Fitting in first French

4th July 2003 at 01:00
PUPILS' VERDICT

CONCLUSION

RESOURCES

Action french

By Catherine Bruzzone; b small publishing; Price: pound;9.99

Tel: 01264 772269 www.bsmall.co.uk

Supplier: bilingual-supplies.co.uk

PURPOSE

Unlike the rest of the materials in this survey, this pack is aimed at parents wishing to teach their children some French at home through activities and games. The focus is on speaking and using the language confidently in different situations.

SUITABILITY

Key stage 1 and 2 beginners. It's most suitable for teaching in small groups, although the songs and some activities would also be effective in whole classes.

TEACHERS' VERDICT

The materials are based on sound principles and include many good ideas.

However, the activity cards and games are not robust enough for regular classroom use. The cassette offers support for non-specialists in the form of a recorded word list as a pronunciation guide.

PUPILS VERDICT

KS2 pupils enjoyed the lotto-style of card game. The cards have a picture on one side and the French word on the other. This gave them the confidence to play independently in a small group.

CONCLUSION

This well thought-out resource offers a variety of activities, but is not robust enough for the classroom. It would be useful as a source of ideas or as a way for parents to support their children's learning at home.

DESCRIPTION

An activity pack with a poster, vocabulary games and a cassette of pronunciation and songs, including karaoke versions. The materials are bright and colourful and cover topics such as numbers, days of the week, months, seasons and weather.

RESOURCES

Carte blanche primaire

By Oliver Gray; Revilo Press; Price: pound;36 Tel: 01962 714520

www.revilolang.com

DESCRIPTION

This pack of 30 laminated reading cards comes with answer cards, pupil record sheets and a cassette giving the pronunciation of words and their English meanings. This is an ELL-badged resource.

PURPOSE

The pack is designed to consolidate basic vocabulary and encourage pupils to work independently to develop reading and writing skills. Individuals choose a card, work through the tasks, check their answers and record their score on their record sheet.

SUITABILITY

Older KS2 pupils working independently. The amount of written French on the cards varies, so there is appropriate material for the full ability range.

TEACHERS' VERDICT

The cards are attractive, robust and easy to use. All the information required is on them, so pupils are able to work through them with minimal help. Just two minor reservations: will weaker pupils have the necessary reading skills, and how realistic is the advice for pupils to use the pronunciation cassette?

PUPILS' VERDICT

Year 6 pupils enjoyed choosing their own topics and work independently.

They were surprised at the extensive support on the cards and decided to learn the words in the vocabulary box first, then cover them up to do the reading tasks. The record sheet was definitely a motivating factor.

CONCLUSION

A valuable resource to consolidate pupils' learning and develop individual reading skills. It is also an easy way of integrating French into the normal school day.

RESOURCE

La Ronde des petits; By Rosie Williams; La Jolie Ronde

Price: pound;39.95

Tel: 01949 839715 www.lajolieronde.co.uk

DESCRIPTION

A teacher's resource book with lesson plans, photocopiable activity sheets and a CD.

PURPOSE

This gentle introduction to French for nursery and reception children contains lesson plans for a year. In the first term puppets are used to introduce French words. The second term is based on selected French story books and the third term covers minibeasts. The emphasis is on activities, backed up by songs and finger rhymes.

SUITABILITY

Pre-school and KS1.

TEACHERS' VERDICT

A clearly set out book that's well-structured and full of practical suggestions. There is impressive support for the non-linguist infant teacher and the language teacher accustomed to older children. The lesson plans are detailed but flexible. In line with current thinking, French is integrated into the curriculum and introduced through craft activities, stories and simple games. The story books are from a range of publishers and have to be bought separately.

PUPILS' VERDICT

We were able to try the ideas out with only a small group of KS1 pupils, who enjoyed the finger rhymes. However, the suggested activities will certainly appeal to the target age group and will help them absorb the new language.

CONCLUSION

A lively, imaginative resource with sound practical advice. Anyone planning to introduce French at KS1 will find it excellent.

RESOURCE

Linguawheel Linguawheel Price: pound;14.99 each. Pack of 15 pound;199; pack of 30 pound;299; Resource book pound;29.99; Tel: 01789 491659 www.linguawheel.com

DESCRIPTION

This is a plastic translation wheel that enables pupils to practise topic vocabulary and build sentences. Inter-changeable inner wheels contain key vocabulary and outer wheels can be attached to extend language. A supporting teacher's resource pack contains worksheets, lotto cards and detailed suggestions. We saw a prototype Linguawheel; the final product should be available later this summer. German, Spanish and Welsh wheels are also planned.

PURPOSE

The wheel is designed to consolidate vocabulary and develop speaking and writing skills.

SUITABILITY

Linguawheel is aimed at KS1 and 2, but it requires reading skills, which makes it more suitable for older pupils. It could be used by individuals or in a small group. Some teaching suggestions require all children in a class to have their own Linguawheels.

TEACHERS' VERDICT

This product's robustness and ease of use can only be judged when the final product is available. The idea of the wheel as a moving dictionary is attractive, but our one reservation is that it could encourage reading aloud rather than spontaneous speaking. Suggestions for exploiting the resource are clear and varied.

PUPILS' VERDICT

Unfortunately, the prototype was too flimsy for pupils to use, but they liked its appearance and were keen to try it out. The wheel would definitely appeal to students and could be used to build up confidence in using French.

CONCLUSION

Definitely a resource to consider seriously. Linguawheel is appealing and useful, but think about whether the focus on written language is suitable for your pupils. On the practical side, check its robustness and the accuracy of the support materials before buying them.

RESOURCE

Quatre Saisons; By Janie Mireylees; Merryman Primary Resources; Price: pound;10.99 (CD with transcript) plus p+p; pound;34.99 (CD with teacher's notes and picture worksheets) plus p+p

Tel: 01949 875 929 www.merryman.co.uk

DESCRIPTION

A collection of 14 action verses and 20 action songs on CD. The accompanying teacher's notes in the full pack include details of vocabulary, topics, teaching suggestions, ideas for follow-up activities, and worksheets.

PURPOSE

This resource introduces and reinforces vocabulary through action rhymes and songs.

SUITABILITY

Pre-school and KS1.

TEACHERS' VERDICT

This is a great way of introducing French gradually into the KS1 curriculum. The verses and songs cover a range of topics and the suggested actions to accompany them are outlined in a clear and practical way. Note that the actions come only with the full Early Years Pack. The CD offers teachers good support, particularly with the songs. First the words of the song are spoken, then the song is sung and finally there is the instrumental version.

PUPILS' VERDICT

We were able to try out only a few of the songs and rhymes, which were very popular with pupils. The actions appeal to the target age group and will help them to learn.

CONCLUSION

An enjoyable and easy way of integrating French into the KS1 curriculum. As children work on a topic, they can also learn a French song or action rhyme.

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