AP French Language
Like all Advanced Placement courses, the French Language course is for students interested in a higher level of study, in this case comparable to a third-year college class in French Composition and Conversation. Before taking the AP class, students should have developed a strong command of appropriate grammar and vocabulary, and be proficient in listening to, reading, speaking, and writing the language. The course itself places an emphasis on active communication, and helps students develop fluency in written and spoken French, including a vocabulary advanced enough to read most non-technical writings without a dictionary. The AP French Language Examination takes approximately 2.5 hours and includes four sections, each including both proper and idiomatic French. The listening and reading portions of the test are multiple choice, and the writing and speaking portions are free response, the latter involving audiocassettes. Directions are given in English; use of dictionaries and other reference works is forbidden. Each portion of the exam is 25% of the final score.
AP French Literature
As with the Language course, the French Literature course is designed for advanced students who are already able to understand most or all of the French-language works they encounter. The course is intended to introduce students to the formal study of some French literary texts. Objectives for the class include proficiency in the fundamental language skills for comprehending prose and verse and then expressing opinions on the works, and the ability to read and analyze representative works of French literature. The course is not intended to be extensive but rather to present a sample; required reading for 2002 and 2003 includes Voltaire's Candide, Le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais, Molière's L'Ecole des femmes, and several pieces of poetry including works by Baudelaire. The AP French Literature Examination takes three hours, and tests the student's ability to understand, analyze, and interpret literary texts and write competent critical essays in French. The multiple-choice portion counts as 40% of the final score, and the free-response portion is 60% of the score. The latter includes an essay and an analysis, with both parts counting equally and being scored for content and language. As in the Language exam, no dictionaries or other reference works are permitted.
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