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					                                      Malden High School
                             Syllabus for Academic Year 2011-2012


Course Title: Advanced Placement French                   Course Number: 04471
Instructor: Mr. Paul Degenkolb                            Classroom: BR 480
Instructor Site: http://cdfdegenkolb.wikispaces.com       Contact: pdegenkolb@malden.mec.edu


Introduction

Advanced Placement (AP) French is a challenging course option for advanced students of French
at Malden High School who have successfully completed Honors French III or for those whose
prior experience with the French language was substantial enough to allow them to place a
rigorous placement exam.

AP French is a college-level course in which French is used exclusively. Students are encouraged
to format even clarifying questions in French, and all class activities and discussions take place in
the target language.

Both the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the ACTFL standards of Connections,
Communities, Cultures, Communication, and Comparisons are essential to the planning and
execution of both in-class and out-of-class activities each day. Students are challenged to explore
the diversity within their own country as well as throughout the world, particularly in places
where French is spoken. The curriculum challenges and motivates students to improve their
listening and reading comprehension, to express themselves through the written word, to interact
with text, audio and video sources and share opinions with one another, and to share their
thoughts and perspectives in oral exposés relating to the themes of the course throughout the year.

Malden High School uses the quarter system, and as a result, preparation for the exam is very
rigorous through the first three-and-a-half quarters of the year. After the exam, students complete
and present a capstone project involving an aspect of one of the key themes of the course


Teacher Preparation

I am a member of the Massachusetts Foreign Language Association and collaborate closely with
the other French teacher at my school around curriculum development. I also communicate and
collaborate with other language teachers in my school as well as teachers from neighboring
communities.

I have attended two AP Institutes and am constantly searching for additional professional
development opportunities to further enhance my instruction and practice.

I have studied French language and culture in Angers, France and hold a Bachelor’s Degree in
French from Yale University, where I completed the intensive major. I have also pursued
graduate work in Secondary Education with a focus in French through the Lynch School of
Education at Boston College.
Course Objectives

* The principal objective of the course is to expose students to the diversity of the French-
speaking world and to encourage them to make comparisons and connections between local and
global issues as well as cultural, historical and sociological questions, especially those concerning
places where French is spoken. In a larger sense, the course deals with historical and
contemporary affairs and challenges and questions from across the globe in a French language
context.

* Students are encouraged to communicate in a wide variety of ways throughout the year so as to
improve their language abilities, particularly around speaking and writing. They respond to one
another in one-on-one discussions, small group activities and large group symposia and debates
as well as via internet posting, commenting on one another’s writings either online or in person,
interacting on Voicethread or Wikispaces or through myriad other tools and activities carried out
both in class and at home.

* The course aims to provide a rigorous preparation for the Advanced Placement exam by
exploring the six key themes of global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life,
personal and public identities, families and communities, and beauty and aesthetics. Throughout
in-class and out-of-class activities, students engage with and explore these themes and witness
their overlapping nature so as to improve their abilities in the four linguistic skill sets emphasized
in our school’s language program: reading, writing, listening and speaking.

* Interpersonal communication, both spoken and written as well as audio, visual, audiovisual,
written and print interpretive communication are practiced daily in class and on out-of-class
assignments; spoken and written presentational communication are practiced in small group
discussions, oral exposés, independent essays and collaborative writing assignments.

* The course also allows for a revision of basic and complex grammatical structures using both
printed review explanations and exercises and interactive online grammar tools with the aim of
improve students’ presentational writing and speaking abilities.


Assessment

* Assessment is planned with the AP Examination in mind. All assessments are graded using an
adapted AP rubric which allows scores to be converted to the 0-100 scale used at the school.

* Each quarter, students post twenty assignments in a virtual cahier électronique. They are also
graded on in-class essays and interpersonal writing assignments. Peer review is also part of the
evaluation process for writing assignments.

* Oral participation grades are given throughout the year to document the students’ use of French
in class. Students are also graded on their exposés oraux, which are given weekly beginning in
the second quarter, and they also maintain an oral portfolio using software in the school’s
language laboratory.

* Students’ reading and listening abilities are evaluated on vocabulary and grammar review
quizzes as well as on traditional multiple choice based reading assignments.
Course Materials

In addition to requiring students to maintain both a virtual and a written notebook, we take
advantage of sources from a wide variety of genres and sources in class so that students are
exposed to many different aspects of culture and style, reflecting the incredible diversity of the
French-speaking world. Here is a breakdown of sources used in the course.

Primary Texts:

    1) AP French: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination (Pearson 2012) with
       CD. Richard Ladd.
    2) Une fois pour toutes: Une révision des structures essentielles de la langue française
       (Pearson 2008). Hale Sturges II, Linda Cregg Nielsen, Henry Lynn Herbst.
    3) Cyrano de Bergerac, Rostand
    4) Les gouverneurs de la rosée, Roumain
    5) L’enfant noir, Laye
    6) Contes et nouvelles, Guy de Maupassant
    7) La noire de…, Sembène Ousmane

Supplementary Texts and Resources:

    1) AP French Language and Culture: Workshop Handbook and Resources 2011-2012.
    2) Allons au-delà: La langue et les cultures du monde francophone (Pearson 2012).
        Richard Ladd.
    3) TV5 et TV5 Monde
    4) France2.fr
    5) Jeuneafrique.com
    6) RadioFrance.fr
    7) France24.com
    8) ARTE - http://ddc.arte.tv/
    9) Africa24.tv
    10) Radio Canada – Québec
    11) BBC French: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/
    12) University of Texas – Tex’s French Grammar
    13) Miscellaneous French-language websites for articles, audio clips, charts, maps, music,
        podcasts, songs, statistics, videos and other information.
Teaching Strategies

The following represents a breakdown of the strategies used to support student development and
mastery of reading, writing, listening and speaking in French.

1) Reading

Students read authentic materials daily as part of in-class assignments, homework and free
reading time. They also peruse online articles in preparation for their weekly oral presentations.
The purpose of this is to expose students to a wide variety of cultural and historical perspectives
from around the globe, to broaden their understanding of world events, to foster a sense of the
interconnectivity of current events and history, and to challenge them to compare, contrast and
re-define their perceptions of cultures and identities from across the world.

As part of class activities, students must read articles from internet, magazine and newspaper
sources relevant to the theme being studied. They work individually, in pairs, in small groups or
as a whole class. All assignments include interpretive questions. Students either post their
responses to these in their virtual notebooks online or discuss their answers in small group or
whole class discussions.

Students are also exposed to passages with multiple choice questions and work individually or in
pairs to discern the correct answers and eliminate “distractor” items. As a part of their analysis,
students must also find textual justification for their answers. This is a test preparation strategy to
help students ready themselves for the reading passages on the AP exam.

Finally, students read literary works from varying genres to broaden their vocabulary and
improve their ability to read critically. These texts offer additional opportunities for discussion
and for practice with interpretive analysis as well as interpersonal and presentational writing.

2) Writing

Students practice with brainstorming, organization and other pre-writing strategies as a way to
prepare for the formal writing assessments used on the AP examination.

Students write AP compositions every two to three weeks to practice the different styles
(interpersonal, presentational) of writing used on the advanced placement exam. These
compositions are analyzed for content, correct use of grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Peer
review and one-on-one conferences with the instructor are important components of the revision
process.

Students also constantly practice their writing through constant updating and posting on their
individual cahiers électroniques (virtual notebooks), which they maintain themselves. These
websites serve as a space for students to share their thoughts and ideas about readings, audio and
video clips and other postings and realia used in class. They are also asked to interact with one
another in this virtual space, posting reactions and responses to each other’s writings as a part of
their regular homework assignments. These assignments further students’ abilities in both
interpersonal and presentational writing.

Students also complete a capstone project, a portion of which takes the shape of a written
mémoire in which students write an in-depth explanation and analysis of a cultural topic of their
choice.
3) Listening

Students are immersed in a French-language environment from the moment they walk into the
classroom. They often hear French music when they enter the room, and all interactions in class
take place in French.

Students are exposed to both audio and video sources relating to culture, current events, music,
politics and many other topics. Every day, class involves interaction with an audio or video
selection and subsequent discussion. Please see a breakdown of the supplementary materials to
gain a sense of the sources of these audio and video excerpts and presentations and the course
calendar for a sense of the themes studied in class.

Students also practice with recordings specifically geared toward improving upon listening
comprehension. They analyze the passages they hear and work to improve their knowledge of
vocabulary. They also analyze answer choices for “distractor” items to improve and sharpen their
test-taking strategies.

4) Speaking

The course is conducted exclusively in French. All interaction with course materials, peers and
the instructor takes place in the target language.

Each and every day, students are greeted at the door in French and find a posted focus question to
get them thinking in French and to allow a point of entry to the lesson of the day.

There are many opportunities for oral communication in class. These include casual and more
spontaneous conversation around posted focus questions, homework and readings and student-led
group discussions as well as more formal debates, exposés and symposia, allowing students to
speak in different registers.

All group work and in-class discussion requires interpersonal communication, one of the key
components of the AP exam. Students work in pairs and in small groups every day, and there is
also a general whole class discussion each day. To practice presentational speaking, students
present in a variety of ways: oral exposés, debates and student-led discussions are all essential
activities conducted in class geared toward improving students’ presentational speaking abilities.

Students also record audio files in the language laboratory at the school. They are graded first
using an analytical rubric broken down to assess vocabulary, pronunciation, clarity and fluency.
Eventually, they are graded using the AP rubric. The rationale is that students first must know
what areas they should address before thinking of themselves as an AP “number”.
Course Calendar

Each quarter, all readings (taken from a wide variety of genres and sources), videos, films, in-
class activities, writing assignments and presentations revolve around the AP themes outlined in
the course objectives above and repeated in the descriptions of readings and videos demonstrated
in the breakdown below.

Quarter 1

* Weekly grammar review – Lessons 1-3
* L’enfant noir, Laye
* La noire de…, Ousmane
* Lectures / videos – Immigration, Identité, Économie, Environnement mini-units
* Persuasive Essays 1, 2
* Two to three times weekly e-mails and postings based on newspaper and journal articles, news
reels, instructional videos, audio clips, films, etc.
* Weekly student-led discussions and small group “Last Word” exercises

Quarter 2

* Weekly grammar review – Lessons 4-6
* Les gouverneurs de la rosée, Roumain
* Lectures / videos – Science, technologie, innovations, la vie contemporaine
* Persuasive Essays 3, 4; E-mails 1, 2
* Two to three times weekly e-mails and postings based on newspaper and journal articles, news
reels, instructional videos, audio clips, films, etc.
* Weekly student-led discussions and small group “Last Word” exercises
* Weekly exposés oraux

Quarter 3

* Weekly grammar review – Lessons 7-10
* Optional Saturday preparation sessions begin
* Contes et nouvelles, Guy de Maupassant
* Lectures / videos - personal and public identities, families and communities, diversity,
perception vs. reality
* Persuasive Essays 5, 6; E-mails 3, 4
* Two to three times weekly e-mails and postings based on newspaper and journal articles, news
reels, instructional videos, audio clips, films, etc.
* Weekly student-led discussions and small group “Last Word” exercises
* Weekly exposés oraux

Quarter 4

* Intensive AP review and practice
* Cyrano de Bergerac, Rostand
* Lectures / videos – beauty and aesthetics
* Two to three times weekly e-mails and postings based on newspaper and journal articles, news
reels, instructional videos, audio clips, films, etc.
* Final capstone projects / presentations / mémoires

				
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