The aim of the course is to help students reach a high degree of competence in the language, as well as to explore different aspects of the culture of the French-speaking world.
Upon completion of this course, students will be able to use the language spontaneously in a variety of situations and contexts, orally and in writing. Students will also gain appreciation of the culture of French-speaking countries. This course uses authentic literature, extended texts, and listening and speaking immersion in the target language, in order to prepare for the International Baccalaureate examinations.
At the end of the Language Acquisition course, candidates are expected to demonstrate ability to:
- Communicate clearly and effectively in a range of situations
- Understand and accurately use, oral and written forms of the language that are commonly encountered in a range of situations
- Understand and use a range of vocabulary in common usage
- Select a register that is generally appropriate to the situation
- Express ideas with general clarity and some fluency
- Structure arguments in a generally clear, coherent and convincing way
- Understand and respond appropriately to written and spoken material of average difficulty
- Assess subtleties of the language in range of forms, styles, and registers
- Show an awareness of, and sensitivity to, some elements of the cultures related to the language studied
- French will be the primary language of instruction; students are expected to contribute positively to the class and to use French as often as possible
- Students are expected to participate in all class activities to the best of their ability
- Students are expected to do their homework and to review those aspects that they might find more difficult on a daily basis
- Students are encouraged to read books, magazines and newspapers, and to take opportunities to use the language outside the classroom in order to improve their language skills
- Students will be expected to recognise the existence of local, regional, and national differences in pronunciation, vocabulary, and usage among these countries
- Teachers will aim to reinforce and broaden language skills and cultural background by accessing interdisciplinary, authentic, and virtual resources in French.
- Students are encouraged to spend three weeks or more immersed in the target language culture during their senior course.
Distinction between Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL)
Most Language Acquisition subjects are available at SL and HL. Most Scotch students take Diploma languages at Standard level.
The SL course gives students the possibility of reaching a high degree of competence in an additional language – similar to that of the ATAR Second Language course, while exploring the culture(s) where that language is spoken. The expectation is that the student is a Second Language learner, rather than having a Background context.
The HL course aims to develop the students’ linguistic and literary competence, with an historical and intercultural understanding. At the start of the course, HL students are already able to tackle some literature in the target language. Usually, the student has a family member or an immersion background context for the chosen Language, (while not being able to tackle it as First Language). Fully fluent students should consider the Language & Literature pathway.
There is a common syllabus at SL and HL (with literature as an additional component of the HL course). The differences between levels are determined by the assessment criteria, the examination format, the depth and breadth of syllabus coverage, the literature element, and the suggested teaching hours.