenship, these resources in French and German offer a new moral and spiritual approach to flagging topic areas. Development of positive aspects of the character and encouragement of regard for others, head up the books' four units. Based on reading and writing, they open up previously untapped reservoirs of language with thought-provoking questions: "Qu'est ce que tu penses de la vie apr s la mort?", "Was ist dir wichtig im Leben?" It is refreshing to have language which moves beyond often irreleant topics of pets and hobbies and into real issues.

One unit focuses on the German and French calendar years of religious and secular holy days and festivals and there is frequent mention of Christian based morality. However, the main pitch is secular focused on more general development of a mature and caring Weltanschau.

Straightforward grammar practice of mon, ma, mes and modal verb devoir is couched in phrases such as je dois respecter mes parents. Short poems offer imaginative stimulus for introspection and creative language practice. A glance through both vocabulary lists shows that work with these books will give pupils a basis on which to talk more maturely in French and German about what genuinely matters to them in life.

Eleanor Caldwell

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