Title A la carte
Author Danièle Bourdais and Sue Finnie
Publisher LCP
Reviewer M-L Delvallée

Are you always looking for interesting reading material for learners at Key stage 3 and struggling to find some? This could provide a solution.

A la carte consists of a box containing 3 packs of reading cards, each pack aimed at a different level, answer cards and a CD-rom containing a PDF version of each card. The cards are A4 size, colourful and user friendly. The cards are double-sided; one side consists of a text (which can take different format – e.g. a cartoon, post cards etc.) with comprehension exercises and one side consists of further reading exercises with extension writing tasks. Difficult vocabulary is translated. The cards are attractive and the topics are varied - some are boy-orientated topics such as football, others are girl-orientated ones like fashion, others are neutral like fairytales.

This pack can be used in different ways at different levels. You can choose to use them for regular 10 minutes reading sessions either at the start or end of lessons. You can also devote whole lessons using the cards for some individual reading practices, swapping cards every ten minutes or so. Moreover, the CD-rom in conjunction with an interactive whiteboard, allows a whole class use of one card at a time and could once again be used for starting or finishing lessons. Whichever way you choose to use them, the students will be engaged provided it is not overused and it is timed well.The different levels of reading provided by the cards make differentiation within the class easy and the instructions - which are in English - help students to be both more independent and confident. The students seem to like the novelty of this resource and it makes a change from the boring old support that is the textbook!
Overall it is a good resource which encourages students at all level of key stage 3 to read and be independent, and after all, let’s not forget that, after all, French is not only just about textbooks - so let’s get reading!