Le coup franc and more;Secondary;Reviews;Modern Languages

19th June 1998 at 01:00
CD LIVE: FRANCAIS ACTUEL. Coupe du Monde Workshop. Subscriptions from pound;250 per annum. Details: CD live, 15 Bernard Gardens, London SW19 7BE.

The internet-linked CD-Rom, Francais Actuel, (reviewed in The TES on March 6) is running a workshop set of pages and activities on the World Cup in France.

As with Francais Actuel, the relevant materials can be downloaded and worked on from the hard disk, so online costs are not necessarily prohibitive.

The package offers articles from newspapers and magazines, audio and videoclips from authentic francophone sources, direct access to four World Cup sites in French (with an accompanying "quiz") and opportunities to contribute to online discussions. The World Cup workshop thus mirrors the rest of the topics available via the CD-Rom.

The material assumes a basic knowledge of French, but there are many ways that learners can be supported; for example, the tone and content varies considerably.

At the time of writing, before the tournament started, there was a look at various footballing terms such le dribble, le coup franc, etc, (all supported by videoclips and a short accompanying text), short up-to-date news items (players no longer available, results of friendly matches) and more serious reports or discussions on topics such as hooliganism.

Where young French speakers' words which contain errors have been used, these have been pointed out and corrected in the transcript, so authenticity and directness are not lost.

There are also further support mechanisms, such as carefully constructed tasks on some of the reading and listeningviewing materials which start by encouraging strategy use, and then set multichoice questions in French. There is also access to the Oxford-Hachette dictionary.

This workshop shows that the concept behind CD live's package could work well in provid-ing a varied resource which will increase motivation and support reading and listening.

* Philip Hood is a lecturer at the School of Education, University of Nottingham.

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