Spanish practices

21st October 2005 at 01:00
An imaginative new resource should prove a useful tool for teaching all abilities. Wendy Adeniji reports

GCSE Spanish Coursework Guide An Account of a Holiday in the Past Review MLF Works, photocopiable resource pound;59.99 CD-Rom pound;69.99 CD and photocopiable resource pound;89.99

This file and accompanying CD-Rom is a photocopiable resource to help prepare pupils for their written coursework. It claims to consist of materials that have been tried and tested in the classroom and have resulted in high standards of written work and improved GCSE grades.

There are 116 pages devoted to preparing pupils for this piece of writing using a wide variety of activities.

A lot of space is devoted to teaching and practising a host of grammar points, such as definite and indefinite articles, adjectival endings, the preterite tense, the difference between "ser" and "estar" and some common irregular verbs.

There are explanatory sheets and a range of creative ways to practise these, from crosswords to pelmanism and noughts and crosses.

As claimed, this resource will cater for pupils of all abilities as there are grammar points and activities to cover all levels. The CD-Rom with all the worksheets is useful, so these could be manipulated and printed out. In fact this rich grammar resource would be useful to introduce these points for the first time because of the wealth of practice; it just so happens that they are set in the context of holidays.

The mixtures of whole-class games such as Blockbusters and grammar auctions with paired games such as pelmanism and dominoes and individual activities such as crosswords and word searches means that an interesting lesson can be planned.

Thinking skills also come into play with an activity where pupils have to categorise verbs in different tenses, and there is an interesting activity using connectives to insert into two phrases.

These types of activities will build on pupils' knowledge of language built by the key stage 3 framework.

Although this file is advertised as an aid to coursework preparation, the spoken word is not forgotten with cards to practise role-play about holidays, similar to those found in the GCSE speaking test.

There is also an emphasis on giving opinions, which is necessary for the general conversation.

The materials are presented in a clear, attractive way and are obviously designed to cater for different learning styles.

The kinaesthetic element is important with lots of hands-on games, although there is a time implication here for teachers as the lists of words and phrases would have to be photocopied and cut up separately for each pair.

This guide with its accompanying CD-Rom represents good value for money, has some excellent ideas and will certainly save teachers a lot of time in preparation.

Wendy Adeniji is a trainer and consultant in MFL and ICT

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