Lively connections

21st March 2003 at 00:00
VEKTOR ONLINE SCHOOLS. French, German, Spanish, Italian. 75p per student until April. Email:


Accessible from any computer with an internet connection, this is a resource you dare not take your eye off, as it grows and evolves with every day that passes. The idea is that subscribing schools will contribute materials to supplement those already provided by Vektor in-house. The authoring tools are easy to use and a record-keeping facility allows teachers to monitor students' progress.

At the time of writing the database was dominated by rather plain-looking grammar exercises together with a few reading comprehensions, vocabulary tests and the occasional listening exercise. This is set to change as the company puts the finishing touches to more sophisticated authoring tools which will enable the incorporation of graphics and video.

It is also establishing contacts with schools abroad with a view to providing message boards, where teachers can exchange ideas, and international chat rooms for students.

METRO ELECTRO 1 from Heinemann. Year 7 French. Pupil Activity package, pound;395; Teacher Presentation package, pound;495.

Coming soon: Metro Electro 2 (April) and Metro lectro 3 (April and October) Tel: 01865 888080.


Although designed to accompany the Metro 1 textbook, these two CDs would provide a motivating comment to any KS3 course.

The teacher presentation package contains eye-catching materials, including animation and video, for use with interactive whiteboards; the pupil activity package provides practice in reading, writing, listening, speaking and grammar.

Screen shots are colourful and uncluttered, recordings are clear and a record-keeping facility gives feedback to both students and teachers.

Interactive activities range from matching pictures and texts to reordering jumbled sentences, producing illustrated written work and recording core expressions for pronunciation practice.

Comprehensive on-screen support includes grammar explanations, revision tips and bilingual glossaries, leaving students with little excuse for coming unstuck. All in all, this is an imaginative, versatile resource.

Shame that it only operates in Internet Explorer.

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