Written evidence;Secondary;Reviews;Modern languages;Books

19th June 1998 at 01:00
EN CONTACTO WRITING PRACTICE FOR GCSE SPANISH. By Ken Hall and Steve Haworth. Hodder amp; Stoughton pound;7.99.

This is a useful and unpretentious book. It achieves what the authors set out to do which is to provide an exhaustive focus on the written component of the GCSE examination.

It offers pupils practice and also advice and strategies to encourage confidence. They are presented with meticulously structured exercises such as gap-filling and altering underlined text and are gradually weaned on to more open-ended tasks as the unit progresses. Along the way are matching exercises, crosswords, sequencing pieces of text, question and answer, and picture stimuli with examples.

None of the exercises in En Contacto is revolutionary, but to be fair it is difficult to achieve any measure of originality in this area. Most of the permutations have been seen before in some guise or other. However, the authors have tried to use a variety of visual material, such as letters in both handwritten and typed script, photos and graphics.

En Contacto is divided into eight chapters corresponding to areas of experience and each unit thoroughly examines all aspects of the written word in these areas. An innovation for a book of this type is that all the rubrics are in Spanish to comply with the latest demands of GCSE. There are helpful vocabulary lists in each unit as well as a comprehensive glossary at the end.

Most good modern course books contain similar elements, but to have this specific focus on the written word is useful as supplementary material. The teacher could always bolster a course book in an area which may not be so well exploited in the main text. Alternatively, the book could be used selectively for self-study.

An added dash of colour might have enhanced the format of En Contacto, but its reasonable price makes it an affordable, worthwhile addition to the Spanish department.

Mary O'Sullivan is a lecturer in Spanish, University of Hertfordshire Book title with 2.5 point rule placed above Book details (with no rule) set with softhard or no returns Contact design for further informationif things appear not to be working Telephone 3363 Book title with inset fine rule placed above for other linked reveiwed titles Book details with rule placed below and set with soft returns or none to avoid hard rule appearing. Enter a hard return to achieve a fine .3pt cut off rule as shown below.Contact design for further informationif things appear not to be working Telephone 3363

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