Television: Pick of the week
There's a Gallic flavour to overnight recording on BBC2 this week, with three French language series. Quinze Minutes Plus, in eight episodes , is set in Dijon and Guadeloupe and aims to introduce 11 to 14-year-olds to everyday French, using songs, film and a cartoon, Juju et Juliette. The work comes in short bites; the variety of approaches helps avoid otherwise boring repetition and makes the series suitable for different ability levels. Each programme is designed for integrated classroom work: teachers will have to use the pause button a lot to let students practise the language in the film. The tape is available in a pack with teachers' notes from BBC Customer Services, tel: 0870 830 8000.
Vingt Minutes BBC2 Wednesday, November 12, 2-4am
A magazine series for intermediate students of French involving a Northern Ireland student who is making a video diary of his exchange visit to a French family living in a small town. Michael's French is fairly basic and the aim is to show how he develops ways of making himself understood: communicative competence is the key. But students should beware of copying Michael's French accent too closely.
Clementine BBC2 Thursday, November 13, 2-4am
Clementine (played by Clementine Bonnard) lives in a brightly painted house in Dinard with her parents, younger brother, elder sister and cat, Tolstoi.
Apart from eating croissants for breakfast, listening to records, going to school and worrying about the state of the planet, she spends quite a bit of time talking to the camera and explaining what she is doing, in French that most pre-GCSE pupils should be able to follow.
The Way Things Work BBC2 Thursdays, November 13 to December 11, 10.50-11.05am
The title says most of what one needs to know about this new series which, over the year, will amount to 26 programmes, introducing seven to nine-year-olds to some of the principles of physics. At the start, we learn about rolling stones, seesaws and mammoths (the last pops up in several of the programmes and is interesting more for its bulk than its biology). The first five programmes are available from BBC Customer Services in a video plus pack at pound;34.99.
Watch: Celebrations BBC2 Thursdays, November 13 to December 11, 10.35-10.50am
This new unit of five programmes for religious studies features major festivals in Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Sikhism. Children describe why the different celebrations are important and we learn the stories behind them. The programmes also seek to find connections between the religions and the way in which members of different faiths worship and lead their lives.