Holiday package;Secondary;Books;Reviews;General

18th June 1999 at 01:00
LOOKING BEYOND THE BROCHURE. Video free to UK secondary schools. English teaching pack pound;10 from Tourism Concern, Stapleton House, 277-28l Holloway Road, London N7 8HN

We are all tourists now. Even those who never actually travel are drawn into the tourist culture by high-pressure advertising and info-tainment television programmes such as Holiday.

By the time they reach key stage 4, the group at which these materials are chiefly aimed, most students will have been clients of the package tour industry. Few topics are more obviously "relevant" to activities in English and media studies, or connect more usefully with experiences in children's lives.

Tourism Concern is a charity seeking to raise awareness of tourism's effect on places and their resident communities. The video takes the Gambia as an example. Split into three sections, it starts with a specimen advertising promotion, then alters the perspective and shows the Gambians' view of tourists, and closes with a sequence of impressionistic shots of Gambian life without commentary (which students can eventually supply).

The teaching pack builds on this visual resource to expand the theme in many directions. Organised in standard form, it consists of four units (Travel and Poetry, Travel Writing, Travel Advertising and Travel and Television), each supplying ideas for teaching, photocopiable worksheets, and study texts. The material can be used flexibly and selectively, within English or for cross-curricular work.

Apart from some careless proofreading, the enterprise is hard to fault. Its social purpose - to promote sensitive and mutually rewarding tourism - is important, and achieved through varied, well-conceived activities.

This is a valuable resource, at a bargain price.

Peter Hollindale is a reader in English and educational studies at the University of York

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