Title Clic!
Author Daničle Bourdais and Sue Finnie
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 978-0-19-912674-3
Reviewer Tina Postalian
   

The new French Course Clic published by Oxford University Press is a programme for Key Stage 3 pupils. The full programme is composed of the Students’ book, the En Solo Workbook with Audio CD, the Teachers’ Resource book (these cater for two levels Star and Plus), together with one set of Interactive and Assessment CD ROMs (which cater for both levels). The course claims to enhance communicative skills, develop cultural knowledge and to improve independent learning strategies.

The Students’ book is organised into six topics, each followed by sub-sections named Labo-langue, which give grammar explanations, learning strategies and pronunciation practice; Blog-notes, which summarise each topic through interactive video blogs; En Plus, providing further reinforcement activities; Clic.fr, focussing on cultural facts; and finally Vocabulaire and On chante! At the end of the book there is a section named Lecture dedicated to further Reading, a Grammar section, which summarises the main points covered earlier with additional exercises and then a bilingual glossary.

The layout and appearance of each topic is bright and inviting even if a little over colour-coded. Speaking and Listening exercises seem to dominate. There is a graded application of tasks ranging from the repetition of words to role-play exercises, from counting specific sounds to listening for specific answers and note-taking.

The Reading skill features less prominently in the main body of the topics. Exercises include matching-up tasks, true or false, gap-fills and very few reading comprehensions early on to many more later on in topics five and six. The section Lecture, however, succeeds in providing additional reading tasks and extension work for each topic.

The writing skill seems to feature less prominently altogether. Exercises include matching-up tasks, list-writing, gap-fills and then the Grammar exercises to be found in Labo-langue. By topic three, it is expected for the pupils to write a text of seventy-five words on their school time-table, although this rate of progression does not seem to be upheld in later chapters. Some pupils may also need a more structured build-up than what is provided here.

The best feature of this course seems to be the En Solo Workbook and its self-study CD. It provides ‘fun’ exercises corresponding to each topic, covering all skill areas focussing on key grammar and vocabulary revision. The CD will allow independent Listening practice for pupils and this could be ideal for homework.

At first glance, therefore, Clic would appear to achieve its objectives, and the opportunity for self-study with your own CD could reinforce the element of fun in language learning.