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.