Topical Articles for Gifted and Talented GCSE

French, German and Spanish

12 interesting, up-to-date articles linked to target-language culture and 2016 specification topics! Texts cover marriage, sporting events, protests, festivals, social media, the environment and more! Ranging from 200 to 300 words, these include articles, forum posts, interviews and reports.

It promotes independent learning in a well-structured, authoritative manner, guiding the student through a wide variety of well-thought out activities, whilst preempting and expecting their predilection for self-study and background reading

P Naylor, Teacher and Peer Reviewer
  1. Starter
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Grammar
  4. Comprehension
  5. Writing or Translation
  6. Creative Task

A series of challenging activities linked to skills required for both language learning and the exams accompanies each text to ensure students get the most out of what they read.

  • Great as ready-made cover or homework
  • Ideal for extension and independent learning
  • Answers included

What do teachers say about this resource? (9400)

This comprehensive and clearly structured resource is impressive. It is aimed at able students preparing for their GCSE, but could just as well form part of a transition unit preparing for A-Level. It contains 12 articles of 200 to 300 words, each easily linked to one of the GCSE topics. The types of texts appear to be authentic and cover a wide range of topics, e.g. legalisation of gay marriage in Austria, the FIFA World Cup, protest against forest clearance in Germany and summer festivals in Switzerland. In format they are just as varied, ranging from reports, magazine articles, interviews, emails and blog posts. The resource consolidates and extends the vocabulary beyond what the average student would encounter in class, exploiting the texts thoroughly and then using this new vocabulary in the tasks that follow. There are clear explanations of specific grammar points which occur in the reading texts, which are then also followed up with practice tasks which allow students to internalise and embed patterns in their active use of the language. I am particularly impressed with the imagination and creativity some of the writing and speaking tasks are approached. The tasks following the texts include comprehension, vocabulary and grammar exercises as well as writing, translation and creative tasks. The answer section at the back allows for quick marking but could also be used by students themselves when working independently. The pack therefore also lends itself as an extension tool for independent work for the able student. A very useful resource: it will prove a real time-saver to the busy language teacher as well as supporting students in their studies for their GCSE German exam and beyond. It will enrich and extend the programme of study for any able student, especially those considering taking the language to A-Level.

E Lamb, Teacher of German & Peer Reviewer

For those able, accomplished learners of German, who are ready to access current news issues in the target language, there is definitely a gap in the market of resource materials that are at once accessible and challenging. This set of worksheets offers an impressive framework for competent learners, to read contemporary articles, whilst practising skills that will be tested at examination level.

I like the way that the author has cross-referenced the topics covered in the articles to the distinct GCSE themes. This makes it straightforward for teachers to point pupils in the direction of a particular context and then give them free reign to explore the details for themselves. The resource has been neatly assembled so that each of the twelve worksheets provides a springboard for exploring a particular grammatical point too. The grammar is explained succinctly and is accompanied by useful practice drills. I also like the vocabulary sections, particularly the cognate collections, which reinforce the resemblance between the German and English language.

The writing and creative tasks are, though structured in accordance with the style of questions that appear at GCSE level, nicely open-ended and allow imagination and curiosity to explore the use of the language further, developing critical thinking. I loved the invitation in worksheet 8, to invent a story based around finding something unusual in an Air B&B accommodation.

The themes that feature in the AQA GCSE syllabus are covered well in the resource: marriage, partnership, social media, festivals, national areas of interest, health, international issues, education and jobs. The structure of the tasks linked to each article reflects the type of questions required in the GCSE examination – questions in English, the selecting of one of three summaries that best describes the article’s content, questions in German, the selecting of four out of eight statements that sum up the text. The writing tasks in the resource emulate the style of the questions in the examination and many of the creative tasks involve discussion and debate with a partner – which will inevitably enhance speaking skills.

J Turner, Languages Consultant & Peer Reviewer

I think it is a very good resource - very useful for more able GCSE students and particularly those preparing for AS/A Level. Good range of topics and well structured range of exercises.

It will appeal to all GCSE students seeking an additional challenge or who are able to take on a challenge. The worksheets can be used in class or as homework for independent study. The texts and grammar take students beyond GCSE and are stimulating and good preparation for AS/A Level. Students and teachers often worry about bridging the gap between GCSE and A Level and a resource such as this is invaluable in helping to bridge that gap.

This resource is designed to help students work at a higher level for any specification and it does this by providing more advanced texts and topics and more advanced grammar structures. The exercises, such as translation, are offered at a much higher level. This will appeal to GCSE students who are seeking and able to take on a challenge.

P Porter, Former Head of German & Peer Reviewer

I really liked the texts. I feel that the level of German is challenging, but understandable for higher ability students who actively engage with the texts. They also touch upon topics that students might study at A level, should they wish to continue their languages studies. I especially like the vocab building activities, which go far beyond the GCSE spec and are therefore well suited for students aiming at a grade 9.

H Oberg, HoD and Peer Reviewer

What do teachers say about this resource? (9399)

This resource is absolutely fabulous. It promotes independent learning in a well-structured, authoritative manner, guiding the student through a wide variety of well-thought out activities, whilst preempting and expecting their predilection for self-study and background reading.

P Naylor, Teacher and Peer Reviewer

I really like the resource as a stand alone activity possibly for homework or a cover lesson. It could also be used for a differentiated activity within lessons. I feel it would be a good way to not only stretch the most able but could also be used as a bridge between GCSE and A Level. I like the way that the text is deconstructed through the activities underneath. The use of an initial vocabulary activity allows a secure understanding of the context before moving on to the grammatical activity and then an application activity. It is a good way to keep grammar relevant and to revisit structures that higher ability pupils should know, within the context of the texts.

K Seazell, HoD and Peer Reviewer

I thought the resource was well thought out and offered several topics, all closely related to the GCSE topics. The articles were more challenging than in most text books but, because of the recent contexts used, were more accessible. I particularly liked the articles about charity and the environment as they are difficult topics to make engaging.

L Wright, HoD and Peer Reviewer

Provides much needed interesting and stimulating articles to challenge more able students.

It will encourage students to achieve a sense of success with challenging language and hopefully to see themselves as A level linguists.

D Marks, Tutor and Peer Reviewer

What do teachers say about this resource? (9806)

The articles are not only challenging, but far more interesting than most of those found in text books. It challenges students to develop their grammar and vocabulary whilst engaging them with the subject matter. It encourages them to think of Spanish as an interesting and challenging A Level.

More able students develop a much clearer understanding of more advanced language whilst interesting them in the issues.

D Marks, Tutor & Customer

The reading texts have a very high level of challenge in terms of advanced vocabulary. The activities following each text to consolidate the vocabulary are excellent, especially as they focus on the higher level vocabulary and are varied with each text, meaning they aren’t repetitive for pupils. The grammatical activities are of an excellent standard, focusing on the grammatical structures needed by pupils to gain marks in the higher bands of the linguistic complexity aspect of the mark schemes. Some translations very challenging, with some being even more at AS level (e.g. on Worksheet 2), which is a very good level of challenge for higher ability pupils and teachers can even point out to pupils that they are good preparation for A-Level. This is a very useful feature of these.

C Hennessy, HoD and Peer Reviewer

The layout is fantastic. It follows a logical order and has a variety of activities included, which tackle the requirements of the GCSE. The topics included are not necessarily specific to a certain exam board, which is fantastic as it can be therefore used by all exam centres. It has also given an insight into the cultural aspects that are not always covered in lessons, which is a real bonus. Articles and topics are kept up to date, and therefore relevant to students. The variety of tasks in itself will progress learning, but the thought process is what makes it more impressive, as it requires students to think logically about things and the difficulty in tasks becomes progressively harder as they work their way through.

S Durrant, HoD and Peer Reviewer