Written in response to requests for an earlier start to differentiation, Metro 2 is the second stage of Heinemann's versatile four-stage French course in similar format to Avantage. It consists of two fully differentiated packs, Vert pitched at levels 1-4, and Rouge at levels 3-6, with separate pupils' books, teacher's guides, workbooks and resource and assessment files, whose parallel content lends itself to flexibility and pupil mobility.
Metro 2 builds on Metro 1, a single book for mixed ability Year 7. Both are accompanied by two self-access Cahier d'Exercices, which allow independent work. A compact record of completed tasks, these workbooks replace numerous loose worksheets, which tend to go astray!
Consequently, the resource and assessment files contain fewer Feuilles de Travail, organised module by module and focused instead on further grammar practice, photocopiable word lists for pupils to take home and visuals to aid variety of presentation.
The attractive pupils' books are uncluttered and eas to follow. Each comprises six topic-based modules, sub-divided into six units of double-page spreads, the first five forming the core material.
Optional En plus consolidation units contain more challenging tasks in all four skills, but no new language. The checklists of key language (Bilan) and practice Controles revision tasks are familiar.
Pupils should find the clearly laid out end-of-module vocabulary sections (Mots) useful.
Teachers will welcome the priority given to integrating and understanding grammar, the judicious incorporation of simple explanations in English, and purposeful use of colour.
K toi sections provide a choice of reinforcement or extension reading and writing. In the thorough teacher's guides, detailed overview grids, mapping module contents on to the programmes of study, and resource lists for each unit, support planning. Single-sided flashcards with the name of the object in small print on the reverse, facilitate games. The provision of these two time-saving versions of Year 8 materials will help busy teachers meet the needs of the whole ability range and are well worth considering.
The resource and assessment files at each stage are available in national curriculum versions and as separate files for users in Scotland following the five to 14 Guidelines.
Cynthia Martin is a lecturer in modern foreign languages education at the University of Reading