Title: Edexcel A-level French / German / Spanish

Languages: French, German and Spanish

By: Hodder Education

Price: Paperback: £31.50 each

Website:  http://tinyurl.com/ycfry2mw

Mary Heath

Language Teacher, Woodford County High School for Girls

There is inevitably a degree of apprehension amongst teachers with the introduction of new specifications about how to offer the best teaching. One significant change across subjects at both GCSE and A-level is the return to the linear examination. For MFL (the new GCSE and A-level specifications starting in September 2016) there is a greater emphasis on culture, literature and translation – and at A-level in particular, all pupils will be required to write on at least one literary text. Whilst culture, literature and translation have always played a part in the A-level course, teaching will now need to be tailored more directly to hone these skills. The new Hodder textbook relates closely to the demands of the new specification for Edexcel, but offers a helpful number of resources for any exam board.

A major strength of the textbook is its approach to developing key skills; this will be essential with the linear nature of the course both linguistically and also more generally. Each chapter is geared towards developing a range of “strategies”, from specific linguistic skills to more general study skills which will help students prepare for their independently-researched project. Another strength of the material covered in the book is its clear cultural focus, which is up-to-date and engaging. Having some ready-to-use cultural resources will prove invaluable in this first phase of the new specification. The textbook will not completely do away with any apprehension amongst teachers, but it will certainly demystify the transition.

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