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Do you need an A-level French text book?

This blog post is a promotion for

When I was a Head of department I became increasingly unimpressed by the quality of A-level textbooks. Having made good use in previous years of books such as Actualités Françaises (Nott and Trickey), Signes du temps, Vécu (Ralph Gaiskell) and Objectif Bac (Martine Pillette), I found that the most recent offerings, tied as they have been to exam board specifications, thin, unstimulating and difficult to use.

This was largely why I chose to write my own resources which other teachers also find invaluable for their A-level classes.

So do A-level teachers actually need a text book at all?

I have nothing against text books per se. I have no strong opinion about the text book/worksheet debate. To me it's all about quality and usability. Is a text book good? Are worksheets good?

If I were still teaching I would want to weigh up very carefully the value of buying text books and their accompanying ICT packages. has all you need to teach AS and A-level successfully, with the exception of film and literature topics for A2, which text books barely cover anyway. If you want support for film and literature I always recommend Steve Glover's resources which can be found at has the following areas covered: grammar worksheets and handouts, video listening worksheets divided into AS and A2 level, texts with exercises by topic and level, vocabulary lists, games ideas, task-based discussions, translations and exam preparation tasks (e.g. AS oral booklets, A2 stimulus cards and model essays).

You can pick and choose from a huge array of texts, all accompanied by exercises which generate discussion, develop lexical and syntactic skill and widen students' knowledge of the target language culture. The resources are accurate, offer the right level of challenge and are based on an approach which values both large amounts of comprehensible input and a structured, explicit approach to grammar and vocabulary.

If you feel your AS students need revision of basic structures you can dip into the Y10-11 resources for extra grammar and easier texts. I daresay, if you felt any area were insufficiently covered, you could go to the TES site or other recommended resources online (see my links pages). When it comes down to it, though, should be more than enough for your needs.


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