10th March 2000 at 00:00
ALLONS EN HAITI. By Alison Rudd. ActionAid. Special price to TES readers pound;15 plus postage. Available from Chataway House, Leach Road, Chard, Somerset TA20 1FR Tel: 01460 238000.

Alison Rudd, ActionAid's acting Education Project Manager and former languages teacher, plugs a gap by providing interesting information about one of the world's poorest countries while allowing pupils to practise their French. Language teachers have often wanted to exploit cross-curricular links but all too often have been hampered by the dearth of suitable materials.

The author is concerned that pupils should not merely learn facts but also reflect and draw comparisons between their own lifestyles and those of the Haitian characters they meet.

In a single volume we have photocopiable worksheets and teacher's notes. The latter are simple and easy to use - no obscuring jargon and no unealistic demands - merely introductions to the tasks, lists of equipment, and answer keys - what more is really needed?

The background information makes fascinating reading and draws some striking comparisons between Haiti and the UK.

The worksheets cover Speaking, Reading and Writing and provide a range of activities. It is a pity that there is no video, or even an audio-tape, but for pound;15 we cannot really grumble.

The layout is clear - ideal for photocopying, though some pupils will have a field day with the penis-shaped peninsular on the map page, and on another sheet there is a very dubious pile of something labelled (in the local Creole) "Sik". The pack also includes 20 beautiful colour photographs and a list of suggestions for exploiting these in class.

A refreshing change and a "must have" for any department, however meagre its finances.

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