Ap french Language and Culture Syllabus

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AP French Language and Culture Syllabus

This course is designed as a college level course for high school students in their fourth year of study of French. At this point, they have already learned the structures necessary to communicate in French. In AP French, students review and refine those grammatical structures while learning new vocabulary to communicate in French on a variety of topics. AP French emphasizes all aspects of language: listening, speaking, reading, writing and culture. This course is designed to prepare students for the AP French Language and Culture examination. AP French Language and Culture is conducted exclusively in French. [CR1]
The following texts are used to support the curriculum:
En bonne forme (plus CDs) (EBF)

Une fois pour toutes (UFPT)

Reference materials:

AP French Preparing for the Language Examination (3rd Edition)

Richard Ladd and Colette Girard Scott Foresman Addison Wesley 2011

Schaum’s French Vocabulary Mary E. Coffman Crocker McGraw Hill 1998

Connaissances et Réactions Charlotte Cole and Floy Miller Heinle & Heinle 1995

501 French Verbs Christopher Kendris Barron’s 1996

Dans le Vent Catherine A. Maley Holt Rinehart Winston 1999

Ensemble Culture et Société

Raymond Comeau, Normand Lamoureux, Marie-Paule Tranvouez

Holt Rinehart Winston 1999

Drawing Conversations Véronique Lynch V & B Publications 2005

• News broadcast on France 2 (via WYBE) or online at france2.fr

• Radio France International exercises en français facile


• French newspaper Internet sites

• Ina.fr

In addition to the above, a wide variety of authentic materials are used, including articles

from Le Monde and other newspapers and magazines, French films, literary texts (poems,

excerpts from books), Internet articles and videos, music videos, and Champs-Elysees CDs and texts. [CR2a], [CR2b] & [CR2c]

Assessment activities

Extemporaneous speech is greatly emphasized on a daily basis. Students are encouraged to use the new thematic vocabulary they are learning in their discussion of topics being studied. Each student is paired with another student to maximize speaking time and help them engage in natural discussion in a non-threatening environment one-on-one. Class discussions are open and non-graded to also encourage students to feel comfortable speaking. In addition, current events are studied / discussed throughout the year as they happen, watching TV5 Monde broadcasts and working with the teacher and student materials that often accompany the programs. In addition, students are regularly assigned to create and deliver presentations, to practice both speaking and listening to presentational modes of speech. [CR5a]


Warm-ups often consist of journal writing in which they comment freely on topics being

discussed, or dialogue journal entries where they write several questions to their partner,

and respond to questions they receive. [CR3b] Formal essays are shared and often peer edited so that students can detect and learn from the mistakes of others, as well as enjoy one another’s thoughts and expressions. [CR5b]

Course Planner:

The year begins with exercises to “break the ice,” and serve as diagnostic tools for the teacher. Students receive a letter from the teacher telling them about the teacher’s life, experiences and goals, and are asked to write a similar letter about themselves in response. [CR3b] Students are encouraged to use new vocabulary in their own letters. Students use the letter to then introduce themselves to the class. This personalized introduction sets the stage for a year of hard work in a friendly and familiar environment. After sharing our personal histories and discussing the characteristics comprising a person’s identity and how appearances can be deceiving, we talk about prejudices and intolerance. We do an overview of French history and do essays and debates on the justification of unethical acts and whether the end justifies the means. This leads up to several pertinent literary texts in En bonne forme. Poetry, film, and literary excerpts are also studied within the framework of history. The biography of Prévert and a collection of his poems are presented, the film Au Revoir, les enfants is studied in depth, and an excerpt from Des filles comme les autres is analyzed, leading to much discussion of how these authors/film-makers were influenced by (and influenced) their times. As a final project, students choose from several options that will incorporate several of the year’s themes and contain a cultural component. In addition to the above, it is obviously necessary to practice grammatical skills within the themes throughout the year. In-class exercises and homework are planned to enhance the students’ accuracy in self-expression along with the new vocabulary they learn.

Personal and Public Identities
Sub Themes: Alienation & Assimilation; Beliefs & Values, Language and Identity,

Multiculturalism, Nationalism/Patriotism
Overview: We start by brainstorming stereotypes of various cultures and discussing their

origins. From there we incorporate the above sub themes into the discussion.
Learning Objectives: [CR6d] & [CR7]

• Students will analyze judgments they have about their own and other nationalities.

• Students will discuss the role of language (including slang) not just as a means of

communication, but as a cultural identity. [CR8]

• Students will discuss the role of various ethnic groups and what they contribute to

a given society. [CR3a]

• Students will discuss the role of cultural identity and compare it to nationalism and


• adjectives of description and nationality

• idiomatic expressions

• French slang

• hobbies/interests/youth activities

• Review adjectives and conjunctions (EBF Ch. 6 & 17)

• Review present and imperative tenses of regular and irregular verbs (EBF Ch. 1)

• Review passé compose and imparfait tenses (EBF Ch. 2 & 3)

Week 1
• Elicit characteristics included in defining someone’s identity.

• Read autobiographical letter from teacher.

• Read interview with Michelle Obama

• Review adjectives and conjunctions (EBF Ch. 6 & 17)

• Review present and imperative tenses (EBF Ch. 1)

• Write and present mini-autobiography based on teacher’s model,

[CR5a] & [CR5b]

Weeks 2-3
• Continue oral presentations: autobiographies

• Discussion: How can appearances be deceiving? [CR3a]

• Exercise:

“A me voir, on pourrait croire que je suis ________________, mais en réalité,

je suis __________________.”

• Handout : « Avez-vous des préjugés ? »

• Take « test » : « Des apparences trompeuses : savoir repérer vos préjugés »

• Take « test »: « Test culturel” (from Interculture/p. 199-200)

• Discuss results of “tests” to determine students’ prejudices

• Song (Discussion and activities) “Ma France a moi” (Diam’s)

• Role play: meeting friends at a café using slang vocabulary

• Homework: Write interactive journal explaining why there are so many Africans and

Muslims in France; how one’s identity is determined by both cultural heritage and

current circumstances. [CR7]

• Compare and contrast the conception of public identity in French and Francophone

countries with that in the Unites States.

• Historical overview of France’s role in slave trade and colonization of Africa

• Discussion of how slavery and colonization were justified

• Write essay and prepare debate: Can end results justify the means?

• Review passé compose and imparfait tenses (EBF Ch. 2 & 3)

Week 4


• Test: History of France’s role in slave trade and colonization of Africa Debates [CR3a]

• Quiz: Passé compose/imparfait tenses

Families & Communities
Sub Themes: Childhood and Adolescence, Customs and Ceremonies, Family Structures,

Friendship and Love
Overview: We start with a brainstorming of family vocabulary, which leads to the

discussion of what constitutes a family. We extend this discussion to include

friendship and love.
Learning Objectives: [CR6e]

• Students will describe their families and others.

• Students will discuss traditional and modern families and what constitutes a family.

• Students will discuss how they were raised and what they will do in raising a family.

• Students describe and discuss customs and ceremonies in their cultures and others.

[CR7] & [CR8]


• family

• holidays and celebrations

• emotions


• Review subjunctive tense (EBF Ch. 16)

• Review plus-que-parfait (EBF Ch. 4)

• Review conditional and past conditional tenses (EBF Ch.15)

• Review future and future anterior tenses (EBF Ch.14)

• Review “si” clauses (EBF Ch. 23)

Weeks 5-8:
• Discuss French scholastic system in Africa

• Read/listen to/discuss literary extract from Climbie by francophone African author

(EBF/Ch. 1) [CR2c]

• Assessment: Vocabulary/EBF Ch. 1, and French scholastic system in Africa

• Read about le Maghreb/UFPT Ch. 2

• Read/listen to/discuss “Une humiliation memorable”/Ch. 2/EBF (French author of

Algerian immigrant parents) [CR2c]

• Read/discuss several articles on immigration in France (from Internet) [CR2b]

• Read/discuss la “laïcité” in France (texts from Internet) [CR2b]

• Discuss the controversy over the veil and the reasons behind the laws of “laïcité” in

France [CR3a]

• Read/discuss: “Livre: témoignage et analyse d’une musulmane sur la controverse du

foulard en France”

• Read extract from book Des filles comme les autres, by Lila and Alma Levy-Omari


• Watch video: Interview with Lila and Alma Levy-Omari and their father and lawyer

• Do cloze activity with interview text [CR4a]

• Watch video/discuss (from www.truthtube): People calling in to French radio show

discussing Muslim garb in public [CR2a]

• Do cloze activity with videotext

• Read/discuss article “Multiculturalism ou assimilation?”

• Discussion with invited guest (francophone parent of student in the school): Compare

the controversy over public displays of religion in France with possible similar

situations in the US. Can you imagine this same controversy in the US? [CR7] & [CR9]

• Review subjunctive tense (UFPT Ch. 4)

• Read/discuss short extract from novel Entre les murs

• Read/discuss: “Aux Champs (Guy de Maupassant) ) [CR2c]

• Watch clips from “Un Air en Famille”

and/or “La vie est un long fleuve tranquille” [CR2a]


• Vocabulary quizzes from readings

• Essay: Personal opinion on “laïcité” laws in France

• Debate: Should public displays of religion be outlawed in public places?

• Quiz: subjunctive tense
Week 9
• Write essay/discuss: Describe the things that you are expected to do, at home and at

school, and your opinion of these expectations. Are they reasonable demands placed

on you? Use the subjunctive. [CR5b]

• Read biography of Jacques Prévert

• Study poems “Page d’écriture” and “Le cancre”, and discuss Prévert’s rebellion against

authority, and the influence of his times on his themes [CR2c]

• Read/discuss “Citations” from Prévert
• Write 3 “citations” of your own (i.e.: clever sayings). Be clever/witty.

• Essay/Discussion:

Est-ce que le système scolaire est plus ou moins difficile qu’autrefois?

Donnez au moins 3 exemples bien concrets pour soutenir vos idées.

Week 10
• Read/discuss article (from Le Monde) « Zappe ton prof »

• Share « citations »

• Listen to/read/discuss Prévert poems « Dejeuner du matin and « Grasse matinée »

• Discussion: Who is responsible for crime in “Grasse matinee,” and for poverty in the

world? Does poverty excuse some crimes?

• Review plus-que-parfait, conditional, and past conditional tenses (UFPT Ch. 2 & 3)

Review “si” clauses

• Grasse matinée »/themes and vocabulary

• Quiz : Plus-que-parfait, conditional, and past conditional tenses

• Quiz : « Si » clauses

Weeks 11-13
• Explain project « Conjectures »: Write 5 « conjectures » using plus-que-parfait and past

conditional tenses, one for each of the following themes: science, history, music, art,

and another theme of your choice. (Read samples written by teacher). Use information

from the francophone world, and make them rhyme.

(Example: “Si Claude Monet avait rencontre le philosophe Voltaire, son jardin a

Giverny aurait été encore plus spectaculaire!”)

• Continuing with the discussion of intolerance in this world for those who do not

resemble us or share our personal values, an overview of World War II will be

presented, with a focus on the German Occupation in France.

The film Au revoir, les enfants and propaganda documents will be viewed/studied.

Students will complete a packet of exercises

with vocabulary, structures, and identification of quotes from the film.

• Write: An essay comparing language used to promote intolerance, focusing on

differences in French and in English. How did the propaganda machine use the

subtleties of language to suggest differences about race, religion, ethnic heritage, etc?

[CR5b] & [CR8]


• Test on film analysis, vocabulary, grammar, and quotes

Global Challenges
Sub Themes: Economic Issues; Environmental Issues; Health Issues; Human Rights,

Peace and War
Overview: We start with brainstorming current political issues and discussing their

importance. This theme includes a lesson on the French political and health

systems contrasted with the American systems.
Learning Objectives: [CR6a]

• Students will describe the French and American governmental systems.

• Students will debate current events and controversial issues.

• Students will describe their own health and others including life-threatening health

issues and how it’s viewed by different countries. [CR7]

• government

• political issues

• health issues

• environmental issues

• General review of grammar and tenses

• Review negation (EBF Ch. 9 )

• Review interrogation (EBF Ch. 10)

• Review the infinitive (EBF Ch. 13) )

Week 14:
• Read/discuss text “L’homme qui plantait les abres” (Giono) [CR2c] & [CR4b]

• Song (discussion and activities): “Aux Bres Citoyens (Yannick Noah)

• Read/discuss article from “Internet Actuel”

(L’homme le plus grand ennemi de la planete.)

• Give research project (due week 15): Have students Google “Les défis mondiaux”, and

pick one global challenge to research. They will present their research to class,

explaining the specific challenge, where the problem occurs, who is involved, what is

being done about it, and what more needs to be done. Each student will present the class

with a vocabulary list of new terms they have learned in doing their research. [CR5a]

• Brainstorm : Quels sont les défis mondiaux?

• Read/discuss text “Les défis mondiaux” (from World Bank Internet site)

• Read/discuss article “La RDC face aux grands défis mondiaux »

• Read/view/discuss “L’homme qui plantait les abres” (Giono) [CR2c] & [CR4b]

• Song (discussion and activities): “Aux Bres Citoyens (Yannick Noah)

• Read/discuss article from “Internet Actuel”

(L’homme le plus grand ennemi de la planete.)

• Reading comprehension exercises from two texts above [CR4b]
Week 15

• Presentation of projects: “Les défis mondiaux”
Weeks 16-17

• General review of grammar and tenses, listening and reading comprehension exercises

(tapes/TV5 Monde Actualités) in preparation for First Semester Final Exam
Week 18

• Practice exam that mirrors AP exam

• Remedial work
Week 19

• First Semester Final Exam

Science & Technology
Sub Themes: Ethical Questions; Future Technologies; the New Media;

Social Impact of Technology
Overview: We start with a questionnaire on students’ interest and awareness of

technology. This theme includes a lesson on French discoveries of which they

may be unaware. Then we delve into some of the ethical issues that surround

new technologies.
Learning Objectives: [CR6b]

• Students will describe various discoveries or breakthroughs of French scientists

• Students will discuss the impact of various social media on a society

• Various technologies

• Media

• Texting/email language

• Review object and relative pronouns (EBF Ch. 11 &18) [CR9]

• Review prepositions (à, de, other) (EBF Ch. 7)
Week 20:

• In pairs, have students compare their adolescence with that of their parents’ in view of

today’s technological advances, and give feedback to the class [CR3a]

• Read/discuss: “Bonheur d’autrefois, bonheur d’aujourd’hui?”

• PAIRS: Compare past and present, based on text, then discuss as a class. [CR8] (Have

students write down their ideas as they discuss prior to whole class discussion.)

• Read/discuss excerpt from Anna Gavalda’s

“Je voudrais que quelqu’un mattende quelque part”

and the use of cell phones and other means of communicating with people [CR2c]

• Read/discuss “Solitude Numeriqu” (Didier Daeninckx) (Imaginez textbook)

• Ask: “Etes-vous adonne(e) a la technologie?” (Are you addicted to technology?)

Why/ why not?

• Take “test”: “Etes-vous technostresse?”/discuss results

• Take 2nd “test”: Es-tu accroc au mobile?”/discuss results

• Assessment: Write essay/present orally: Imagine how your life would be without

technology. What would be the pros and cons?

• Discuss how technology has changed instruction in various French and francophone

countries vs. the United States. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of technology,

and the problem (and cost) of access.

• Debate: Has technology changed students’ concepts of honesty? Is it easier, and more

tempting to cheat and plagiarize? [CR3a]

Research project (due next week): Discuss one ethical dilemma caused by advances

in technology. Explain the dilemma, two opposing schools of thought on the dilemma,

and your own personal views (essay and oral presentation) [CR5a]

Weeks 21-22

• Presentations: Dilemmas resulting from advances in technology

• Use “jigsaw” method to read text “Declaration sur la science et l’utilisation du savoir

scientifique » (Each group reads a portion of text and takes notes on main ideas, then

teaches their information to other groups so that main points of entire article are

taught.) [CR4b]

• Discuss how technology has changed our personal relationships with our family,

friends, and “significant others”. Divide students into 3 discussion groups to prepare

panel discussion: impact de la technologie sur 1) la famille, 2) l’amitié, et 3) l’amour.

• Review object and relative pronouns (UFPT Ch. 8) [CR9]


• Students present panel discussion. Students in “audience” are encouraged to ask

panel members questions.

• Quiz: object and relative pronouns

Contemporary Life
Sub Themes: Education, Leisure and Sports, Holidays and Celebrations,

Housing and Shelter, Professions, Travel
Overview: We cover various aspects of students’ daily lives with the goal of being able

to describe their personal lives and contrast them with others in the class and people from different cultures. This theme includes a lesson on the French education system contrasted with the American system.
Learning Objectives: [CR6c]

• Students will describe various aspects of contemporary life including schooling, sports,

hobbies, housing, professions and travel.

• Students will describe their current situations (i.e. schooling, sports, etc.) and future

aspirations (i.e. profession, travel).

• Students will compare and contrast different school systems.

• Students will evaluate the role of sports in a society. [CR7]

• schooling, grade levels

• sports

• hobbies

• housing

• professions

• travel: modes of transport and country names

• Review expressions with avoir, faire and etre [CR9]

• Review the present participle

Weeks 23-24:
• Using the “think-pair-share” method, define “qualité de vie”

• Read/discuss text “Qualité de vie” (Internet text from l’Atlas du Canada)

• Discuss the challenges of contemporary life for adults and adolescents [CR4b]

• view film clip from “Etre et Avoir” and /or “Entre les Murs”

• students act out job interviews

•present research about a francophone country

•write postcard from a place “virtually” visited

• Read/discuss excerpts from “Chagrin d’Ecole” (Daniel Pennac) [CR2c]

• Read/discuss excerpts from “L’Enfant Noir” (Camara Laye)

•create a travel brochure attracting people to a francophone country

• Read/discuss text “Scenario noir pour le chômage des jeunes hommes” [CR2b]

• Read/discuss text « Jeunes diplômes : Insertion, offre d’emploi, et chômage »
• Write essay : « Avez-vous une bonne qualité de vie en tant que jeune eleve ?

Expliquez en donnant au moins 3 exemples pour soutenir vos idées, et une exception. • Oral presentation of theme due next week.

• present research about a francophone country

Week 25
• Read/discuss article: « Qualité de vie : la France toujours en tête »

• Discuss the importance of vacations to the French, and the laws that support their

philosophy [CR7]

• Read/discuss article: “Peut-on mesurer le bonheur?”

• Oral présentation : Avez-vous personnellement une bonne qualité de vie

en tant que jeune élève ? Expliquez.

• Quiz: Vocabulary, grammatical structures from above texts

Beauty & Aesthetics
Sub Themes: Architecture; Ideals of Beauty; Literature; Music; Performing Arts;

Visual Arts
Overview: This theme includes a lesson on some of the most famous artists, musicians,

films, cuisine, literature in French and francophone culture.
Learning Objectives: [CR6f]

• Students will describe various art products (film, painting, books) and their preferences.

• Students will cite various well-known French and francophone artists

• Students will discuss what art is and the role of art in a society. [CR7]

• fine art

• poetry

• music

• literature terms; descriptions

• film genres, descriptions of movies

• theatre terms

• food and restaurants

• Review passive voice and ways to avoid it (EBF Ch. 21) [CR8]

• Review comparatives and superlatives (EBF Ch. 8)
Weeks 26-27:

• Ask: “Comment la publicité influence-t-elle notre vie? (How does advertising affect our

lives? ») /think-pair-share

• Read/discuss article “Les enjeux particuliers pour les préadolescents et les adolescents”

• Discuss how advertising impacts our choice of clothes, our ideal of beauty, our attitude

towards alcohol and tobacco, etc., and how this may differ by culture. [CR7] & [CR8]

• Assessment: Write essay: “Comment est-ce que la publicité influence notre idée de la

beauté? Quels en sont les dangers pour les adolescents ? Faites des comparaisons

inter-culturelles.» [CR7] & [CR8]

• Discuss subliminal advertising

• Read : « Comprendre les lignes de direction et les codes de la publicité »

• Read/discuss French poetry: Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Appolinaire [CR2c]

• Read/discuss Roalnd Barthes’ “Philosophy of French Cuisine”

• Write/present: What can we do to avoid the snares of advertising?

• Students present a French recipe as if on a food show explaining how to cook it,

where it is from (which region), why they choose it, and how it is served. [CR7]

• Write a review a francophone film

• Explicate the text of a poem

Week 28

• Study/enjoy music of several French-speaking singers: (Examples: Celine Dion/Carla

Bruni, MC Solaar/Pascal Obispo/Yves Duteil/Jacques Brel/Edith Piaf). [CR2a]

• Have each student choose one singer to present.

Students begin with a short biography of each singer, and present how their era and

circumstances have influenced their music. [CR3b]

Week 29-30

• Teach vocabulary necessary to analyze a painting.
• Explain choice of final oral projects:

  1. Students will choose a piece of art or music from a francophone artist to analyze. [CR4a] They will include a thumbnail sketch of the artist, and explain how his/her era influenced his/her art.

  2. Students will create a present a virtual tour of a francophone museum, highlighting favorite works of art

  3. Students will research a famous person from the French-speaking world, will discuss their contributions to society, and address how their time period influenced them. They will present that person, in costume, to the class (in first person) [CR5a];

• Overall review of grammar and structures [CR8], reading and listening comprehension

exercises, and speaking and writing exercises in preparation for the AP exam
• Visit a museum for a guided tour of their French art collection [CR9] {if possible}
Week 31-32

• Practice AP exam

• Remedial work

Weeks 33-34

• Many students are absent after the AP exam as they are taking other AP exams. Those

remaining work on their final project and we view several French films if time permits.

Weeks 35-36


Presentation of final projects.


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