Eleventh Grade (Première)
American Curriculum (25% of school time)
Literature (four hours per week) (ACL): Beginning in Première, the Literature program is shaped by the guidelines for the Baccalauréat Français International (BFI). At this level, we expect students to have acquired the full range of skills associated with the study of literature as we begin 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 Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Leo Tolstoy, Gabriel Garcia-Lorca, Virginia Woolf, Margaret Atwood, Arthur Miller, Chinua Achebe, Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Bishop, and Edna Saint Vincent Millay. Students prepare for two kinds of writing: essay and text commentary (prose or poetry). The general level of this two-year honors BFI Program and the quality of the work demanded of the students is at least equivalent to an Advanced Placement or honors level college preparatory program.
History/Geography (two hours per week) (DNL): The Première History/Geography program follows the French national curriculum to prepare students for the following year’s Baccalauréat Français International exams. Students meet with American Section history teachers three hours per week and our French colleagues for two. The History content focuses on US and European history from the 19th century through end of WWI, while Geography covers urbanization and the evolution of rural areas. Students write a research paper linking their history program to their studies of Contemporary US Society. Throughout the year, students develop their writing skills in two-hour essay exams and practice their oral communication skills through presentations, debates, and class discussion. Close attention is paid to document analysis, a required component of the BFI exam.
Contemporary US Society (two hours per week) (CdM): The Contemporary US Society course introduces students to the history of ideas, major geopolitical issues, and cultural knowledge of the United States. In parallel, students begin working on an individual research project in partnership with a US-based contact, which they will present for their BFI exam in Terminale. Students will use critical thinking skills to compare multiple perspectives. Written and oral assessments will prepare them to effectively formulate and defend their personal opinions.
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 2022, 80% of American Section students who took the AP Literature exam received the top mark of 5.
Field Trip: An overnight field trip to Normandy is taken during the Première year. Students visit the Peace Memorial Museum in Caen and the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach in anticipation of their History studies in Terminale.
French Curriculum (75% 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 seven choices:
- 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.