Get some extra help

15th October 2004 at 01:00
Extra series CD-Roms Spanish for 14 to 19-year-olds For PC and Mac 4-Learning and Nelson Thornes pound;49 each Additional copies pound;10 Site licences pound;150- pound;200 www.channel4.comlearningshop

These CD-Roms continue Channel 4's sitcom-style series Extra to help 14 to 19-year-old learners of French, German and Spanish. Videos are also available.

I looked at the Spanish "TV-Rom", as the producers call these resources.

This could be very successful in awakening student interest in their language. With a great sense of humour in a relaxed atmosphere, Extra Spanish might convince anyone that learning a new language is fun and can come in handy when meeting people.

The software can be used as a stand-alone. It is easy to navigate and works well on the interactive whiteboard. The dialogues are clear and the situations are plausible without being boring. The resource comes with various grids to maximise its use. For instance, it has an outline that clearly states the contexts, grammar points and the language used. There are activity suggestions and scripts for programmes in English and the foreign language.

Once you fall in love with Sam and his friends, you just cannot stop thinking about the various activities that key stage 4 students can do to improve their language skills, make some new friends and have a bit of a laugh as well. It might also be worthwhile to try the CD with some well-motivated students in KS3 - it will give them an idea of how much fun learning and using another language can be.

The TV-Roms can be used alongside Nelson Thornes' language courses.

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