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La description du cours

Bonjour and welcome to Penn Charter’s French 5 course! Congratulations on entering the course! This is the result of five years of successful study of French. You should pat yourself on the back for getting this far!

 Course Objective

Furthering your knowledge of French to help your language placement in college. Some of you may choose to continue to study French in college next year. Some of you may also want to avoid it at all cost! In either case, we will try to ensure that you reach a level of proficiency, which will enable you to place out of the more tedious levels of language study.

 AND /OR Preparation for the AP exam.  The exam will be administered in early May 2013, starting at 12:00 pm, under the supervision of another Penn Charter AP teacher. The exam is about 3 hours in length. During the year, we will focus on the skills tested on the exam, namely: 

  • interpersonal communication (speaking and writing to someone),
  • interpretive communication (processing audio, visual, written, and audiovisual documents), and 
  • presentational communication (spoken presentations and essays).

 In light of this, the course will use a variety of resources, including podcasts, television news and interviews, film excerpts, songs and music videos, excerpts from newspapers, magazines and classical literature, as well as grammar topics on a ‘need-to-review’ basis.


 The following materials are required and must be brought to every class:

  • most of the material for this course will be online: if you are able to, bring your own computer or tablet;
  • a folder with loose-leaf paper, to store tests and occasional handouts;
  • a black or blue pen and a pencil.

 As Seniors, you should be well versed in the art of keeping materials organized. Failure to bring some or all of your materials to class three times in one trimester will result in a morning detention.

 Basic Expectations

 Speak French 

It is paramount that we use French only in class. Our class meetings will be the primary opportunity for you to practice speaking French. Unlike the other three skills, there are very limited opportunities for you to practice speaking outside of class. Let’s make the most of it!

 Be On Time 

We have a lot to accomplish this year: I expect you to be punctual to class and to settle down to work quickly.  Three tardies in one trimester will results in a morning dentention. Be mindful of other commitments and notify me promptly if you have scheduled college visits, appointments with college reps, etc. Similarly, you need to make up missed work without delay.

 Do More Than Required 

You should be listening to or reading French on your own at least every other day. The choice is up to you: music, news, fiction, magazine articles, TV. There are countless choices on the internet. Likewise, you should make full use of the self-grading exercises that are available to you. The more input you receive in French through all channels, the more you will improve.


Academic integrity

 Students in this course are expected to abide by the rules of academic integrity outlined in Penn Charter’s Community Code. The class also has specific guidelines, described below.

 Group Work 

You will be expected to complete all the work in the class on your own, unless otherwise specified in writing on the assignment page. While you may discuss your responses to short answer questions, the phrasing of your written work must be completed individually, without help from anyone. Work on essays and writing samples must be strictly personal.

 Use of the Internet 

While many resources on the Internet are of great help in studying French, some are unacceptable within this course. You may not consult any websites that contain analysis, summaries or synopses of the literary excerpts and song lyrics we will be reading this year. If you are in doubt about whether a website is an acceptable source, please consult with me prior to using it for your coursework.

 Dictionaries and Translators

Use of paper or electronic dictionaries is permitted for homework and take-home assignments. The use of translators is strictly forbidden. For example, Altavista’s Babelfish, Google’s Language Tools, and’s Translator are all electronic translators. Wordreference and Reverso are both dictionaries. The major difference is that a dictionary identifies part of speech and gender, and gives you examples within a context.

*Special Note for Google Chrome Users: Chrome allows you to translate entire web pages into English as you browse. You should not be using that feature while completing work for French class. If you use Chrome as your browser, please read this for help on adjusting your settings. You should either click "Nope" or disable the translation bar altogether.

 Grammar Resources 

The use of grammar tools such as Grévisse, Bescherelle, 501 French Verbs, Schaum’s French Grammar, etc. is allowed for take-home assignments and homework. It is not allowed for in-class assessments, including tests and quizzes.


Tutors may not help you brainstorm, complete, correct, proofread, or spot-check homework, or take-home assignments for this class.  You may work with a tutor on assignments that have already been fully graded. This is also true of relatives, neighbors, French-speaking friends, etc.

 Violations of the Community Code as it pertains to academic integrity will be immediately reported to the Dean of Students.



 Mock Exams: we will have one mock exam monthly. Each mock exam will include three sections in AP exam format.

Take-Home Assignments: there will be one or more take-home essay and/or audio recording per month. 

Quizzes: quizzes will be given with or without warning on assigned readings, vocabulary, as well as grammar topics.

À la carte assessments: for each six-week period of the course, you must submit 150 points’ worth of personal work. You can choose the assignments you would like to complete. Please refer to the à la carte section for assignment options and rubrics.

 Assessments are weighted at 70% of your trimester grade.



 All homework will be checked for completion. There is a one-point-per-day penalty for late assignments. If homework is more than three days late, it will not be accepted. If you are absent from school, you need to show me or hand in to me your completed homework for the days you missed on the day you return to school.

 Homework is weighted at 20% of your trimester grade.



 You will be graded for participation in class. This includes volunteering answers (even if they are not correct!), participating in brainstorms, participating in group work, using French as much as possible, coming to class prepared, etc. Of course, this is a very important part of the course. Try to make the most of the time that we have together in class by being alert and engaged.

 Participation is weighted at 5% of your trimester grade.


French Table

 All students in Levels 3 and above are expected to attend the French Table. This is a lunch meeting in Room 225 where we can have conversations in French about everyday topics. The French Table will meet on Yellow Tuesdays and Yellow and Blue Thursdays. You are required to attend 5 times over the course of the first two trimesters. If you choose to come more than five times, you will receive extra credit. In the third trimester, for those of you continuing with the course, the requirement is lowered to 3 times, due to the constraints of the SCP.

 French Table attendance is weighted at 5% of your trimester grade.


 Online Resources

 Course Calendar

 The entire course syllabus will be online in the form of a Google Calendar. Each of our class meetings will include a lesson plan, work assigned for the following class, as well as notes taken on the SmartBoard (in .pdf format). Assignments will be updated continuously.

 Listening Practice

 Our site features a list of recommended podcasts. You can subscribe to them via iTunes and sync them to a device, or if you have a smart phone you can access them via the Radio France app. 

Your current grade

You can check your grade online at Jupiter Grades (formerly SnapGrades). If you did not have a SnapGrades profile in one of my courses last year, you will be given information about how to register for your grade during the first week of school. If you already had a username and password, those are still active and valid. Grades are updated continuously. They include information about absences from class and tardiness, as well as your current trimester average and year average. Please note that your participation grades will only be updated at mid-trimester, and at the end of the trimester. Your French Table grades will be updated at the end of each trimester.

Course Contract

Once you have read this description carefully, please sign in the comments box below by entering the following: 

"I have read the description of the French 5 Advanced course and I agree to do my best to follow the expectations outlined on this page. [Type your name here]."

This serves as a contract. Should you fail to adhere to the guidelines above, I will refer you to this page. In case of repeated infractions, I may forward your signed statement to the relevant person(s), the Dean of Students, Director of the Upper School, and/or Community Council.