Title Voilà! 1 ICT Resource
Author Terry Atkinson
Publisher Nelson Thornes
Reviewer Thomas Underwood
   

The Voilà ICT resource is a comprehensive and easy to use package that includes a wide range of multimedia resources to complement the teaching of French in the early years, particularly when also using the Voilà French course.

The user has the option to install the package on the whole school network or on a stand-alone PC. The CD is divided into two sections, one for teachers’ use and the other for students. The teacher section comprises a lesson manager, resource finder, book page, planning documents, favourites and the ability to assign resources. These are clearly laid out and navigating from one area to another is a simple process. The book page option is very interesting and by selecting this option the user may access a complete summary of Voilà 1 the course book, with the pages displayed digitally and a variety of tasks for each page. The teacher may also use this tool to add his or her own resources (in Word for example) to topics, building on the already considerable bank of ready-made activities and notes. Many of the teachers’ notes, pupils’ notes and lesson plans are in Word, which facilitates printing, document editing etc. The greatest advantage of this resource to my mind is the capacity to customise and synchronise one’s own materials into the package. This would inevitably involve a bit of work when first using the programme, but would ultimately prove an extremely useful tool for future years.

The format of the students’ section is very similar, minus a few of the teachers’ options. Again this section is very appealing to the eye and simple to navigate. It contains links to the resource file, book page and the glossary. The front page also contains a box where newly assigned resources appear, which makes it easy for the class teacher to dedicate further or specialised tasks to a certain class and for pupils to view any new additions.

A wide variety of activities and notes is available for pupils, for example supplementary documents with advice for creating vocabulary lists and PowerPoint displays. The tasks become progressively more difficult and are all linked to the work and pages covered in the text book. My particular favourites included: completing a ‘sondage’, recording your own French for evaluation, the drag and drop vocabulary activities and the audio and video clips. The spoken French is extremely clear and delivered at a reasonable pace.

This is certainly one of the better ICT resource packages that I have come across. It is colourful, easy to work through and contains a wealth of activities, without being fussy and overwhelming. Indeed the CD would be a very useful tool for anyone teaching with Voilà. A tour of the package is available at: http://www.nelsonthornes.com/mfljcwalkthrough