Below is a combined syllabus for French 1 and French 2 at Spearfish High School. You may download a PDF syllabus for each class via the following links:
I borrow much of the following syllabus material with gratitude from my esteemed predecessor, M. Bernard Barnaud.

Course/Program Description

In French 1, students will learn basic French grammar and vocabulary. Students will be introduced to French history, geography and culture. Students will participate in dialogue and view French and English language movies with subtitles.

In French 2, students will review and build on the French grammar and vocabulary they learned in French 1. Students will study more French history, geography, and culture, including more source documents in French. Students will participate in dialogue and view French and English language movies with subtitles.

In French 3, students will review French pronunciation and grammar. They will expand their active and passive French vocabulary, particularly by reading and discussing an increasing number of authentic French texts.

Materials/Textbook Information

Primary Text: John DeMado, Séverine Champeny, Marie Ponterio, and Robert Ponterio, Bien dit! Austin, Texas: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2008. (Different editions for French 1, 2, & 3.)

Students will also interact with multimedia texts from a variety of sources, including authentic native-speaker French content from the World Wide Web.

Course Requirements/Objectives

  • [French 1] Students will understand basic spoken and written French.
  • [French 2 & 3] Students will expand their command of spoken and written French, with equal emphasis on correct grammar, proper pronunciation, and fluency.
  • [F1] Students will write basic French with proper spelling and grammar.
  • [F2] Students will write intermediate French with proper spelling and grammar.
  • [F3] Students will write increasingly sophisticated French with proper spelling, grammar, and voice.
  • [F123] Students will learn the French-American connection in language, history and culture and discover similarities and differences in the two countries, both past and present.
  • [F123] Students will listen to/watch French songs, movies, television programs, news broadcasts, and other multimedia content from the French-speaking world (La Francophonie).
  • [F23] Students will read, interpret, and discuss French texts, with an emphasis on current newspaper and magazine articles available online.

Student Performance Objectives and Course Requirements
  • Students will complete daily assignments and participate in exercises and activities to build basic vocabulary and understand and use rules of French grammar.
  • Students will participate in dialogue and become proficient in simple conversation.
  • Students will recognize similarities and differences between French and English grammar and lexicon.
  • Students will be able to identify the country of France and French-speaking countries on a world map and will become familiar with the regions of France.
  • Students will view French and English films with subtitles and learn French songs.
Class Procedures and Rules
  • Students have one mission in this classroom: to learn French. The instructor has one mission in this classroom: to teach French. Students and the instructor will do everything in their power to ensure that everyone can carry out those missions without hindrance.
  • Students may not use any electronic communication device without the instructor’s permission. In other words, leave your cell phones off, in your bag, or best of all, at home. (The instructor does not take calls during class; neither will you.)
  • All other school rules apply. Read your student handbook.

Computer Use - Laptop and Internet Procedures

Students will bring their tablet computers, charged and ready to use, to class every day. Students will probably use them in class every day. The World Wide Web provides access to a wealth of authentic French content. The Internet and our tablet computers also provide an excellent platform for producing, sharing, and submitting regular coursework. The instructor will provide the vast majority of course content in electronic format, including the primary textbook, which students may access as a standalone PDF file and as an interactive multimedia text at Students will submit much of their homework in electronic format. The instructor and school policy shall govern all student computer use in the classroom.

Computers have their place in the classroom; sometimes, that place is off and out of the way. The instructor reserves the right to declare a “computer-free zone” in the classroom when working without computers will foster greater communication, interaction, and learning.

Homework Procedures and Make-up Work

Students will often have some time in class to work on homework assignments. However, students should not only expect but welcome the chance to take French work home with them for practice. Under our high school block schedule, we meet in class either two or three times a week. If you really want to learn French, you should listen to French, speak French, read French, and write French every day (Chaque jour!).

The instructor will post lesson plans and assignments online at The instructor will give clear due dates for all homework. Complete assignments turned in to the instructor at the requested date and time will receive full credit. Assignments incomplete at the time the instructor checks them but turned in complete by the end of the school day on which they are due may receive partial credit at the discretion of the instructor. Assignments turned in late after the due date will receive no more than half credit-the instructor will grade the assignment, then multiply that grade by 0.5 to determine the score that goes on the books. Assignments turned in more than one week after the stated due date will receive no credit.

When absent, students should refer to the school website for assignments. The student may also obtain the assignments from the instructor during Spartan time or when possible during class time. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain, complete and submit the assignment within a reasonable time period. Make-up tests will be arranged through the instructor.

Assessment Plan

Student assessment will be based on daily work, participation in dialogue, projects and tests. Letter grades for the course are determined by the school-wide grading scale outlined below:

96–100 A
92–95 A–
89–91 B+
86–88 B
83–85 B–
79–82 C+
76–78 C
73–75 C–
69–72 D+
65–68 D
60–64 D–

Daily work, projects and dialogue constitute 55% of your grade. Test, quiz, and other assessment scores count for 35% of your grade. Semester exams count for 10% of your grade.

The instructor will round the final point-based percentage grade for the course to the nearest integer percentage. If a student’s final point totals produce a 91.5%, the instructor will round that grade to a 92%, the lowest possible A–. If a student’s final point-total percentage is 91.49%, the instructor will round that grade to a 91%, the highest possible B+.

The instructor, a math major, will calculate all grades strictly on the basis of points earned on homework, tests, assessments, and other course activities. The instructor applies no curves, fudge factors, or favors to grades. If you want to earn a certain grade, do your work on time and earn the points.

Extra Credit: There is none. Learning French requires steady, persistent effort. Doing an enormous amount of work at the end of the semester or school year does not produce the same results as steady, persistent effort throughout the school year.