Français 1: Syllabus

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Madame Kinsel

Bonjour and bienvenue to Français I! Below I have outlined general expectations and policies for our French class this year. Please keep this in your notebook as a reference for the entire year.    

Why learn French, anyway?

Learning a new language is an exciting way for you to make connections between people, languages and cultures. In the real world, being multilingual is an asset. During this first-year course, the focus will be on self-expression: describing and answering questions about yourself, your friends and family and what goes on in your daily life.  

How will you learn French?

Material is normally thematically grouped and will be presented in a variety of ways. Usually it will involve some visual or physical aspect while you are listening to and hearing French. Then, you will practice, first as a group and then individually or with partners. Speaking and listening in French will be a component of every class. Reading and writing French will also be a part of weekly instruction. The textbook for the class is Discovering French: Bleu but the notes that you take in class will be more important than your textbook. (We rarely use the textbook. Leave it at home as a resource.)

Will you be fluent after French 1?

Not exactly, but you might be surprised how much you can do after just the first week. During this first-year course, you will develop skills in speaking, reading, writing and listening in French.  When you are engaged and apply yourself, you will be able to speak and write about yourself and others, including family, friends, teachers, and classmates. You will be able to read and understand about other people. You will be capable of understanding others speaking French about concepts learned in class. You will also begin to make connections and comparisons between your own life and the lives of French speakers, with an emphasis on France.

What’s the best way to learn French?

Participate, participate, participate. If you want to learn how to speak French, you need to speak! Expect to participate in class on a daily basis in a variety of ways. You will answer oral and written questions and actively participate in partner and group practice. You will need a large spiral-bound notebook that will be used exclusively for this class. Your notes will essentially be your textbook.

Practice is absolutely necessary for success in French. Expect frequent (3-4 times per week) homework assignments. Homework is not optional and completing it on time is important for your learning and the pace of the class. Because homework is practice, you will earn 100% for assignments finished carefully, completely and by the due date. Assignments may be returned for required corrections if proficiency is not demonstrated. Incomplete assignments are not accepted. However, late homework and incomplete assignments may be accepted if you make an appointment with me outside of class within one week of the original due date. We will discuss and review the completed assignment and any related concepts, and you must demonstrate that you have learned the material in order to earn credit. To help you stay organized and complete your work on time, you are required to have a planner.  

What if you miss class?

Regular practice is crucial in learning French; therefore, punctuality and regular attendance are vital. Missing class will affect your learning, your language acquisition and, ultimately, your grade. If you miss a class due to an excused absence, it is your responsibility to find out what material you missed. Devoirs will often be posted in Schoology, Skyward and Remind. You will have the same number of days as your absence to make up the missed assignment(s), and it is your responsibility to turn in the assignment by this revised due date. If you miss an assessment, you must make arrangements immediately to make it up before or after school. You forfeit your opportunity to redo the assessment if you do not make it up within one week of your absence. If you know in advance that you will miss class, you should contact me before and after your absence to discuss making up missed assignments. Your parent(s), counselor and administrator will be notified if you are excessively tardy or absent. You will earn a zero on homework assignments, participation and assessments for unexcused absences.

How will you show what you have learned in French?

Your semester grade will be based on how well you demonstrate what you know and can do in French (assessment of state standards), as well as how actively you engage in class (participation) and practice outside of class (homework). You will earn a score between 0-4 on assessments of state standards. Scores of a 0 or a 1 will require you to redo the assessment. Because this is different than the traditional 0%-100% scale, don’t pay attention to the percentages shown in Skyward! You must attempt all assessments and average a passing grade (D) for all assessments, regardless of your participation and homework average, in order to pass the class. For general feedback on what you are doing well and where you need extra practice, look at the letter grade in Skyward for each of the following categories. (The abbreviations in parentheses are the codes used in Skyward.)

Assessment of state/national standards: 80% of overall grade

Interpersonal & Presentational: Speaking & Listening (ISPK)
Interpersonal & Presentational: Writing & Reading (PWRT)
Interpretive: Listening (ILST)
Interpretive: Reading (IREA)
Culture, Connections, Communities & Comparisons (CCCC)
Participation: 10% of overall grade (CP)
Homework : 10% of overall grade (HW)

You will have many opportunities to show off what you have learned over the course of each semester. You will also have the opportunity to redo parts of or entire assessments within three weeks of receiving feedback, with the exception of the end-of-year final. You will, however, need to complete the online form, make an appointment with me and show evidence of your practice and improved understanding beforehand. 

What are the class rules?

My expectations are simple:
Participate bravely.
Respect your classmates, your teacher and yourself.

Cheating will not be tolerated. Students who cheat may receive a zero, with no chance for making up the work. All cheating will be reported to school administration. Allowing someone to copy your work, whether it is a homework assignment or an assessment, is considered cheating. Also be aware that the use of online translators may produce work that is not authentically yours.

Out of respect for our class, cell phones are strictly prohibited in class and will be turned into the office, per school policy. Please keep them turned off and out of sight during class time.

What’s the key to being successful in French 1?

Former students say that it depends primarily on your effort, desire to learn and being curious. It requires work outside of the daily classroom activities and regular attendance in class. If there is no formal homework assigned, review vocabulary and concepts or look ahead. If you are feeling lost or confused, ask questions. My goal is to help you succeed. The earlier you get help, the easier the year will be. Talk to me before or after class, make an appointment to see me or send me an email. Merci et je te souhaite une bonne année scolaire!