AMERICAN CURRICULUM (20% of the school week)
By Seconde, all American Section students (approximately 60 in the class) meet at the Lycée International Campus. Students begin the standard schedule of taking English (ENL) five hours per week and History three hours per week (ENH). However, the History program is shared with our French colleagues, who teach the subject for an additional two hours a week. All other subjects are taught in French.
Literature: Five hours per week: The Seconde curriculum is based on the intensive study of American literature (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Toni Morrison, Tennessee Williams), but students also read a full Shakespeare play. (In honor of the Bard, students in the American Section usually read one Shakespeare play each year from Cinquième through Terminale.) Students work intensively on poetry analysis and creative writing in a variety of genres. Oral and close reading skills are also a focus with the skill of writing of a coherent, well-developed literary essay firmly in place by the end of the year. Teachers often bring students to the library to encourage and support reading for pleasure, an essential habit for success in this program. Students also learn to write compelling text commentaries and to produce a comprehensive essay on a single American poet. The year’s focus in ENL is to introduce all of the skills required for the OIB.
Standardized Testing: In the fall, all American Section Seconde students are required to take the PSAT.
History: Three hours per week: Seconde History is a survey course of the United States from the Revolutionary War to the turn of the Twentieth Century. Relying on Alan Brinkley’s American History (a book often used in preparing for the AP History exam), a document-based question sourcebook, and a number of primary sources, the course is designed to give our American Section students an opportunity to explore aspects of American history. Themes of the class range from America’s economic development and political challenges, to its changing role in world affairs, and the history and myths behind our perception of America and Americans. Throughout the year, students are preparing for their entry into the premiere OIB History program by honing their skills in essay writing, note-taking, assuming responsibility for their own learning, and incorporating analysis and synthesis in their written work. In keeping with the French national curriculum, the course covers two important units in Geography: sustainable development and urban design. Seconde is a year that aims to develop a student’s interest in the study of History with the goals of encouraging intellectual curiosity and nurturing the growth of academic maturity.
Class Field Trip: Seconde students take a two-day field trip at the start of the academic year. An experiential outdoor orientation trip, students hike, mountain bike, rock climb, kayak and do team-building exercises- all with the goal of creating a cohesiveness between the students entering their lycée years. Past trips have seen students participating in outdoor adventures in Brittany, Auvergne, and Normandy.
Advisory: An important and developing element in the American Section is the formalization of our pastoral care program. Secondes meet with an advisor three times or more over the course of the year. Advisory is an opportunity to meet and converse with an adult outside the classroom about subjects ranging from academic challenges to social issues.
FRENCH CURRICULUM (80% of the school week):
In Seconde, students continue following the French national curriculum with the additional eight hours of class in their international sections. . For more information on the content and skills developed in French during the year, go to the website of the French Ministry of Education:
CHOOSING A FILIERE
At the end of Seconde, all students are required to choose a filière, or course of study, based on the French national system. The choices, L, ES, or S (L for literature, ES for economics and social sciences, and S for sciences and math) indicate the specialization and focus they will pursue over the subsequent two years.