As the requirement for primary schools to offer languages at key stage 2 draws nearer, product developers have come to the rescue with a variety of resources to aid specialist and non-specialist teachers alike.
The Chez Mimi, Hennings Haus and La Tienda de Luis CD-Roms from 4Learning (pound;35 each) combine video clips from the TV series with interactive activities for interactive whiteboards and individual PCs.
Fun-loving aliens who need guiding around Paris form the backbone of Kar2ouche's Starting French 1 and 2 (Composer 30-user licence pound;399, titles pound;219 each). Structured activities and storyboards provide younger pupils with plenty of opportunities to develop their skills.
A variety of colourful creatures are present on the new Boardworks software for KS2 French (pound;499 for two parts), which incorporates a range of multimedia activities for teachers to use for language presentation.
Sonica (pound;299 for site licence, including dance mat and Easiteach player) is a Spanish programme for KS2, commissioned from 3T by the Department for Education and Skills, with delightful graphics and activities that are sure to appeal to younger pupils. Content covers all four skill areas and assessments.
Storytelling is a new tool in the language teacher's box, and Little Tails of the Unexpected (Linguathorn Technologies, pound;190) comprises a set of fairytales, complete with graphics, audio and engaging activities to introduce vocabulary and grammar. A comprehensive teacher's guide accompanies the CD-Rom. The KS3 title, Language Martians (pound;290), is equally entertaining and useful.
Petit Pont 1 (Eclipse Books, pound;120 for network version) contains a CD-Rom that can be used individually by pupils at home or in school or on an interactive whiteboard, as well as a pupil's book and teacher's guide.
Language is taught through the characters and setting of Petit Pont, a virtual reality French town with a very modern feel.
Granada Learning has expanded its Young Writer's Workshop product (from Pounds 49) to allow pupils to record interviews, produce magazine-style photo stories and storyboards in French, German and Spanish. A similar product is available for KS3 and KS4.
Espresso Education has expanded its range into primary French. Containing video resources and a number of interactive activities, these resources can again be used for teacher presentation and by pupils at PCs. The company's KS3 French products (annual subscription starts at pound;1.50) contain topical video clips, together with a variety of interactive activities and useful links to websites, to provide pupils with lots of access to authentic target-language material which is updated monthly.
As the number of whiteboards has grown in schools, so too has the range of products available for teacher presentation. The Metro Electro Teacher Presentation Packages (from pound;515) contain slick presentations which cover all attainment targets, while Pupil Activity Packages (from pound;415) offers individual practice of new language.
Boardworks produce whole-class presentations for KS3 and KS4 French (Pounds 799), German and Spanish (pound;499) in PowerPoint which can be edited and are therefore flexible, with Flash giving enhanced interactivity. A new KS4 French product will be launched at BETT.
French Lesson Starters (from pound;75, Virtual Image) is a CD-Rom containing snappy activities to play on whiteboards, including jumbled words and coded puzzles.
Birchfield Interactive's Myself, Family and Friends CD-Roms (from Pounds 129.95) use video footage and audio to aid pupils' knowledge and recall.
The Developing French and Clique Francais titles (pound;300 each plus Composer) from Kar2ouche use storyboards with attractive young people and French settings.
The Extra TV-Roms for French, German and Spanish from 4Learning (from Pounds 49) bring language to older students through the medium of sitcom.
EuroTalk caters for 90 languages with Talk Now! (pound;24.99), World Talk (pound;29.99) and Movie Talk (pound;34.99), the latter a series of DVD-Roms which contain authentic target-language films and activities.
Learnpremium Interactive CD-Roms (from Hodder Murray and learnpremium from the Guardian - pound;150) provide high-quality digital resources for KS3 and GCSE French. For those with additional needs, Frameworks provides guided writing exercises allowing pupils to construct their own paragraphs on a number of themes in French and German (from pound;39), while Hodder Murray's Interactive French for Starters (pound;125) provides listening exercises for lower-ability pupils.
Finally, Linguamate (from pound;25) from the ever-brilliant Linguascope allows teachers themselves to create interactive activities from the internet.
Channel 4 Stand D42
A full range of CD TV-Roms which use clips from popular TV series to being language learning alive.
Tel: 08701 246 444 www.channel4.comlearning
Espresso Education Stand D64
High-quality digital broadband resources, bringing authentic target-language materials to life, together with engaging, interactive activities.
Tel: 0800 0345 200
Immersive Education (Kar2ouche) Stand D70
Storyboards and delightful characters make pupils forget that Tel: 01865 811 099
Association for Language Learning Stand
BECTA Stand X40C30 www.ictadvice.org.uk
Birchfield Interactive Stand E105
Tel: 029 2059 7000
Boardworks Stand F70
Tel: 08703 50 55 60
DfES Stand X60
Eclipse Books Stand
Tel: 0870 242 2269
EuroTalk Interactive Stand M50
Tel: 0800 018 8838
Frameworks - Resource Education Stand SN32
Tel: 0870 777 0247 www.resourcekt.co.uk
Granada Learning Stand E40 F40
Tel: 0845 602 1937
Harcourt Education Stand Y10 W18
Tel: 01865 888080 www.heinemann.co.uk
Hodder Murray Stand Z25
Tel: 020 7873 6035
Linguascope - Language Resources Online Stand SW36
Tel: 0870 042 7580
Linguathorn Technologies Stand
Tel: 0131 467 2180 www.linguathorn.com
Sonica Spanish Stand R36
Virtual Image Stand SW2
Tel: 0161 480 1915