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AP French Literature Syllabus

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Course Description | Objectives | Exam Dates | Required Reading List | General Program Goal | Proficiency | Oral Proficiency Expectations | Listening and Oral Comprehension | Speaking and Oral Proficiency | Reading | Writing | Vocabulary | Grammar | Culture | Language as Language | Supplemental Cultural Content

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AP French Literature (Advanced)

Course Description
The AP French Literature course is designed to introduce students who have advanced language skills to the formal study of a representative body of literary texts in French. AP French Literature students are required to take the College Board's Advanced Placement French Literature Exam. This course is the equivalent of a third-year college level course (Conversation and Composition or Introduction to Literature).

Classes will include close reading and extensive discussion of texts with particular attention to character and theme, structure and style, and to how these elements are related to overall interpretation. To reach these goals, students will learn the techniques of literary analysis as well as a basic vocabulary of critical terms, both of which they need to use appropriately when studying French literary texts. Class discussion and essay writing in French are important components of this course.

The AP French Literature course has the following objectives:


proficiency in the fundamental language skills that enable the students to read and understand prose and verse of moderate difficulty and mature content, as well as to formulate and express critical opinions and judgments in correct oral and written French.


the ability to read and analyze critically and to discuss perceptively representative works of French literature.

The program is not to be construed as a formal survey of literary history, but rather as an introduction to representative works of prose, poetry, and drama from different periods. Students should, however, be aware of the cultural context of the works read. They will also acquire the basic concepts and terminology of textual analysis. By learning to identify and interpret the various elements that enter into the composition of a literary text and to perceive their relationships, students acquire a fuller understanding and appreciation of the art and significance of literature.

The students will be required to read all of the works listed in the following Required Reading List.  In addition, a number of works will be added to this core list at the discretion of the instructor.

Exam Date

bullet2004: Thursday, May 6, 2004 (Afternoon Session)

Required Reading List

bullet Jean-Baptiste Molière (1622-1673): L'École des femmes (1662)
bulletJean Giraudoux (1882-1944): La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (1935)
bulletCamara Laye (1928-1980) L'Enfant noir (1953)
bulletGuy de Maupassant (1850-1893): Pierre et Jean (1888)
bulletVoltaire (François-Marie Arouet, 1694-1778): Candide (1759)
bulletGuillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918):
bulletfrom Alcools (1913)
bullet"Le Pont Mirabeau"
bulletaudio of Apollinaire reciting "Le Pont Mirabeau" (requires RealPlayer)
bullet"Les Colchiques"
bulletCharles Baudelaire (1821-1867):
bulletfrom Les Fleurs du Mal (1857,1861)
bullet* "Correspondances"
bullet"Hymne à la Beauté"
bullet* "L'Invitation au voyage"
bullet"Chant d'automne"
bullet* "Spleen" (Quand le ciel...")
bullet* "Recueillement"
bulletJoachim Du Bellay (1522-1560):
bulletfrom Les Regrets (1558)
bullet * "France, mère des arts, des armes, et des lois"
bullet * "Heureux qui comme Ulysse a fait un beau voyage"
bulletfrom L'Olive (1549)
bullet"Si notre vie est moins qu’une journée"
bullet "Ces cheveux d’or sont les liens, Madame"
bulletAnne Hébert (1916-2000):
bulletfrom Poèmes Nouveaux (1987-1989)
bullet "Baigneuse" 
bullet "Une fois seulement"
bulletfrom Les Tombeaux des rois (1953)
bullet "Nos mains au jardin" 
bullet "Les grandes fontaines"
bullet from Poèmes Anciens (1961-1980)
bullet "Le piano"
bulletLouise Labé (1524-1566):
bulletSonnets from Oeuvres (1555)
bullet* "On voit mourir toute chose animée"
bullet "Je vis, je meurs: je me brule et me noye"
bullet "Oh si j'estois en ce beau sein ravie"
bullet "Las! que me sert, que si parfaitement"
bulletJean de La Fontaine (1621-1695):
bulletfrom Second recueil de Fables, Livre VII (1678-1679)
bullet"Les Animaux malades de la peste"
bulletfrom Fables choisies, Livre I (1668)
bullet"Le Chêne et le Roseau"
bullet"La Mort et le Bûcheron"
bullet* "Le Loup et l'Agneau"

* these poems can be heard as RealAudio files from poesie.webnet.fr.

The following texts are available as Microsoft Reader e-books (require Microsoft Reader; the Microsoft Reader French-English Pocket Dictionary is recommended to enable the Lookup function.  Desktop and Pocket PC versions available). To download, right-click on the link, then select "Save Target As..."
bullet Candide (215 KB)
bulletl'École des femmes (187 KB)
bulletLe Mariage de Figaro  (217 KB)
bulletPierre et Jean  (228 KB)
bullet Poetry (2003 Exam) (148 KB)
bullet Poetry (2004 Exam) (152 KB)
bullet Une Si Longue Lettre... (Study Guide) (142 KB)

To hear Microsoft Reader e-books read in French, download and install the Microsoft Reader Text-to-Speech Package 1.0 (French)-- for desktops and notebooks only.

Supplemental Readings

The following texts are available as Microsoft Reader e-books:

bullet Émile ou De l'éducation by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (606 KB)
bullet Le Barbier de Séville by Beaumarchais (174 KB)
bullet Dom Juan by Molière (170 KB)
bullet Tartuffe by Molière (176 KB)
bullet Apparition by Guy de Maupassant (142 KB)
bullet Le Horla (Version de 1886) by Guy de Maupassant (143 KB)
bullet Le Horla (Version de 1887) by Guy de Maupassant (156 KB)
bullet La Parure by Guy de Maupassant (142 KB)
bullet Les Trois Mousquetaires by Alexandre Dumas (615 KB)

The following texts are available as free Microsoft Reader e-books from Mozambook.net:

bullet Les Fleurs du Mal by Charles Baudelaire (230 KB)
bullet Le Spleen de Paris by Charles Baudelaire (297 KB)
bullet Andromache by Jean Racine (202 KB)

The following text is available as a free Microsoft Reader e-book from The University of Virginia's E-Book Library:

bullet Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare (248 KB)

The following texts are available as free Mobipocket e-books (require Mobipocket Reader for Palm OS or Pocket PC).

bullet Candide (119 KB)
bullet l'École des femmes (135 KB)
bullet Le Mariage de Figaro  (226 KB)
bullet Pierre et Jean  (170 KB)

The following texts are available for purchase as Mobipocket e-books (require Mobipocket Reader for Palm OS or Pocket PC).

bullet Larousse Compact English-French/French-English Dictionary (4 MB)
bulletApollinaire Alcools (127KB)
bulletLa Fontaine Fables Book 1 (180 KB)
bulletLa Fontaine Fables Book 2 (257 KB)
bulletBaudelaire Les Fleurs du Mal (188 KB)

All Modern Language courses are based on proficiency principles as promulgated by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

Instructor: Mr. Milton Turner
MTurner@ignatius.edu, MAT@aol.com
WWW: www.maturner.com or www2.ignatius.edu/faculty/turner/turner.htm 
Phone: (216) 651-0222
Homework Hotline (Voice Mail):
(216) 651-0222 between 6:00pm and 7:30am.

bulletto access, dial 411, then TUR (887), then 1 to confirm

General Program Goal

Students will attain communicative proficiency in language consistent with their level of study. Proficiency is the student's relative ability to function properly in the target language in specific communicative circumstances.


Proficiency is a measure of one's ability to use language. Proficiency is assessed by considering content/context, function and accuracy. The proficiency rating generally falls into one of the broad levels of Novice, Intermediate, Advanced or Superior. Novice and Intermediate are further divided into the categories of Low, Mid, and High. Advanced is further divided into Advanced and Advanced High. The proficiency that students attain depends on such factors as time, level of control, and classroom activities. A description of the four major levels (from the 1986 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines) are below.

Novice Speakers can communicate only in common, highly predictable daily situations using memorized and formulaic speech. They may be difficult to understand, even by those accustomed to interacting with nonnative speakers.
Intermediate Speakers can ask and answer questions and can maintain simple conversations on familiar topics using sentences and strings of sentences. They can usually be understood by those accustomed to nonnative speakers, although some repetition may be needed.
Advanced Speakers can converse fluently and discuss topics of personal interest. They cab describe and narrate events in the past, present, and future using paragraph like discourse. They can be understood without difficulty, even by those unaccustomed to nonnative speakers.
Superior Speakers can participate effectively in most formal and informal conversations on practical, social, professional, and abstract topics. They can explain in detail, hypothesize, and support their opinions. At this level, errors never interfere with communication.

Oral Proficiency Expectations

Based on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Guidelines, the following levels can be reached by students in a five-year secondary sequence of classroom instruction. One year is considered 120 hours of actual time on task in the classroom. An occasional very superior student may, of course, reach the next higher level.

Expected outcomes are given for both Concept Control and Partial/Full Control. Grades are based concept control. Factors such as type of classroom activity, time, motivation, independent practice, and special opportunities enter into the partial and full control necessary to advance on the ACTFL Oral Proficiency scale.

Concept Control

Average student

1st year



2nd year



3rd year



4th year



5th year



Advanced student

1st year



2nd year



3rd year



4th year



5th year



Partial/Full Control

Average student

1st year 0 Novice-Mid
2nd year 0+ Novice-High
3rd year 1- Intermediate-Low
4th year 1 Intermediate
5th year 1+ Intermediate-High

Advanced student

1st year 0+ Novice-High
2nd year 1- Intermediate-Low
3rd year 1 Intermediate
4th year 1+ Intermediate-High
5th year 2 Advanced



To understand French spoken at near-native speed on topics familiar to the student.

To be able to sustain understanding of main ideas on familiar topics in connected discourse of long paragraph length.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletUnderstand verbal instructions and normal conversation in standard French on familiar topics.
bulletUnderstand brief lectures on known topics.
bulletInfer meaning of simple new words from context.
bulletInfer meaning of new words belonging to known word families.
bulletComprehend correctly the meaning of a word with more than one meaning when used in context.
bulletBegin to recognize and understand a variety of voices and accents.
bulletUnderstand authentic narrative and dramatic passages within appropriate vocabulary and grammar range.
bulletComprehend materials related to the text presented by French native speakers at near-native speed.
bulletListen to and understand the major ideas of short stories, speeches, lectures, and films in French.
bulletListen to and comprehend educated native speakers of French using standard language, speaking at normal speed, and speaking on familiar topics.


To speak effectively enough to be understood by a sympathetic French native speaker not accustomed to dealing with non-natives on subjects familiar to the student.

To be able to handle successfully most uncomplicated communicative tasks and social situations.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletPronounce known vocabulary with near-native pronunciation.
bulletRespond to questions in short phrases or sentences.
bulletOriginate dialog with other students and with teacher.
bulletGive oral definitions and explanations in French.
bulletGive appropriate high-frequency commands.
bulletGive oral presentations.
bulletPerform simple original dialogs.
bulletOriginate questions to seek information or clarification on a known topic.
bulletExpress self simply but clearly with appropriate use of known vocabulary and idioms.
bulletRe-tell or summarize short passages in French.
bulletParticipate in informal discussions on topics within the student's realm of vocabulary and experience.
bulletInitiate, sustain and close a general conversation within range of vocabulary and experience.


To read materials in French with minimal reference to the dictionary.

To use skills in reading to gain meaningful information.

To read consistently with almost complete understanding simple connected texts dealing with topics about which the student has personal interest and/or knowledge.

To get main ideas and some details from longer prose selections on familiar topics that have clear underlying structure and that use familiar sentence patterns.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletRead and comprehend edited and abridged materials with minimal use of the dictionary.
bulletRead and comprehend appropriate authentic texts, such as letters, newspaper and magazine articles, short stories, poetry, and excerpts from plays and novels, with minimal use of the dictionary.
bulletComprehend new vocabulary in context.
bulletLearn new vocabulary and idiomatic expressions through reading.
bulletGain "knowledge of the world" through reading in French.


To express impersonal information and personal ideas through writing.

To write French with minimal use of the dictionary.

To write French well enough to be understood by sympathetic educated native speakers.

To be able to meet most practical written needs and limited social demands.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletTake adequate notes in French during lectures or discussions.
bulletWrite short essays and compositions.
bulletWrite essay answers to written questions.
bulletWrite simple and moderately complex answers to evaluate prior reading comprehension.
bulletRe-tell or summarize reading materials.
bulletExpress the ideas of a paragraph written in one language in the other language by using paraphrase, equivalent expressions, and circumlocution.
bulletUse new vocabulary and grammar effectively in writing French.
bulletWrite original stories and/or poems.


To develop an active vocabulary for basic personal and social needs.

To broaden passive vocabulary understanding of low-frequency words and expressions in order to permit students to learn through use of the French language.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletLearn low-frequency vocabulary in selected areas of personal interest.
bulletLearn vocabulary in areas such as the following:
bullethistorical terms
bulletliterary terms
bulletmusical terminology
bulletart terminology
bulletlegal terminology (judge, jury, prison, etc.)
bulletuniversity vocabulary (courses, dorm, roommate, etc.)
bulletvocabulary for major life events (weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc.)
bulletbiology vocabulary (flowers, trees, birds)
bulletspecific cultural areas (i.e. fashion terms in French)
bullettelephone vocabulary
bulletmass media vocabulary
bulletlow-frequency adjectives for detailed description
bulletmore detailed vocabulary in topics suggested for Novice and Intermediate Levels.


To begin to internalize earlier grammar studies for use in the skill areas and to help in the study of more advanced grammar.

To learn and begin to use more advanced grammar concepts.

To understand the value of grammar knowledge in helping one to learn to speak, understand, read, and write the language.

To learn alternate patterns to express ideas.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletLearn additional verb tenses such as:
bulletAdditional past tenses
bulletAdditional subjunctive
bulletPerfect tenses
bulletLearn differences between usages of various tenses such as:
bulletPast tenses
bulletFuture and conditional
bulletPresent and past subjunctive
bulletLearn passive constructions.
bulletLearn adjectives such as:
bulletIrregular adjectives
bulletLearn pronouns such as:
bulletDouble object pronouns
bulletPossessive pronouns
bulletLearn and use subordinate conjunctions.
bulletSpell, capitalize, and punctuate with reasonable accuracy
bulletUse nominalization where appropriate.


To develop an awareness of the contemporary values and behavioral patterns of the people who speak French.

To develop an awareness of the different behavior in foreign cultures as a natural reflection of cultural differences.

To become familiar with the history, heritage, and formal civilization of French countries.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletRecognize impact/influence of Americans of French heritage (i.e., French Americans).
bulletRecognize important dates and places in Francophone history and culture.
bulletIdentify selected major artists and their major works.
bulletIdentify selected major historical figures and periods of history.
bulletIdentify selected authors and major literary works.
bulletIdentify selected major composers and/or performers and their major works.
bulletBecome informed about current issues and events in countries where French is spoken.
bulletGain "knowledge of the world" of French culture through reading and listening skills.
bulletListen to or talk to native speakers in French about differences in customs and beliefs between French culture and the United States.


To begin comparative language study, using knowledge of the grammar, vocabulary and culture of the United States and French countries.

To understand the value of language in human society.

To be able to use the bilingual dictionary effectively.


Students will ...

bulletPerform objectives of previous levels.
bulletCompare English grammar and French grammar.
bulletLearn to select the appropriate listing under a single word in the dictionary.
bulletLearn to select the appropriate usage of word from dictionary.
bulletStudy examples of the history and etymology of language.
bulletRecognize that the people of any culture attach their own meaning to their environment and behavior.

Supplemental Cultural Content

The student will be exposed to basic linguistic notions such as language families and relatedness, stages of L2 learning, cognates and borrowings.

The student will also be introduced to fundamentals of the Arabic language and its contribution to the development of French. This will include an introduction to the Arabic alphabet (one and two-way connectors), basic greetings and leave-taking expressions, classroom vocabulary, and vocabulary borrowed by French.



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Copyright © 1999 Milton Alan Turner
Last modified: August 07, 2004