About A*ttitudes

about Attitudes

Site: A Level French
Course: A Level French
Book: About A*ttitudes
Printed by:
Date: Tuesday, 26 March 2019, 01:12 PM

Table of Contents

AS and A2 A*ttitudes


These materials relate to the specifications with last examinations in 2017 (AS) and 2018 (A2) - resits.

Email Steve at alevelfrench@googlemail.com for a login giving you access to the full Unit 1, Voyages, vacances, tourisme-yours to keep and also a sizeable part of A2 L'environnement. Please give the name of your school (including previous name if you've just become an academy) and town as I already have most set up.

Mapping to examination board specifications

AS topics

Unit 1 Voyages, Vacances, Tourisme

Unit 2 Les Jeunes

Unit 3 L'Education

Unit 4 Le Genre-hommes et femmes

Unit 5 La Santé

Unit 6 Les Traditions

Unit 7 Les loisirs

Unit 8 Les traditions

Unit 9 Le monde du travail

Unit 10 L'environnement

Unit 11 Le sport

Unit 12 La publicité

A2 topics

Unit 1 L'environnement

  • L'énergie
  • La pollution
  • La protection de l'environnement

Unit 2 La France multiculturelle

  • L'immigration
  • Le racisme
  • L'intégration

Unit 3 Les problèmes sociaux

  • La pauvreté
  • Le crime et la punition
  • La nouvelle technologie

a level french, AS, A2, les vacances



Rationale behind A*ttitudes


A*ttitudes is a new type of product made possible by the internet. It can develop organically by user demand and quickly respond to changing examination requirements.

The main aims of the writers Steve Glover and Nathalie Kaddouri, both practising teachers of A level French are:-

  • to help recruitment and retention in languages by providing materials which will give students a lot to "get their teeth into"
  • to give the average linguist much more content to practise with and physically learn
  • to provide materials which offer lots of explicit information about the target language culture
  • to practise important grammatical structures in context
  • to provide a reassuring bank of materials which works in the same way for each topic
  • to provide material which can be used in a variety of preferred environments-paper, network, virtual learning environment, smart phone
  • to ensure that all materials go through a series of stages, from the comprehension to the productive
  • to provide materials which will cover the topic requirements of all examination boards if supplemented by legacy examination papers

as level french, a level french, attitudes, introduction

Learning vocabulary

vocabulary learning

In our experience, students coming in at AS level in the September need a real booster as early as possible to build up their vocabulary. We would like to think we are adopting a 'tough love' approach-'in at the deep end', whatever you'd like to call it smile

We reckon most young people know their way around a spreadsheet and will find it useful to be able to scan say the Profil tab before doing that exercise to get the more difficult, non-cognate vocabulary into their minds. The Excel spreadsheet is the first item on the A*ttitudes menu for each topic.

After tackling that particular exercise and interacting with the vocabulary in context they should find that those more difficult words are just about there as "passive vocabulary".

The final stage is to practise that vocabulary to embed it more formally as "active vocabulary" by engaging in the multiple Taskmagic exercises which can be practised either at school (if Taskmagic 3 is available*) or at home using the free download of the Taskmagic player.

The vocabulary spreadsheet can be updated and colour-coded with known words in green, semi-known in orange and recalcitrant ones in red.

Listothèque takes things one step further by providing 5 sub-topics which prime the student with information and phrases with "attitude" which help in the formulation of ideas for developing oral and written fluency. You will see further reference to Listothèque in other skill areas.

* See www.taskmagic.co.uk for information about purchasing and upgrades from previous versions.

as level french, a level french,vocabulary, vocab, learning

Listening activities

listening activities

The name a*ttitudes was given to the course because we initially intended to produce podcasts providing listening material in two distinct, thought-provoking formats, the conversational and the informational but from a different perspective to what you will find in French radio podcasts etc.

The Feuilleton provides a short 3-4 minute conversation where the specific topic in question is embedded in the subject matter. A brief scan through the vocabulary for some of the more difficult words and listening can begin. We have set examination style questions to test understanding and provided a tapescript marked up with tenses etc so that the learner can improve his analysis of what he is hearing for future reference.

The more creative teacher might like to follow up with question and answer work leading into role play and adaptation of the scenario.

As with the Profil in the 10 briquettes d'information we wanted to ensure that listening also played a part in imparting knowledge and opinion about French culture in a digestible way. Using facts drawn from a range of sources including the incontournable Francoscopie by Gérard Mermet the two presenters present the "factoids", commenting on them humourously, sarcastically or quizzically.

Learners fill in a sheet with details, many of which relate to statistics-we make no apologies for emphasizing percentages, proportions, prices as the modern world does revolve around these concepts particulary business community subject matter.

The 10 briquettes listening activity is followed by a sequence of exercises designed to build on the structures and vocabulary introduced leading to creative oral work.

Whilst we wished to constrain the content of our own two listenings we strongly believe that students should be using all the latest technology to practise listening intensively. To this end we provide an a*ttitudes "library" of suggested video, podcasts and other sources of listening which can be accessed in school or at home or increasingly on smartphones if available.

All units now have a listening exercise based on a newsreport from the www.ina.fr site Questions are in French.

as level french, a level french, listening

Reading activities

reading activities

We have worked particularly hard at building reading into A*ttitudes in a sensitive way so that it pervades all aspects of the course.

The picture Profil activities each comprise 700-1000 words of background information on each topic with the express aim of putting the French culture centre stage.

The Listothèque sets of phrases are recycled in activities requiring learners to think about the meaning of what they are reading in a similar way to the shorter examination reading comprehension tests types.

We agonized over how best to provide longer passages and decided that producing the blog "Oasis dans le désert" in sophisticated language on fairly generic themes would provide challenge, particularly where students are also using the materials to resit AS in year 13.

We are passionate about the need for students to read and immerse themselves in the French culture, hence our providing reading and creative activities based on the novel "No et Moi" by Delphine de Vigan. There is a defined section from the book based around each of the 12 themes. For those who have not met the book, the language is relatively straightforward and we have provided a full paginated vocabulary and summary to accompany it.

The latest exercise type added is in the AQA style and is called Opinions et Attitudes. Students read the 4 different people's opinions and decided who said what.

as level french, a level french, reading

Oral activities

oral activities

All teachers have differing attitudes as to how on the one hand to encourage spontanteous talk whilst on the other getting students to produce high quality semi-rehearsed examination style conversation.

We worked on the presumption that learners needed to be primed with ideas for each topic, hence the Listothèque's five sub-topics. The latter can be used as a spring board to spontaneous conversation-eg the difficulties encountered when going on holiday, although appearing initially as a list of expressions can quickly turn into a lively account of a recent journey.

The 10 briquettes d'information listening comprehension leads onto questions requiring elaboration from the learner and which can be practised and rehearsed. In the teachers' guide we recommend ways of exploiting this material using new technologies. The final stage of the 10 briquettes requires learners to take a topic and present it to their classmates in their own individual way, with pictures, slides or whatever they chose but preferably not reading off a PowerPoint!

We provide two specific examination preparation activities. The Oral preparation activity helps leaners develop their responses to a text or texts and is designed to introduce the kind of language which goes beyond simply "telling the story".

The Oral prompts activity gives a dozen suggested questions for each topic with prompts which learners can develop for themselves. The questions are also recorded by a native speaker.

By working cyclically through the topics, command of the more useful and common expressions and ways of putting a point of view will become increasingly fluent, sophisticated and accurate.

as level french, speaking, oral

Writing activities

writing activities

We were both of the opinion that we needed to provide something radically different to try to get learners writing better essays as soon as possible.

Writing a very short essay of 200 + words does not come easy to young people who in the first instance tend a) not to know how to answer the question b) not to have many ideas to put in the written piece c) how to avoid being repetitive

We have created a sequence of activities consisting of :- the phrase level (listothèque), the sentence level, the sentence builder, the reasoning level, the lessivator the paragraph based essay planning tool We hope this logical progression wil enable learners to arrive at the challenging goal over the eight months preparation time for AS.

The listothèque puts related concepts together with a view to encouraging learners to generate ideas in a controlled brain storming when it comes to planning.

The sentence builder takes a short sentence and shows it a good time smile We adapt that sentence for differing contexts, showing how to set it in a time perspective, to say where it comes from, to discuss cause and effect, to avoid over generalizing and finally to build complex sentences with ce qui/ce que.

The lessivator takes a wide range of differing reasoning contexts and gives appropriate "starters" which learners can draw on. We don't, like most "lists of expressions" leave the learner in the lurch. In the essay planning tool we try to show the thought processes of addressing a piece of examination writing, going from the controlled brainstorming to producing full paragraphs where we show the lessivator starters in context. We finally create two contrasting essays which take the paragraphs off in two different directions in order to show the learner that there is no right or wrong answer and that they are in "creative control".

Leaving no stone unturned we ask learners to find 10 accuracy mistakes in the final essay!

Gluttons for punishment, we also provide three sample pieces of writing based on the same title to show the widely differing approaches which can lead to equally impressive outcomes. These are marked up with the reasoning expressions from the lessivator.

We recommend that teachers use these sample essays as translation pieces for practising French-English and also that learners practise manipulating the language using the Taskmagic based activities.

a level french, as level french, writing, essays, essay writing

Teacher lesson planning and student Individual Learning Plan

lesson planning and ILP

Having created a course we felt that it was essential to provide a helpful teachers' guide to accompany the course and to recommend/suggest approaches to particular activities.

Not everyone will need the level of detail we have provided down to the number of hours which might be allocated to a particular activity but we know a lot of younger teachers appreciate this. The point of making all the materials available in an MS word document is so that it can be edited to meet your own needs. You can add your own departmental resources, podcasts, films or music you like to use.

Similarly we felt that it was essential to provide an individual learning plan for the learner to record and note information about her progress in regular consultation with the teacher where possible.

As with everything else in the course we would appreciate feedback as to how this works in practice.

as level french, a level french, teacher notes, scheme of work

A*ttitudes "Dissert"

how to write a French essay, writing French essays, writing A level French essays

Writing essays to order for an examination is a skill which is not easy to acquire within the short time available at AS level. A*ttitudes "Dissert" gives the systematic practice required to gain a high grade within two terms.

A*ttitudes "Dissert" comprises the following tools to hone your students' essay skills from the word go in the AS year.

Listothèque groups of vocabulary and expressions to stimulate discussion in 12 AS topics

A leading sentence for each topic. The sentence is creatively developed in a number of ways to demonstrate going from the simple statement to more complex sentence leading into ce qui/ce que clauses.

Reasoning expressions- A wide range of suggested starts of sentence to enable students to develop their reasoning. A separate sheet for each topic.

The essay planning guide-How to brainstorm and begin to structure the essay, moving through to how to prioritise ideas and produce two diametrically opposed arguments from the same basic sets of ideas. Accuracy checking exercise based on the second sample.

Three sample essays have been produced for each title demonstrating different types of style including reasoning approach and a more personal article/letter type of approach. These can be dissected and translated.

Self-standing TaskMagic exercises for each sample essay to enable students to develop their understanding of the structure, reasoning, grammar and vocabulary in a fun way. TaskMagic functionality for the exercises included in the price of the product.

The sample essays titles can be used to give practice for homeworks or timed essay practice in class.