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Drôle de monde

This is a review of Drôle de Monde written by Steve Glover and Nathalie Kaddouri, sung by Archipol and Judith Charron.

Drôle de Monde is a song-based package to support GCSE/intermediate level students. It is available via Linguascope and consists of a CD and Cahier d'activités. You purchase each resource separately. £19.99 for the workbook  Audio CD £19.99

The CD contains 12 songs, each one matched with a GCSE theme. Themes covered include family, work, weather, media, tourism, customs and festivals. The songs are written by ArchiPol, a Breton singer-songwriter from Rennes. They feature him singing, mostly accompanied by Judith on vocals, with guitar, cello, keyboard and percussion. Vocals are clear, the songs are fun, varied in pace and style and all clearly in the time-honoured French singer-songwriter style. The recording production is highly professional.

The work book is an 80 page, spiral-bound A4 affair, perfect for photocopying. Each song is transcribed with a vocabulary gloss covering a double page.

The vocab gloss is detailed and includes genders and different verb forms. If the lyric contains a conjugated verb it is translated and the infinitive given as well. Follow-up tasks include gap-fill with words to choose from (sometimes chosen to practise specific grammatical structures). This is thorough, well thought-out material.

After the gap-fill there are a range of useful activities, for example matching tasks with images:

There are sentence production tasks from grids, definition tasks for vocabulary building, grammar tasks covering areas such as adjective agreements, reflexive verbs and imperatives, to name just three. Other exercises types include gap-fill for comprehension, paragraph writing, questions in French and drills. there is a useful answer key at the back to help teachers or pupils.

I like this resource very much. If you are following a text book course this would make an excellent supplementary resource for occasional use. I would have purchased it. You can use the units in any order to match your topic or the grammatical structure you wish to focus on. The songs may not be in the pupils' usual comfort zone, but give them an insight into a different musical style. The linguistic level is appropriate, perhaps mostly for potentially Higher Tier candidates.

It may also be noted that the new requirement to include literature in your course is covered to a degree by a resource like this, even if the exam boards appear, so far, to be limiting themselves to older literature (for copyright reasons). Extracts could be translated into English as well, which ticks another box.

I like the the Unit 8 song Radio, texto, dodo which offers an alternative approach to daily routine, while the final song Le Tango du calendrier introduced a cultural element less evident in the other songs.

Steve and his collaborator Nathalie bring a wealth of experience to to this resource, as you would see form the tried-and-tested exercise types and all-round thoroughness of execution. The purchase price for a resource you would use for several years is very reasonable indeed. Highly recommended!


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