Title Authentik French AS/A2 Reading Comprehension Practice Tests 2005
Author Gráinne M Byrne and  Ian Rodmell
Publisher Authentik
ISBN 1 871730 83X
Reviewer Paul Ellis

This photocopiable resource continues in the tradition of Authentik publications, drawing on materials from a range of French newspapers, magazines and websites dating from the last 18 months. There are 15 tests, divided into various levels of difficulty, including three which could be used for either AS or A2 level classes and six exclusively for each exam year, though not rated individually according to difficulty as are the Authentik Listening Comprehension tests. The texts vary in length and are all related in some way to the AS/A2 specifications for all awarding bodies. Question types vary to from gap-filling to the translation of a passage and answers to all exercises are clearly given.

This is a very useful resource to use with 6th Form students and contains many texts which could readily be used in class or at the end of the teaching of a topic. Some students may at first be surprised by the length of some of the texts, but should be able to cope with most of the questions if they already know much of the vocabulary in each passage. Although the selection of texts is good, I would have liked to see greater variance overall – there are three relating to modern communication, for example – but there are some lively journalistic pieces here, and several could be used for exercises other than reading comprehension, if suitably adapted. I feel the Reading Comprehension Practice Tests are nearer the mark than their Listening stable mates, and will be using them a lot for extra support in the run-up to this year’s exams.