Title Clic Access Part 1 Student Book / Clic Access Part 2 Student Book
Clic 1 Star / Clic 2 Star / Clic 3 Star / Clic 1 Plus / Clic 2 Plus / Clic 3 Plus
Author Daničle Bourdais and Sue Finnie
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 9780199127498 / 9780199127504 / 9780199127863 / 9780199127870 / 9780199127887 / 9780199127894 / 9780199127900 / 9780199127917
Reviewer Jim Houghton


The new Clic books from OUP are nothing if not ambitious. Aiming primarily, as far as I can tell, to allow differentiated teaching from the same resource, they provide three textbooks for each year of KS3: one for the 'reluctant learner' (access), one to cover the middle ground (euphemistically labelled 'star') and one for the gifted linguist (plus). The textbooks are accompanied by a comprehensive and highly detailed CD of resources which includes some excellent videos to introduce even the beginner to French culture and language.

It is, undoubtedly, an excellent idea. But does it work? The basic thrust seems to be that the textbooks cover the same ground but with slightly different exercises that push the student according to their ability. The exercises themselves are almost ubiquitously excellent: varied, challenging, culturally-relevant, not patronising, linguistically detailed…

The downfall of the series, however, is its complexity. I simply cannot imagine how these three textbooks could work together coherently. Would a class all be given the same textbook according to set? Would different members of the class be given different textbooks? Could they advance up and down the textbook levels according to results (one imagines the devastating conversation as a teacher has to inform a pupil that they've been demoted to a 'star')? Likewise, the IT resource-base, while excellent in content, is (at least to a philistine like me) nigh on impossible to navigate.

In summary, the only downfall of these textbooks is their complexity; otherwise they are an excellent resource. With some tweaks, they could, I am sure, provide a modern and stimulating resource for learning KS3 French.