Resource Review: Tricolore 5e édition

Tricolore 5e édition

My German teacher used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, say it in French”.

French is pure silk on the tongue and in the ear. It is a singsong language, fluid, pretty, romantic and melodramatic. Quite possibly it is also the most clear and precise language in the world.

French, Spanish and German, the UK’s first, second and third most widely taught languages respectively.

According to the British Council report ‘Languages For The Future’, of the ten languages which emerge as the most important for the UK, French is in third spot.

French is the language most sought after by those employers looking for language skills. French is the second most studied language in the world, the fifth most spoken language, the second working language in most organizations and the fourth language of the internet.

French matters and especially at secondary. It’s a value-added skill and forms part of pupils’ cultural agility.

To help your high ability students excel at their Key Stage 3 French, OUP have given their best-selling course a facelift so that it is suitable for the 2014 curriculum.


Tricolore 5e édition provides gimmick-free inspiring content with an assortment of resources to enthuse, challenge and stretch.

Aligned to the new Key Stage Three Programme of Study, Tricolore 5e édition has been updated to teach essential language skills while developing independent learning. The series contains 3 student books, 3 Teacher books, 3 workbooks, 3 Audio CD packs,  and it is fully integrated with a digital resource called Kerboodle with options to purchase resources, assessment and student access.

The Student Books are full of life, colour and energy and every page drips with exciting materials and activities to progress skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Grammar progression is detailed and demanding, making sure students require the tools they need to become self-reliant and self-assured linguists. Units feature nice chunks of reading material, vocabulary lists, grammar explanation boxes and boxes highlighting points of French phonology. The pages feature high quality photographs and cartoons that really add value because they are fun, vibrant and help bring the content into focus.

There are also extension activities to push students with prior knowledge of French or for those in need of further challenge. The books really support reading and translations of authentic texts.

There are brilliant end-of-unit summaries and unit assessment in all four skills. If anything though the pages are tightly packed with content although this is well laid out and organised.

Whilst content might be predictable, it’s obvious that the text books are highly functional class resources with texts tailor-made for repetition, drilling and question-answer. The exercises are extremely valuable and contain a plenty of examples.

The Teacher Books excel because they are crammed with everything you need including the kitchen sink so you are extremely well kitted out and prepared. The contents include teaching approach ideas, a section on games and songs and unit-by-unit teacher notes.

What you get is meticulous, progressive grammar and skills coverage and an emphasis on sound-spelling links to help pronunciation, spelling and transcription.

French resources have come a long way. Cluttered textbooks used to have confusing layouts full of cheesy photographs, unnatural dialogues, unorganized chapters, unnumbered exercises and vocabulary that seemed to have no relevance.

Thankfully Tricolore isn’t any of these things and provides quality content from a variety of authentic sources enabling students to express themselves with real flair; it also has all-encompassing support for independent learning such as extended reading, free choice activities, along with vocabulary and grammar reference sections.

However, there is a hole and one the updated version has been short-sighted by not incorporating. This relates to guidance on including students with SEN and/or disabilities in secondary modern foreign languages lessons and removing barriers to the secondary modern foreign languages curriculum.

Tricolore is a rich blended course which means plenty of easy to use digital content. The Kerboodle platform includes interactive and printable resources, online assessment, support and lesson ideas and online versions of the Student Book with plenty of audio.

Tricolore Audio CD Pack 2 (Tricolore 5th Edition): Honnor,  Sylvia, Mascie-Taylor, Heather, Spencer, Michael: 9781408527412: Books

There are also mini-readers with podcasts, record and playback, editable worksheets, grammar presentations, a bank of starters and plenaries, interactive phonics activities and plenty more on top. Kerboodle is tablet-friendly, customisable, editable and teachers can add their own resources.

Tricolore 5e edition combines a tried, tested and trusted methodology with garden-fresh new content. Last year Ofsted said that too many students were let down in the early stages of secondary school with MFL teaching rebuked for failing to challenge and engage pupils.

Well these resources from OUP would certainly stretch and actively involve students and ensure that KS3 weren’t the wasted years and Cinderella stage of education.

Tricolore is a challenging, student friendly package providing lots of meaningful target language exposure with fabulous structured learning. It’s a package that packs a punch.

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