Title Élan For AS level
Author Daniele Bourdais, Gill Maynard
Publisher Oxford University Press
ISBN 978-0-19-915338-1
Reviewer Patrick Le Berre

The new version of Élan is the natural continuation of the old format which has proven to be so successful in preparing countless students for the former A Levels. This brand new version is primarily but not exclusively devised for schools which enter their students for the new A Level with AQA but there are individual study booklets aimed at candidates entering for the other three major boards, ie: Edexcel, OCR and WJEC.

The main student book has a particularly attractive and clear layout with a mixture of text, picture and reading or writing activities as well as colour coded boxes for grammar, phonetics, key expressions and vocabulary. The activities are varied and allow the students to progress naturally from GCSE along the different areas of experience. The cultural element, sports and schools feature prominently which should ensure this textbook is a success with students who wish to continue to study French after AS level. The selection of articles is particularly up to date with French culture whilst clear grammar and communicative exercises ensure progression. The grammar section at the back is very clear and useful. The listening exercises seemed to be at appropriate speed and to reflect the demands of the new A Levels.

The Grammar Workbook is, as usual with OUP, very clearly laid out and complete with self correction at the back following a verb section. This workbook could really be used by any AS students to brush up on past GCSE points and further their French grammar skills. The teacher book is also very clearly laid out and easy to use

The individual study booklets for individual exam boards are sound but they would need to be expanded past a set of tips and phrases to be used for each specification. It was also felt that some advice was very similar for Edexcel and WJEC when the examination format can be quite different.

In short, the main student textbook and grammar workbook are very well thought out and could be successfully used in different contexts but the differentiated self study guides are not too convincing.