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Review: Ilini.com revisited

Ilini.com

I blogged some time ago about the new video listening site called Ilini which was then free and in Beta form. It is aimed mainly at advanced learners of French studying the A-level exam or equivalent, e.g. Scottish Higher. Some teachers will find certain videos suitable for high-attaining intermediate (GCSE) classes

Now the site is established and has different levels of subscription and much more content let me return to it once more.

What's in it?

Essentially a set of regularly refreshed short video clips from the world of French news, entertainment, culture and ideas. These are accompanied by a range of student and teacher resources including transcripts, online quizzes, pdf exercises, vocab lists and vocab flashcards. Each video has been chosen to be short and frequently matched to A-level French sub-themes. For example, topics you can see from the current home page include voluntary work, music, "Can a child go to jail?", optimism in Voltaire's Candide, de Gaulle, alternatives to prison sentences and the media. These short authentic video clips come from various outlets including YouTube, BFMTV, Euronews, LCI and 1jour1question (one of my favourites).

How could you use it?

I can imagine teachers both using these from the front of the class, together with their accompanying materials, within a sequence of work on an A-level sub-theme, and setting the tasks for private study or homework.

From the front you might do a pre-listening task, show a video, then do pdf exercises with the video, then show the entire transcript or a gapped or reordered version of it. the cultural content would serve students well as they build up their knowledge to obtain more AO4 marks in the A-level exam.

In addition this would be very handy for teachers looking for supplementary tasks for bilingual students (French native speakers).

What are the subscription options?

If you use this it's worth choosing a subscription or else you might as well find the videos yourself and make up your own exercises.

There are "individual" plans with various levels of access starting from £4.49 and rising to £11.99 a month. (Pity about the 99s, by the way.) You could recommend these for keen students willing to spend some of their own money.

Alternatively there are group plans ranging from £3.99 (minimum three users) up to £8.99. You are asked to inquire if you have over 25 users.

If, as is likely, you open an account as a teacher the two options to consider are the £8.88 or £11.99 Premium subscriptions. The latter allows more than one teacher to access the site (with an unlimited number of students). So you might consider this if you are not the sole teacher in the department.

Is it worth it?

That may depend on what you have or use already. There is certainly an overlap with the type of resources I write for frenchteacher (video listening), although my own resources are just worksheet based and have no interactivity. Ilini's resources include time-limited videos, i.e. reports on current events which may have a short shelf life. Overall, however, for up to £120 a year I would say that this is a resource you could make very good use of, whether you choose to use it primarily from the front of the room or as a resource for independent listening/homework. The content is well chosen and interesting, the videos clear and suitably brief. The site is attractive and easy to navigate. Having the transcripts is a great advantage since you can adapt these for further intensive reading or listening exercises. Recommended.

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