Review from Spring 2012 edition of ISMLA journal (Independent Schools Modern Languages Association)
It is very refreshing indeed to come across a resource that focuses on support for the teaching of literature at A Level. This site (ALF for short) provides at very reasonable cost comprehensive materials for eight of the most popular literary texts used in French A Level. The premise is that the study of the work is not just an end in itself but the opportunity to work on language skills in context. A detailed scheme of work is provided for each text, helping the less experienced teacher of literature structure the course – something I, for one, still find difficult to do with a lengthy novel. Each chapter is split up into suggested teaching chunks, identifying key passages for close class reading and possible homework consolidation. An imaginative range of integrated language thematic exercises is supplied for each chapter of the work. There is translation, grammar practice, comprehension and exercises on essay technique and advanced written style. The scheme of work also provides a list of useful links to existing web resources, such as interviews with the author, videos on historical background etc.
It is clear from the outset that these are materials that have been tried and tested in the classroom. A lot of thought has gone into each worksheet and exercise, many of which will provide a stern test for our most able learners. As with all web resources, plans are to extend the resources on offer. (One rather hopes that the team behind ALF might be interested in working with ISMLA members in adapting and developing their existing resources so that an even wider selection of A2 texts can be made available.) Recently, the first four films (Berri and Truffaut) have been added, and an online AS French coursebook called (rather cornily) A*ttitudes is available. This focuses on the interminable 12 AS units, and provides varied, attractive resources across the full range of language skills, following the pattern described above.
The cost seems very reasonable: £25 per text required, and £250 for the entire AS output of A*ttitudes. I recommend that you have a look at the website to see which texts are covered. However, my feeling is that
these resources will enhance literature teaching at the very least, and provide a very robust framework for those who have a certain fear of choosing literature over the ‘safer’ cultural topic options.
Unsollicited (and very welcome) comment on literature materials from Peter Smith of Haydon Bridge school, Northumbria. Brilliant resources! Will save me hours of planning . Thanks Sandra
"As a teacher of MFL for nearly 40 years, I have never come across such stimulating and well thought out material, especially for A level literature and I am really looking forward to using your materials with Y13."
I couldn't have put the following better myself. Email from Emily Malaval, Hedingham School in Essex
"Good morning, The letter I received from ALF came as a very good surprise. I was looking for resources to help me teach “Un Sac de billes” which I will use for the first time with my A2 students as part of the cultural topic and here they were, perfect resources to help me. I was amazed at the quality of the sample resources (as well as your biographies)! Thank you very much for creating so useful resources and selling them at an affordable price! "
Unsollicited (and very welcome) comment on literature materials from Peter Smith of Haydon Bridge school, Northumbria.
Brilliant resources! Will save me hours of planning . Thanks Sandra
The reviews below were from the autumn edition of the Association for Language learning Francophonie review section. Do consider joining ALL the professional association for language teachers.
NB: The resources for the literature titles which you can find out about on the home page also contain a full French-English vocabulary, an exposé writing guide and sample essay.
Linguascope photocopiable workbooks. Le Boucher. La Haine. Au Revoir les Enfants. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
JONATHAN P. TYRENS
Linguascope photocopiable workbooks. Les Choristes. Le Grand Voyage. Merci Pour Le Chocolat. Le Dernier Métro
|Coloma School, Croydon
I just wanted to thank you for the Amélie materials that you allowed me to access. The materials are very good as a support and to help students to talk about the film in an intelligent way, but also as a support for their grammar. I am using them as revision with the weaker girls for their A2- they've done them before, but I find them great to help focus on the different tenses etc. I will definitely be recommending your other materials to colleagues.
The Grange School, Hartford, Cheshire. (Independent, co-ed, 11-18)