Eleventh Grade (Première)
American Curriculum (20% of school time)
Literature (five hours per week): Beginning in Première, the literature program is shaped by the guidelines for the Option Internationale du Baccalauréat (OIB). At this level, we expect students to have acquired the full gamut of skills associated with the study of literature as we begin, in earnest, the preparation for the requirements of a four-hour written examination and a half-hour oral examination on the literary texts studied over the next two years. Authors studied have included Aeschyllus, Dante, Shakespeare, Hawthorne, Tolstoy, Gabriel Garcia-Lorca, Virginia Woolf, Arthur Miller, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Wole Soyinka, and Rita Dove. Students prepare for any of the three kinds of writing on the bac: essay, commentary (prose or poetry), and creative writing. The general level of this two-year honors OIB Program and the quality of the work demanded of the students in the OIB is at least equivalent to an Advanced Placement or honors level college preparatory program.
History (three hours per week): The Première history/geography program follows the guidelines of the French system and prepares students for the following year’s Option International du Baccalauréat. The course is essentially a survey of European history from the Age of Imperialism through the Cold War. Students customarily write a research paper on some aspect of colonization or decolonization at the start of the year and later read Arthur Koestler’s Darkness At Noon to accompany the history of the Soviet Union. Throughout the year, students are given two-hour essay exams (in preparation for the bac exams) and written exams resembling those they may see in lower-level courses in American university. The textbook for the class, Lowe’s Mastering Modern World History, is often supplemented with recent historiography and primary source documents. Students meet with American Section history teachers three hours per week and our French colleagues for two ensuring that they will not miss out on the broad scope of this very important year.
Standardized Testing: In the fall, all American Section Première students are required to take the PSAT. Over the years, a number of our students have received recognition from the College Board’s National Merit Scholarship program based on the results of the exam. In addition, those students who plan on pursuing higher education in the United States are strongly encouraged to take the AP English Literature exam in the spring, as well as the SATs. In 2019, 50% of American Section students who took the AP Literature exam received the top mark of 5, and 90% scored 4 or higher.
Field Trip: An overnight field trip to Normandy is taken during the fall of Première year. Tied into the curriculum, students visit the Peace Memorial Museum in Caen and the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. This trip reinforces themes taught in ENH about World War II and the Cold War, while the Literature teachers expose students to the study and traditions of war poetry.
French Curriculum (80% of school time)
In Première, students continue following the French national curriculum with the additional eight hours of class in their international sections.
All Première students choose three spécialités. The Lycée International offers eight different choices:
- Langues-Littérature-Cultures Etrangères (LLCE)
- Histoire-Géographie-Géopolitique et Sciences Politiques (HGGSP)
- Humanités-Littérature-Philosophie (HLP)
- Science Numérique et Science Informatiques (NSI)
- Science de la Vie et de la Terre (SVT)
- Science Economiques et Sociales (SES)
For more on the content and skills developed in French during the year, please visit the website of the French Ministry of Education.