Chères et chers collègues,
Nous voici encore une fois:
C'est l'ouverture des inscriptions au Grand Concours! Puisqu'il y a des parents qui s'intéressent à cet examen qui ne parlent pas français, je continuerai en anglais!
My name is Catherine Ousselin and I am the vice-president of the AATF-Northwest and coordinator for the National French Contest (Le Grand Concours) that is offered by the American Association of Teachers of French.
You do not have to be a member of the AATF to participate in this contest, but rates are discounted for members. If you are interested in becoming a member, perhaps you would like to know that new members for 2012 will receive 10 free tests and 1 CD at the listed national price! ($23.00 max).
Local test prices will be: AATF members - $5/test - $5/CD.
Non-members: $6/test - $6/CD.
These rates include test and CD prices and shipment to your school and our wonderful awards offered to participants. Last year, we were able to offer every student an award for participation. Students ranking in the top 30% of our region received beautiful books, DVDs, calendars, pins, medals, and many other prizes. The comments on the awards were quite high from both teachers and students.
Important dates: Registration for the test - 4 December 2011 through 27 January 2012.
FLES testing dates: 15 February- 28 February 2012
Levels 01-5: 1 March-28 March 2012.
I have never participated in this before. Why should I now? Catherine's story!
The Grand Concours is an excellent option for your students to demonstrate their knowledge and pride in French. It is also a way to show your community (and administrators!) that French is a valid, important, and academic part of a well-educated student's life. It is a 1 hour test that includes listening, reading, and grammar questions. There is a separate exam for FLES (elementary 1-6) The test does not follow a textbook, but it uses criteria based on levels. I was myself hesitant to have my students participate. I do not use a text, I design my curriculum, and my school is on a block schedule. I was certain that my students would not be able to perform as well at their assigned level, but I offered it to all classes last year and was amazed by the results. Great teaching, as we all know, leads to confident students. They may not have covered every topic listed on the test, but due to solid and sustained exposure to the language through music, comptines, and stories, the students were able to use their skills to mediate those questions. Several of the students at MVHS ranked in top levels of the state. At our awards ceremony, the students expressed their pride and honor of being recognized as highly capable French learners. It was a boost to our program and to the students' self-confidence!
Je m'y intéresse, mais j'ai des questions!
Please visit our local chapter's Web site to learn about registration, level requirements, payment options, test prep, and more about your very active local AATF region! The AATF-Northwest won the award for "Strongest recruitment" for large chapters at the national conference in Montréal. Being a member of the AATF has truly changed my outlook as a professional. I am more involved with language education more than I had ever imagined I would be. If you wish to discuss the test or experiences with other teachers, please contact me and I will pair you with an experienced teacher.
In closing, this test is not the HSPE! I did no test prep for my students. They saw the test as a unique and fun(!) way to evaluate themselves on a national level. The National French Test's slogan is "Nous sommes tous des gagnants!" We are all winners!
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
Bien à vous et bonne continuation!
Catherine Ousselin - M.A. French
French teacher - Mount Vernon High
AATF Social Media Manager, Web/Blog Master, Tech Geek