Course Overview

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Advanced Placement French Language and Culture
Course Overview
Before embarking on the AP Language and Culture course, students are normally expected to have successfully completed French 4Honors. Students enrolled in the course must take the AP exam. Most universities offer some credit for a score of grade 3 or above (on a scale of 1-5).
AP French Language and Culture is intended for students who wish to develop proficiency and integrate their language skills, using authentic materials and sources. Students complete a thorough review and learning of grammar that will take place along with a meaningful study of the AP themes (Global Challenges, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life, Personal and Public Identities, Families and Communities, and Beauty and Aesthetics) in order to build their proficiency in each of the three modes of communication (interpretive, presentational, and interpersonal) in the intermediate to pre-advanced range as described in the ACTFL Performance Guidelines for K–12 Learners.

The AP exam tests all four language skills: listening, reading, speaking and writing. Class work and other assignments aim to encourage the development of these four skills and to offer students the opportunity to use their French in as many situations and ways as possible.

Class will be in the language lab two days per week for intensive listening and speaking practice. Students are expected to use French in all class activities.

Work outside of class will consist of reading preparation, online activities, exercises and vocabulary study, as well as writing. Writing assignments will develop from manageable essays on simple topics to timed essays in class on AP style subjects. Regular quizzes will be given with major tests approximately every three or four weeks, normally at the end of a unit of study.

French will be used at all time in class for day-to-day housekeeping, teaching and discussion as well as for assigned activities.
Students will use a variety of materials including several primary textbooks (Une Fois pour Toutes, AP French: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination, Face-à-Face) and other authentic materials and resources
Title ed author publisher

Primary Textbooks

*Une Fois Pour Toutes 1993 Sturges Addison Wesley Longman

*AP French: Preparing

for the Language and Culture 2012 Ladd Pearson


*Face-à-Face 2011 Ghillebaert Vista Higher Learning

*Candide 1998 Voltaire Larousse

*Maigret et le clochard 1997 Simenon Easy Readers
For specific AP practice and thematic vocabulary

*Allons au-delà 2012 Ladd Pearson

*Imaginez – Le français sans frontières 2008 Mitschke VistaHigher Learning
Other Class Materials

*Articles/podcasts from appropriate French language websites (see below)

*Articles from current French language magazines and newspapers (Le Nouvel Observateur, L’Express, Le Soir, Le Monde, Le Devoir)

*News broadcasts and programs recorded from TV5 monde, RFI, Radio Canada, Canal Académie, Yabla, etc.

*Material from the National French Contest, levels 4 and 5
Possible songs

Ma France à moi (Diam)

Le déserteur (Boris Vian/Reggiani)

Ma philosophie (Amel Bent)

Aux arbres, citoyens (Yannick Noah)

Romeo kiffe Juliette (Grand Corps Malade)

and many other songs from Youtube, TF 1, TV5 (Paroles de Clip),
Possible movies (or clips from the movies)

La rafle

Joyeux Noël

Le hérisson

La vie en rose

Les misérables

Le château de ma mère

Monsieur Ibrahim

Le chandail
Sample Classroom activities & The Three Modes of Communication
Interpretive mode

  • We will use a choice of factual and news articles, as well as literary selections. Selections from a variety of media will build on the students’ preparation for using context clues to decipher vocabulary and theme.

  • Selections for literary criticism will be made from a variety of genre based on the themes chosen for the class.

  • Students will learn to read for information, implication and cultural content embedded in the text; they will also predict endings, answer multiple choice questions, write critical analyses and personal opinions about the readings


  • French only is the rule in the classroom. Both students and teacher will address each other entirely in French. New vocabulary is acted out, drawn or defined in French.

  • News as appropriate and interesting is presented in audio and visual formats. Each student is responsible for three presentations of a visual or radio broadcast of 30 seconds or more a semester. This presentation will include pre-viewing and post-viewing activities not to exceed 5 minutes.

  • Songs, audio articles, online news and interviews as well as exam-style passages with questions

  • Students will view movies that relate to the themes selected

Presentational and interpersonal modes of communication

  • Students will address each other and the teacher in French during the class period.

  • Activities to develop skills in specific grammar points will be practiced on the language laboratory equipment.

  • Students will present unrehearsed skits to illustrate mastery of vocabulary or grammar as suggested by their needs and the themes of the class.

  • Students will participate in informal question and answer, informal conversation, and small group discussion.

  • Students will use information to present a synthesis of written and audio documents and express an opinion.

  • Students will make visual presentations to share information with the class.

  • Debates on issues and themes presented by movies and news articles will be held.


  • Students will write well-organized essays of at least 200 words, as well as letters and emails, on a variety of topics, in reaction to a text or information discussed or viewed, which will be evaluated for its content, organization, range and appropriateness of vocabulary, and grammatical accuracy.

  • Students will keep a journal, writing on assigned topics at least 2 times weekly. Students will be evaluated based on organization, range and appropriateness of vocabulary, and grammatical accuracy.

  • Students will regularly write informally for homework assignments based on topics discussed in class.

Grammar: will be taught in context and as necessary with feedback to student production. The use of Une Fois pour toutes will allow students to review and refine what they already know.

  • Classroom is permanently equipped with:

  • TV with VCR/DVD player

  • CD player

  • Digital Language Laboratory (Renaissance 2200)with LCD projector

  • Also available as needed: computer laboratory

Assessment methods and/or tools

  • Contextual vocabulary assessments

  • Contextual grammatical assessments

  • Selected response (multiple choice, true/false, matching and short answer fill-in items)

  • Writing assessment (essays, letters and emails, journals)

  • Oral assessments (interviews, conferences, direct response questions, situations)

  • Student created projects, performance and presentations.

  • National French Exams (listening and reading assessment)


The school system grading scale is as follows:

100 – 90 A 79 – 70 C

89 – 80 B 69 and below F

Quizzes 15%

Tests 20%

Written Assignments 20%

Listening / speaking assignments 30%

Final exam 15% (system requirement)
Course Planner

The course will use a “theme” approach, coordinating subject, grammar topics, reading and production around a central idea. The instructor reserves the right to select from amongst the offered topics/activities according to the needs and prior experience of the students.

Nota Bene: I = Interpretive / IP = Interpersonal / P = Presentational

Week 1 - Follow-up to summer work

  • Grade for completion of the summer packet (listening activities, songs, movie critique)

  • Presentation of student online articles for oral grade

  • Each student to write a synopsis of an article other than their own, and use 10 new vocabulary words in context. Grade for writing.

  • Test over all this material

Weeks 2 and 3 - Maigret et le clochard (reading and movie)
Contexts: Contemporary Life (logement, SDF) /Families and Communities (rapports sociaux) /
Grammar: Présent, passé composé et imparfait, plus-que-parfait (Une Fois pour toutes, Leçon 2)
Sample activities: répondre à des questions sur le texte, résumer un chapitre, visionner un extrait du film et continuer l’histoire (I print and audio, P speaking and writing)

Week 4 to week 7 - Personal and Public Identities/ La quête de soi


Essential Questions:

  • How are aspects of identity expressed in various situations?

  • How do language and culture influence identity?

  • How does one’s identity develop over time?

Grammar: Futur et conditionnel (Une Fois pour toutes, Leçon 3)

Sample Activities:

  • Introduction to the theme

  • Vocabulaire, Imaginez, p. 4 et 196, Face-à-face, p. 170 et vocabulaire de l’immigration

  • P speaking: objets personnels qui “me” définissent (Me box)

  • Partir sur la route des francophones, Ladd, p. 20-21 (print)

  • Immigrés, assimilation, intégration, insertion, Ladd, p. 76 (I print)

  • Ce que le voile dévoile (video)

IP speaking - débat

  • Court métrage “Sans Titre” (Face-à-face, p. 172) – écrire une critique du film (P writing)

  • Lecture sur la discrimination , Clés de l’Actualité , suivie d’un oral

  • > Racontez un acte de discrimination dont vous avez lu un compte-rendu ou dont vous avez été témoin. Imaginez ensuite comment cela se serait passé dans une culture francophone (P speaking)

  • Communication verbale et non-verbale, langue et religion

  • La laïcité, Association Suisse pour la laïcité (I print)

  • IP speaking: commentaries sur un tableau résumant les valeurs en France

  • Le deuxième sexe, extrait, Ladd, p. 30-31 (I print)

  • La femme en France (I print) – lecture et questions orales (P speaking)

  • Journée Internationale de la Francophonie – valeurs de l’OIF par Abdou Diouf (I audio)

  • Réponse à une annonce pour enseigner l’anglais ,Ladd, p. 171 (IP writing)

  • Multiculturalisme canadien (I print/audio), Ladd, p. 114-115

  • Essay: l’identité d’une personne, Ladd, p. 182-183 (P writing)

  • Symboles de la France (lecture, Allons au-delà, p. 278-281) (I print)

  • Le patriotisme américain (Ladd, p. 46) (I print)

Week 8 to week 11 - Families and Communities / La famille et la communauté


Essential Questions:

  • What constitutes a family in different societies?

  • How do individuals contribute to the well-being of communities?

  • How do the roles that families and communities assume differ in societies around the world?

Grammar: Les pronoms et le subjonctif (Une Fois pour toutes, Leçons 4 et 5)

Sample Activities:

  • Introduction to the theme

  • Vocabulaire: Imaginez, p. 39 et 231 / Face- à-face, p. 72

  • Court-métrage Il neige sur Marrakech (Hicham Alhayat, 2006)

  • La cuisine en famille: Brownies à la neige, Ladd, p. 118-119 (I print & audio)

  • Jour de mariage, Imaginez, p. 224-225 (I print)

  • IP writing: répondre à une invitation (Face- à-face, p. 84)

  • Le rôle du griot dans les communautes africaines, Ladd (I print)

  • Une famille branchée, Ladd, p. 129 (I audio)

  • Extrait du film Le hérisson (2009) pour une discussion sur les rapports sociaux et les classes socials (IP speaking)

  • La structure familiale au Moyen-Age, Ladd, p. 70 (print)

  • La vérité (A. Chedid) in Face-à-Face (I print)

  • Débat sur la lecture (IP speaking)

  • Essay: Vos parents vous ont-ils déjà promis un cadeau pour vous faire obéir? OR

Comparez la tradition de la dent de lait en France avec une tradition de votre pays.

(P writing)

  • Nouveaux citoyens canadiens, Ladd, p. 42 (I print)

  • Qu’un ami véritable est une douce chose! Montaigne, Face-à-Face (I print)

  • L’amitié et l’amour, Ladd, p. 38 (I print)


AP French: Preparing for the Language and CultureExamination

Face-à-Face, Leçon 1 ( pages 3-35) et leçon3 (p. 72-101)

Imaginez, Leçons 1 et 6, p. 4-38 et p. 195-231/ vocabulaire, p. 39 et 231
Week 12 to week 15Science and technology / La Science et la technologie


Essential Questions:

- How do developments in science and technology affect our lives?
- What factors have driven innovation and discovery in the fields of science and technology?
- What role does ethics play in scientific advancement?

Grammar: Une Fois pour toutes, Leçons 6 et 7

Sample activities:

- Introduction to the theme

  • Court métrage Comment j’ai marché sur la Lune (Samuel Jadock, 2003)

  • Imaginez, Leçon 7, pages 234-269 / vocabulaire, p. 236 et 269

  • Face-à-Face, Leçon 2, pages 37-69

  • P writing – Students will address a few of the main themes of the movie ( conquest, economic warfare,…) and present what message(s) they think the filmmaker wanted to convey.

- Current Research Topics / La recherche et ses nouvelles frontières

  • Avancées scientifiques dans le domaine du cancer (I print)

- Discoveries and Inventions / Les découvertes et les inventions

  • Neuf grandes découvertes en médecine (L’Expres) (IP speaking)

  • Cinq grandes inventions technologiques (reading and P writing)
    - Ethical Questions / Les choix moraux

  • Gaz à effet de serre (I print)

  • Le réchauffement climatique: débat d’experts (I print)

  • Le mais trangénique (I print)

  • Le génie génetique (I print)

  • “Science sans conscience n’est que ruine de l’âme”: discussion (IP speaking)
    - Future Technologies / L’avenir de la technologie

  • Le futur de la technologie (I video)

  • Research on new advances in technology and science (P speaking)
    - Intellectual Property / La propriété intellectuelle

  • Jeu-questionnaire sur la propriété intellectuelle (I print)
    - The New Media / Les nouveaux moyens de communication

  • Les liseuses électroniques et l’avenir du livre (I audio – RFI) / IP & P speaking

  • Film interactif

« Derrière la porte » :

Short movie : Create your own story : Students are given choices to develop the movie in one way or another and also to decide the ending. The movie is about two teenagers and the way they use new technologies.

P writing/speaking : students narrate their story by writing and explain how the story would have been if they had chosen other options

- Social Impact of Technology / La technologie et ses effets sur la société

  • Trains et avions: avantages et désavantages (reading and IP speaking)

  • Essay: Grâce aux dernières découvertes scientifiques, les médecins peuvent prolonger la vie des patients gravement malades. À votre avis, est-ce une bonne idée d’employer des machines pour prolonger la vie ? Est-ce que le résultat est une meilleure qualité de vie ? La prolongation de la vie est-elle plus importante que la qualité de la vie ? (P writing)

Sources pour les lectures (propriété intellectuelle)
Sources pour l’écoute (film Jadock) (futur de la technologie) (liseuses électroniques)
Semester 2

Week 1 to week 4 - Contemporary Life / La vie contemporaine

Essential Questions:

  • How do societies and individuals define quality of life?

  • How is contemporary life influenced by cultural products, practices, and perspectives?

  • What are the challenges of contemporary life?

Grammar: Une Fois pour toutes, Leçons 8 et 9

Sample activities

  • Vocabulaire

  • Advertising & Marketing/La publicité et le marketing

  • Emission de la RTBF sur la consummation, Ladd, p. 137 (I audio)

  • Education / L’éducation et l’enseignement

  • Podcast/discuss : Vox Pop Nouveaux Savoirs (Université de Montréal) Pourquoi les étudiants étrangers choisissent-ils l’Université de Montréal (I audio/IP speaking)

  • Research/discuss the education system in France and in Francophone Africa/compare to U.S (P speaking)

  • Le baccalauréat, Ladd, p. 88-89 (I print & audio)

  • Audio:

  • Essay (P writing) sur le bac (Faut-il supprimer le baccalauréat?), Ladd, p. 184-185

- Housing and Shelter / Le logement

  • L'Habitat en France (I print)

  • La crise du mal-logement (Les Clés de l’Actualité février 2007) (I print)

  • Les sans-abri (Solidarité: 5000 lits toute l’année) (I print)

  • Aides au logement de la Ville de Paris (Ladd, AP French, p. 6-7) (I print)

  • Les passe-temps (Imaginez, Leçon 8, p. 272-309 / Vocabulaire: page 309)

  • Loisirs à Montréal (Iprint)

  • Pétanque à New York (I video)

  • Josette joue à la pétanque (I audio) + Ladd, p. 92-93

  • Extrait (lecture et film) “Le chandail” (I print&video)

  • Perspectives de travail (Imaginez, Leçon 9, p. 311-347 / Vocabulaire: page 347)

  • Le chômage des jeunes (I print)

  • Pub Québec sur métier (I video)

  • Job interviews (IP speaking)

  • IP writing – écrire une lettre pour une demande de stage (ou courriel)

  • Le bizutage en France – rite de passage ? (I print)

  • Lecture sur le bac (Text Allons au-delà, p. 206-207)

  • Holidays and celebrations/ Les fêtes

  • Le Ramadan, Ladd, p. 44 (I print)

  • Face-à-Face, Leçon 4, pages 103-135

  • Projet: présentation d’un pays francophone (I print/ P speaking & writing)

Sources pour les lectures,40009570&_schema=PORTAL (sports et loisirs) le-risque-d-une-generation-perdue_1398117_3224.html
Sources pour l’écoute (voyages en train – Grand Corps Malade) (Pétanque à New York) (pub Québec) (Josette joue à la pétanque)
Week 5 to week 8 - Global Challenges/Les défis mondiaux

Essential Questions:

  • What environmental, political, and social issues propose challenges to societies throughout the world?

  • What are the origins of those issues?

  • What are possible solutions to those challenges?

Grammar: Une Fois pour toutes, Leçons 10 et 11

Sample Activities:

Interview de Tahar Ben Jalloun (I audio) et MC
- Economic Issues / L’économie

Celle qui aimait les arbres et le rouquin de Nanterre (pp. 156-161)
Le Rat de ville et le rat des champs (pp. 166-167)
Sur le réchauffement planétaire (pp. 152-155)
Toxic planet (pp. 162-163)

  • Ecomusée La savonnerie Olivier , Ladd, p. 40 (I print)

  • Débat: que faire pour réduire les gaz à effet de serre (IP speaking)

- Health Issues / La santé

  • Articles du site de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé (

  • Le Bien Public / camp de prisonniers de WWII, Ladd, p. 4 (I print)

  • La nuit d’avril 1915, Ladd, p. 58 (I print)

Week 9 to 12 - Beauty and Aesthetics/L’esthétique

Essential Questions:

How are perceptions of beauty and creativity established?
How do ideals of beauty and aesthetics influence daily life?
How do the arts both challenge and reflect cultural perspectives?

Grammar: Une Fois pour toutes, Leçon 12

Sample Activities:


  • Le Paris arabe historique, Ladd, p. 8 et lecture site RFI (I print)

  • La gastronomie française classée au patrimoine de l’Unesco ? , Ladd, p. 74 (I print)

  • Patrimoine mondial : Quelques belles réussites, Ladd, p. 54 (I print)

  • Écrire (réflexions de Marguerite Duras), Ladd, p. 18 (I print)
  • Rétrospective sur la musique acadienne, Ladd, p. 22-23

  • Performing Arts / Les arts du spectacle

  • Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker chorégraphe belge, Ladd, p. 64 (I print)

  • P speaking – PP sur un créateur francophone
    Visual Arts / Les arts visuels

  • P writing: décrivez une visite de musée (réelle ou virtuelle) et donnez votre opinion sur quelques oeuvres exposées.

Week 13 to week 14 - Candide (Excerpts)

  • Global challenges (war and peace, diversity, health)

  • Families and Community (family structure, customs and ceremonies, friendship and love)

  • Personal and Public Identity (beliefs and values, alienation and assimilation, nationalism, language and identity, multiculturalism)

  • Beauty and Aesthetics (ideals of beauty, world artistic heritage)

  • Contemporary Life (education, travel, rites of passage)


  • Passé simple/Prépositions (avec les noms de pays, de villes, nationalités)

Sample Activities/Assignments:

  • After 6 chapters, design a drawing which represents the progress of the novel

  • Essay (P writing): describe Candide’s El Dorado. What is your own idea of El Dorado? OR write your own episode of Candide, remaining faithful to the characters as well as to Voltaire’s style OR examine two of the metaphors (e.g. expulsion from the castle, shipwreck, garden) which figure in the book

  • Speaking (P speaking): Groups each present an episode as a modern news item with interviews, comments.


Course Overview iconOverview Description

Course Overview iconCourse Overview Years of Study

Course Overview iconCourse Overview and Learning Objectives

Course Overview iconI. Course Overview
«La resistance (Charles de Gaulle, discours)», (Chosen examples in video format)

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