ap french resources

12 Resources Your AP French Students Need to Succeed Come Exam Day

Prepare your students for the AP French Exam, and you’ll prepare them for a brighter future.

By excelling on the exam, your students can set a great foundation for their own success.

Colleges love applicants who challenge themselves.

Not to mention, the exam is a way for your students to get college credit before college!

However, the AP French Exam definitely is quite the challenge and requires lots of preparation and practice.

With this in mind, you’ll need to make sure that the resources you’re using to get your students ready for the test are truly top-notch.

Fear not: We’ve compiled the ultimate resource guide to boost your students’ chances of scoring a 5 on D-day!
 


 

12 Top Resources to Help Your Students Rock the AP French Exam

Learn a foreign language with videos

AP Central

This is your obvious stop for official information about the AP French Language and Culture Exam. The College Board website includes numerous data on the exam that you can share with your students.

It features documents that you can use as a reference to prepare and correct mock exams, such as scoring guidelines per section, exam audio prompts that you can play during a mock test and actual past exam questions with sample answers.

Check out the College Board’s very comprehensive guide to the AP French Exam so you know how to best prepare your students for the test, and feel free to recommend the document to your students so that they know exactly what to expect on test day.

Lastly, don’t forget to review this College Board PDF presentation detailing results from the 2014 AP French Exam, including students’ common errors. That’s right, the ultimate insider information—you’re welcome.

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Wikipedia

The AP French Exam Wikipedia page is a non-official but great resource for familiarizing yourself (and your students!) with the exam.

As always when using Wikipedia, you should be aware that not all the information may always be or stay 100% accurate, but essentially, all the basic facts about the exam format, success rates and reference links to check should be listed right here.

Think of it as a basic outline to follow orally when you introduce the exam to your students, to give them a general idea of how it works. It’s perfect for teachers who are pressed for time and want to get straight to the point.

Pearson’s “Une fois pour toutes”

ap french resources

This is the ultimate resource to prepare your students efficiently for the AP French Exam—it’s a book that you’ve got to recommend and use with them! Pearson’s “Une fois pour toutes” is a fantastic tool to go over grammar essentials and practice for the exam.

The book is available as a print and a digital textbook and is a must for grammar review. It features 12 detailed grammar lessons complete with charts, explanations and various corrected exercises to practice each point.

Each lesson includes two tests, one for pre-testing and another for post-testing, which makes it easy for students to evaluate their level thoroughly. The book also includes vocabulary points, speaking, writing and role-playing activities that you can use in the classroom.

A great way to incorporate this book into your classes is to study a grammar point together. If you opt for this activity, make it interactive: Select a news article (more on sources for this below!), highlight a relevant grammar point and let students help each other with any questions they may have about it.

For those who are more comfortable with the point, let them answer their peers’ questions directly! Sometimes, their answers are better than ours (or than the textbook, for that matter): They are usually simpler and reflect their own understanding of what to watch out for to avoid making a mistake.

FluentU

ap french resources

FluentU is a convenient resource for teaching language students of any level, but is ideal for dipping into targeted topics and vocabulary for AP exam study. FluentU is an online immersion platform that takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

FluentU provides a unique opportunity for your AP students to immerse themselves in authentic Francophone culture and build their vocabulary at the same time, as it offers videos on a whole wealth of topics and also keeps track of each user’s individual progress and the words they’ve learned. You can easily browse videos by difficulty (beginner to native), topic (arts and entertainment, health and lifestyle, etc.) and format (video blog, news, shows, etc.) to find exactly the right videos for your students.

Furthermore, you can integrate the videos into your students’ exam study in a variety of ways: You have the option of selecting videos and using the “Assignments” feature to have your students “learn” them as homework, your students can use the website or app to study on their own or you can easily build lessons around select videos to highlight key topics as well as grammar and vocab points in the classroom.

There are tons of great choices here when you’re looking for material for in-class activities or homework. Plus, all the videos are sorted by skill level and are carefully annotated for students:

2014 10 09 20.42.25 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

FluentU brings authentic French videos within reach of any learner. Interactive captions will guide your students along the way, so they’ll never miss a word.

2014 10 09 20.44.00 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

Your students can tap on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more. For example, if they tap on the word “suit,” then this is what appears on the screen:

2014 10 09 20.44.51 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

That’s not all, though. Students can use FluentU’s learn mode to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video with vocabulary lists, flashcards, quizzes and fun activities like “fill in the blank.”

2014 10 09 20.45.27 9 Great Channels to Learn French on YouTube

What’s more, FluentU keeps track of all the grammar and vocabulary that each student has been learning. It uses viewed videos and mastered language lessons to recommend more useful videos and give students a 100% personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes store or Google Play store.

K12

ap french resources

This is a paying website, but it’s well worth the investment. K12 offers a comprehensive course with a wide range of materials aimed at the AP French Language and Culture Exam.

This course is designed specifically for preparing students for the AP French Exam: If you’re searching for ideas for designing lessons, this is a great resource for you!

The course is based on the six themes required by the College Board—global challenges, science and technology, contemporary life, personal and public identities, families and communities and beauty and aesthetics—and makes it easy to see exactly what material you should be bringing to the classroom.

It’s also a great resource to find explanations of language structures in context.

The course replicates an authentic immersion experience: All content is in French. The method used focuses on the development of fluency to convey meaning and improve communication skills—just what’s expected on the exam.

Use the course as needed to encourage and monitor students’ opinions, comments and questions about the AP French Exam: Your subscription gives you access to the K12 forum, so feel free to use it to address any concerns with your students or bring your own perspective to common issues that your class may run into.

AP French Pinterest Board

If you’re looking for catchy, highly-visual elements to help your AP students prepare more effectively for the exam, this Pinterest board is the resource you’ve been looking for all along!

Compiled by French teacher Ginger Hansen, this fantastic board features approximately 300 Pins that can all serve as invaluable teaching material for AP French teachers.

Pins are varied in format and content, and range from technical infographics to vocabulary and idioms boards, links to insightful grammar articles, study tips and more.

Browse through the board to find the Pins that work best for you and your curriculum. Feel free to print your favorite ones and hand them out to your students when you study certain points.

Another great strategy is to print them on larger sheets and put them on your classroom’s walls: Seeing material on a regular basis can help your students memorize the content without much effort.

While the content is designed for AP students, displaying it in your classroom can be beneficial to both AP and non-AP students: Educational images and posters are a great way for all your learners to get stimulated and review the language at a glance.

Le Cahier du FLE

This website offers a wide range of informative resources that can help prepare your students for the cultural part of the exam.

Exclusively in French, it provides numerous lexicon charts, fact-rich cultural boards, useful videos and theme-based files covering essential aspects of French lifestyle, history and society.

Browse through the site to find inspiration for your next class. Lessons focus on specific themes, are ordered by level and detail linguistic and communication objectives. They also incorporate a lengthy outline to help you direct your courses, including documents, appropriate questions, activity ideas, vocabulary and discussion-starters.

MyHaikuClass.com

Sometimes, official pages just lack that important human touch that makes all the difference. That’s where this page on MyHaikuClass.com stands out.

Created by AP teachers for AP teachers, the part of the site linked above is an entirely free, comprehensive library of links, references and courses specifically designed for instructors preparing their students for the AP French Exam.

Diverse and engaging, the website includes a wide array of content to effectively stimulate your students and incorporate into your lessons, such as audio files, cultural articles, study manuals, writing guides, grammar points and more. All content is curated around the six themes required by the College Board, so you can rest assured that you’ll find what you need here.

Use these tools as a starting point to find ideas and materials to include in your courses or create new ones: Simply print and hand out the materials you find interesting, use a video projector for relevant content or provide the right link to your students ahead of time so they can review a page for the next class.

The site also includes a solid database of exercises: This is perfect if you’re looking for new resources to train your students for the actual exam. Feel free to borrow some of them and use them either as mock tests or as a collective study activity.

If you opt for the latter, you have the option to go for a silent study review. Block an hour to an hour and a half to replicate exam conditions and let each student individually and silently complete the exercises as they would with the actual AP exam.

This is not very engaging, but it’s a way to make sure that all students at least have an understanding of what testing conditions entail (without going through a mock test).

You can make the study activity more interactive by letting students work in pairs or small groups. Let them complete the activity together: They should discuss the questions and help each other out.

You can even have them compete against each other by setting a time limit and rewarding accuracy: The first group to complete the exercises in the shortest amount of time and with the least number of mistakes wins!

Use correction as an opportunity to let students participate: They should give their answers, but also explain what makes each answer correct. The goal is to let your better-performing students share insights with the entire class on the French language and help your AP students exchange methods to do better with a multiple choice format.

Monsieur Doehla

Another free website created by a fellow AP French teacher, Monsieur Doehla gathers an extensive range of targeted web resources to effectively prepare your students for the AP French Exam.

With no registration required, it includes a virtually endless list of links to grammar, vocabulary, culture and news sources—all ranked by skills (listening, speaking, writing). Diverse and interactive, Doehla has curated numerous games, French songs, TV shows, cartoons and AP test question websites that can be helpful for teachers looking to prepare their students for the exam.

Use it to find inspiration, to borrow informative and engaging materials or to have your AP students review on their own, either before a class (or better yet, on an ongoing basis).

Remember, consistency is key to improving your students’ French language skills: Ideally, they should spend 20 minutes a day reading or listening to French. The goal is to help them not only understand content in the language of Molière, but also make sure that they think (and even dream!) in French.

To help them, you can begin the school week by setting a schedule of resources on Monsieur Doehla that they should review day-by-day for 20 minutes at least, and follow up throughout the week by discussing the content through questions, activities or games.

Pearson’s “AP French: Preparing for the Language and Culture Examination”

ap french resources

This is another great resource from Pearson: It exists both as a print and a digital version. Choose the latter to make your lessons more interactive, but you can’t go wrong with books to prepare for the exam!

Pearson’s “AP French” provides a complete guide to prepare your students for the exam. Beyond the numerous corrected exercises compiled, it includes the material’s transcripts both as e-text and as embedded audio links, making it perfect for both self- and collective-testing practice activities.

Besides testing all four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking), the open nature of the digital version makes it easy for teachers to monitor the progress of their students. Aside from accessing tools to manage your class and assign speaking and writing activities, you can organize remote speaking assessments using RealTalk, grade students’ activities, homework and tests and communicate with students via Pearson’s digital teacher center.

At the same time, students can access the platform through their own digital center where they can access your tests. It’s free for all teachers to use, but Pearson charges a small fee for students, so discuss before you commit to using this resource. However, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Le Monde

ap french resources

If you’re looking for real, topical content to build your lessons around and prepare your students for the exam, the Le Monde website is the way to go.

Let’s start by stating the obvious: You just can’t go more authentic than that! Le Monde is the French equivalent of The New York Times, and features well-written, thought-provoking news articles from the French-speaking world.

With in-depth content, fact-rich infographics, blogs and Plantu’s infamous cartoons and caricatures, Le Monde provides a gateway to plenty of content that you can bring to the classroom. You have the option to subscribe or browse the website for free, based on your goals and interests.

You can include some articles and visual content in your AP French classroom and utilize them as a “coffee news” activity, in which your students absorb the material and discuss it together. Beyond the analysis component, encourage them to highlight potential solutions and focus on a historical and global perspective.

For example, if you choose an article that discusses France’s education system, your students should look into some background and elements of comparison on the subject—including an overall idea of the education framework in France and the U.S., key stats and an understanding of the challenges surrounding and potential reforms designed to change the system.

Courrier International

Courrier International is a highly-respected weekly French magazine that can help you curate insightful material to prepare your students for the AP exam. It brings forth a global, cultural perspective on major news in France and abroad.

While entirely in French, the publication sources diverse news content from countries all over the world on a specific French or global issue. All non-French content is translated into French, making it perfect for making cultural comparisons and forming an informed opinion on a topical matter.

Due to the wealth of content, this is a great resource for creating a “reversed” mini debate activity on a specific theme using real-time news sources.

For example, if Courrier International’s latest issue discusses the Pope’s visit to the United States, ask your students to form an opinion on whether or not “the Pope’s visit can help revive Christianity worldwide.” Start by asking your students to share with you their actual opinion, and then “reverse” it: If their answer is positive, they should present arguments that back the opposition, and vice versa. Limit their speaking time to two minutes, and ask all students to make a presentation individually.

Build on the resources above to ready your students for the exam and to make class time more effective than ever!

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