AP® French Language and Culture

AP and Advanced Placement Program are registered trademarks of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

| Geneviève Delfosse, Eliane Kurbegov, Parthena Draggett

© 2016 hardcover | online vText | downloadable eBook
6 chapters

Learn more about Thèmes—watch a recorded webinar.

Download a sample syllabus.

Watch the program video tour.

Units focus on the themes and recommended contexts from the College Board’s AP® French Language and Culture Curriculum.

Contemporary, culturally-rich source material from the Francophone world—print, short films, and audio—provide an engaging, authentic environment for learning.

Carefully-crafted activity sequence including integrated grammar support interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skill development.

Student Edition is available in multiple formats—hardcover, online vText, and downloable eBook.

Program Features

  • Authentic Media: High-quality readings, short films, and audio broadcasts from a variety of informational, journalistic, and literary sources.
  • Essential Questions: Themes and contexts are organized around Essential Questions that drive student learning throughout all units.
  • Strategies: Reading, writing, listening, and speaking strategies help students tackle challenging material.
  • Online Communication Tools: The three modes of communication can be practiced in real time and assessed at your convenience.
  • Exam Practice: A full-length AP® practice exam builds student confidence and ensures success on test day.
  • Groundbreaking, text-specific technology: Our password-protected, companion website—Supersite—with a wide-range of powerful teaching and learning tools.

What can you expect in each Chapter? Check out all the chapter themes and contexts below.

For more details, download the Table of Contents.

Thème 1: La famille et la communauté

  1. Contexte 1: L’enfance et l’adolescence
  2. Contexte 2: L’amitié et l’amour
  3. Contexte 3: Les rapports sociaux
  4. Contexte 4: Les coutumes
  5. Contexte 5 en bref: La citoyenneté
  6. Contexte 6 en bref: La famille

Thème 2: La science et la technologie

  1. Contexte 1: la technologie et ses effets sur la société
  2. Contexte 2: Les découvertes et les inventions
  3. Contexte 3: Les choix moraux
  4. Contexte 4: Droits d’auteur et communication
  5. Contexte 5 en bref: La recherche et ses nouvelles frontières
  6. Contexte 6 en bref: L’avenir de la technologie

Thème 3: L’esthétique

  1. Contexte 1: Le beau
  2. Contexte 2: Le patrimoine
  3. Contexte 3: Les arts littéraires
  4. Contexte 4: Les arts visuels
  5. Contexte 5 en bref: L’architecture
  6. Contexte 6 en bref: La musique et les arts du spectacle

Thème 4: La vie contemporaine

  1. Contexte 1: L’éducation et le monde du travail
  2. Contexte 2: Les loisirs et le sport
  3. Contexte 3: Les voyages
  4. Contexte 4: La publicité et le marketing
  5. Contexte 5 en bref: Le logement
  6. Contexte 6 en bref: les fêtes

Thème 5: Les défis mondiaux

  1. Contexte 1: L’ économie
  2. Contexte 2: L’environnement
  3. Contexte 3: L’alimentation et la santé
  4. Contexte 4: La tolérance
  5. Contexte 5 en bref: Les droits de l’être humain
  6. Contexte 6 en bref: La paix et la guerre

Thème 6: La quête de soi

  1. Contexte 1: L’aliénation et l’assimiltion
  2. Contexte 2: L’identité linguistique
  3. Contexte 3: La nationalisme et le patriotisme
  4. Contexte 4: Le pluriculturalisme
  5. Contexte 5 en bref: Les croyances et les systems de valeurs
  6. Contexte 6 en bref: La sexualité

For Students

Student Edition
Hardcover student textbook with re-enforced binding for use in class, for homework, or as a reference tool.

Student Edition in an online, interactive, iPad®-friendly* format. Convenient Supersite links make studying and homework a cinch.

Downloadable eBook
All the benefits of the online vText, plus the versatility of working offline. (Available for iPad®)

Student Supersite
Password-protected, program-specific website with textbook activities, online-only practice, audio, video, interactive grammar tutorials, reference tools, assessment, teacher-student communication, and more. The Supersite is iPad®-friendly* for on-the-go access.

For Teachers

Teacher’s Resource DVD Set
Includes the Cinémathèque videos with teacher-controlled subtitles in English and French; all textbook and testing program audio; textbook audio/video scripts and testing program audio scripts; answer key for discrete textbook activities; testing program answer key with scripts; editable testing program quizzes, tests, and exams; textbook scoring guidelines; teaching suggestions; verb conjugation tables; correlation to the Common Core Standards; AP® Exam Scoring Guidelines; and the Teacher’s Start-Up Guide. (Also available online)

Online Assessment
Formative and summative assessments via the Supersite: pre-made quizzes, tests, and exams; create your own assessments by uploading open-ended activities—all with time limits and password protection.

Teacher Supersite
The teacher-facing Supersite provides all the tools you need to teach your class. Password-protected and available online anytime, it includes: a gradebook to manage rosters, assignments, and grades; editable tests, quizzes, and exams; answer keys for all program materials; tools for online communication; all program video and audio; and much more.

*Students must use a computer for audio recording and select presentations and tools.

The best product information often comes from our customers. Here you’ll find independent reviews that have been published in education or related industry publications. They’re not our words, but we sure liked them and thought you’d be interested to know…

Thèmes in The NECTFL Review

The NECTFL Review #77, January 2016
Reviewer: Andrzej Dziedzic, Professor of French, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Program: Delfosse, Geneviève, Eliane Kurbegov, and Parthena Draggett. Thèmes: AP French Language and Culture.

In 2012, the French AP Exam was revised in order to better reflect the changing methodology of foreign language teaching and more accurately evaluate students’ interpretive, interpersonal, and presentational communication skills. Language and literature, previously tested as two separate components, have been combined as one three-hour French language and culture exam, consisting of multiple choice responses to authentic print and audio texts and free responses to both print and audio text prompts. Students preparing for the AP exam are now required to develop and practice their communicative proficiency using questions related to six major themes: Families and Communities, Global Challenges, Personal and Public Identities, Science and Technology, Contemporary Life and Beauty, and Aesthetics. A thorough examination of these subjects helps develops an awareness and appreciation of tangible and intangible products, as well as practices, perspectives, values, attitudes and patterns of social interactions within the French and Francophone cultures.

This new textbook, aptly entitled Thèmes, has been specifically designed to address the required AP components and help students develop personal opinions on a variety of current and relevant topics. The three seasoned pedagogues who wrote it for many years have served as AP readers, table leaders, questions leaders, and AP Development Committee members. As a result, the personal experience and expertise they jointly brought to this ambitious project has greatly enhanced its scope and quality.

Following the College Board’s AP French language framework, the textbook is divided into six chapters corresponding to the six AP themes. Each chapter is further divided into six sections, “Contextes.” The first four sections include selections of reading passages accompanied by questions, vocabulary practice activities, a listening comprehension unit and a culture unit. The authentic texts cover a wide range of topics of interest to our students ranging from Facebook, smartphones, iPads, and gastronomy, to sustainability and humanitarian organizations such as Doctors Without Borders. The last two sections, “En bref,” are shorter and structured around two components “Développement du vocabulaire” and “Plus à fond,” which will prepare students to interpret and synthesize information and details form graphs, statistics, opinion polls, charts, tables and images. The ability to interpret and synthesize is one of the most important skills necessary to succeed on the AP exam.

In the introduction the authors point out that there is a logical and meaningful purpose to each of the textbook’s sections, which is to help students understand and connect the skills of engaging, preparing, reading, responding, listening, connecting, exploring, synthesizing, presenting, and consulting. In order to fully develop and practice these skills, the authors have included a wealth of authentic printed documents, audio materials and web resources, announcements, and advertisements. Some of the literary selections introduce important texts by authors from around the Francophone world: Jules Verne, Victor Hugo, Edmond Rostand, Pierre Assouline, Roch Carrier, René Philombe, Tahar Ben Jelloun, and Maryse Condé, among others.

At the end of each chapter students can watch and discuss authentic videos. The “Cinémathèque” section includes Le Petit Cyrano, Sois Mignonne, Entre les Murs, La Dame dans le Tram, and several other films. All videos are accompanied by a variety of pre- and post-viewing activities, making it easier not only to understand the storyline better, but also to be able to interpret, discuss, and analyze it.

A rigorous study of various forms of writing is encouraged in the last section, “Intégration du thème,” of each chapter. Students will have an opportunity to synthesize the material in preparation for various types of written assignments focusing on one or more aspects of the essential questions. The written tasks include a comparative essay, a research report, a narration, an argumentative essay or a film critique and are conducted in three stages: pre-writing activities, rough draft, and a final version. Throughout the textbook students will also be encouraged to practice writing and responding to e-mails, another important component of the AP exam.

The accompanying online ancillary, the Supersite, is known to many of us who have previously used other Vista textbooks. This password-protected website features a wide variety of textbook activities, online-only practice, audio, video, interactive grammar tutorials, reference tools, teacher-student communication, and more. Students can easily complete and submit activities for practice and assessment purposes. A separate Supersite for teachers includes a gradebook to manage rosters, assignments, grades, quizzes and exams, answer keys for all program materials and tools for online communication. Both websites are user-friendly and easy to navigate. All textbook activities with the S icon will refer to additional online activities assignable on the Supersite. The instructors can monitor their students’ progress quickly and efficiently through online formative and summative assessments using pre-made quizzes, tests, exams as well as other assessment tools they will be able to create by uploading open-ended activities. Last, but not least, a Teacher’s Resource DVD Set is also included with the textbook.

At the end of Thèmes the authors added a number of useful appendices addressing both grammatical and lexical items. Rather than present all aspects of French grammar, the textbook highlights and pinpoints structures that present a particular difficulty to English-speaking students, such as the difference between the passé composé and the imparfait, the present and past conditional, various categories of pronouns, passive voice, and the often challenging concept of the present and past subjunctive. The explanations are written clearly and concisely without overwhelming students with unnecessary detail or obscure irregularities in grammatical paradigms. Learners will also find a list of most common communicative expressions used to compare, contrast or show hesitation or approval as well as a list of false cognates and the most common mistakes in grammatical gender, structure or pronunciation. Appendix H fully explains strategies students will need to understand and adopt in order to succeed on the exam. Finally, a complete practice exam is included in Appendix I.

The textbook is based on the most recent second language acquisition methods that recognize the complex interrelatedness of vocabulary usage, linguistic accuracy, and cultural awareness. Language structures and grammatical constructions are addressed inasmuch as they facilitate communication and not as an end goal in themselves. The main focus of Thèmes remains a meaningful exploration of culture in both contemporary and historical contexts. Special emphasis is placed on the use of authentic source materials and the integration of language skills. Thorough discussions of the six themes will allow students to communicate more effectively in French, draw cultural and linguistic comparisons between the francophone world and their own, and use the target language in real-life settings. By fully contextualizing the interactive classroom activities, Thèmes will ultimately motivate and encourage learners to synthesize material from a variety of authentic sources and form their own personal opinions and convictions, which is an expected and desired culmination of their learning experience.

A new generation of language-learning technology

  • An End to Student Frustration: Make it a cinch for students to track due dates, save work, and access all assignments and resources.
  • Set-Up Ease: Customize your course settings, create your own grading categories, and copy courses in an instant.
  • Your Course—Your Way: Create and assign your own activities and resources and add notes to content to customize for your needs.
  • Grading Options: Make grading a breeze with question-by-question grading, automated spot check, and in-line voice comments.
  • Accessible Student Data: Conveniently share information one-on-one, or issue class reports in the formats that best fit you and your department.

Learn more about this new generation of language-learning technology.

  • For teachers
  • A gradebook for rosters, assignments, and grades
  • Time-saving auto-graded activities, question-by-question grading, and automated spot-checking
  • Tools to personalize your course:
    • Create Partner Chat and open-ended activities
    • Add your own notes to existing content
    • Add video and outside resources
  • New assignment wizard—copy all assignments from a previous course, reflowed into the new course’s dates, in minutes
  • Online assessment, with time limits and password protection
  • Composition grading tool for in-line comments and corrections via text or voice
  • Downloadable lesson plans and Testing Program
  • Instructor Resources (answer keys, audio-video programs, scripts, teaching suggestions)
  • Single sign-on LMS integration for Blackboard
  • A communication center for announcements, notifications, and help requests
  • Live Chat (video or audio) and instant messaging
  • Forums for oral assignments, group discussions, and projects
  • vText online, interactive Student Edition
  • eBook, free with Teacher Supersite
  • iPad-friendly*
  • Complete access to the Student Supersite
  • For students
  • Textbook activities--online
  • Additional activities for extra practice
  • Pronunciation practice
  • Enhanced feedback to guide students and improve comprehension and grades
  • Composition tool to create and submit writing assignments online
  • Personalized study with new vocabulary tools—students focus their study on the words they need to learn, for more efficient study and faster learning
  • Chatfor oral practice and conversation skills:
    • Virtual Chat—simulated conversation activities
    • Video Partner Chat—recorded student pair communicative activities
  • Streaming video for authentic short films, with teacher-controlled subtitles and translations
  • Audio program (textbook and testing)
  • Complete AP® practice exam with automatic feedback for close-ended activities
  • Grammar appendix
  • Online dictionary and reference materials
  • Live Chat (video or audio) and instant messaging
  • vText online, interactive Student Edition
  • eBook downloadable Student Edition
  • iPad-friendly*

All audio, video, and teaching resources are also available on the Teacher’s Resource DVD Set.

*Students must use a computer for audio recording and select presentations and tools.