LA LOUPE FRENCH READERS. By Gwen Berwick and Sidney Thorne. Teacher's book pound;19.99. Individual readers pound;3.50 each. Hodder amp; Stoughton. Available from TES Direct
Reading for pleasure should be an integral part of any language course, but is often one of the most difficult areas for students to become involved in, because of a lack of suitable materials at the appropriate language level.
La Loupe French Readers will help to bring this often ignored aspect of language learning into the realms of students' experience. In reading about their favourite actors, football teams or interests, pupils will be helped to overcome the lack of relevance they often associate with reading in a foreign language.
The books are aimed at Years 8-11 (S2-S4) at three levels of difficulty. he level of the language, length of sentences and amount of support given vary according to the level of the reader.
The books profile the lives of famous people (Nelson Mandela, Robbie Williams), talk about popular sports or jobs (basketball, modelling) or focus on famous teams or groups (such as Manchester United). Photocopiable worksheets (two per reader) provide follow-up activities for pupils, and the teacher's book suggests several more activities which can arise from the study of these topics.
These books should encourage pupils to read French both in class and at home, and help to give them a sense of confidence which a course book alone cannot supply.
Carolyn McInnes is assistant principal teacher of modern languages at Eastbank Academy, Glasgow