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TV5 Monde -

For some reason I have neglected this fantastic site for too long. TV5 Monde have made available an enormous number of exercises suitable for advanced level students. There are video reports, comprehension tasks and even grammar exercises, on a vast range of subjects, most of which would suit students in their final year of French at high school.

Just to give you a flavour: have a look at the “Cités du Monde” section where you select a city and then choose from a menu of activities, including listening comprehension, reading comprehension and grammar. The activities are graded by difficulty level, but don’t be fooled, even the ones labelled “élémentaire” are really of advanced level as the recordings are authentic interviews. With each recording there are interactive activities, usually multi-choice, but with detailed feedback when you get an answer right or wrong. Lots of good work has gone into this material.

Within the “Actualité: Infos d’Europe” section there are activities on economics, the environment, health, France and the EU, education, air transport, security and justice. Open up the health topic and you’ll find two reports, one on anti-tobacco laws and one on obesity.

If you try the “Gastronomie” section you’ll see a menu of countries. When you open Brazil, for example, you are offered three video clips, two on specific dishes, one an interview with a Parisian chef.the latter includes exercises at three levels, the first being multi-choice, the second gap fill and the third higher level multi-choice.

In the “Vie quotidienne: un jour en Europe” section  you’ll find the same format – three reports with differentiated exercises.

There’s plenty more too. The site has its own very good dictionary, there's an iphone app and quizzes.

When I tried the site out the other day with an AS group they found the level of the recorded material acceptable and were fully engaged for thirty minutes. On our school connection the quality of video and sound was very good, though there was a slight delay with responses and feedback to the interactive tasks. You would also have to say that some of the topics are rather esoteric, but it doesn’t do any harm to get away from the usual A-level specification topics. We teachers tend to be too slavish to the specification.


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