The Oral Exams

Otherwise known as the épreuves d’admission or more simply the oraux.

Again things have changed since I took the test in 2011, but here’s what the orals seem to be about now:

1)    Epreuve de mise en situation professionnelle in two parts: You’re given three to four texts with a common theme. The texts can be video, image, fiction, or nonfiction.

  1. Synthèse-type commentary (in English, 20 min presentation, 10 min interview): You describe the three texts and analyze them in comparison to one another.
  2. Pedagogical suggestions (in French, 20 min, 10 min): Two of the three texts, or possibly parts of two of the three texts, will be specified for this section, along with a class year, cycle, or palier. You explain how you would use these documents in class, by setting objectives, evaluations, etc.

2)    Epreuve sur dossier in two parts, of only interviews:

  1. (In English, 30 min maximum) You analyze a recording in English that you listened to during the preparation time. The recording will have some sort of link to the curricula (programmes).
  2. (In French, 30 min maximum) You’re given a collection of student productions: oral and/or written, in order to evaluate your response to the students’ needs, etc, all with the same link to the programmes.

I can’t really give any detail about these because they have all at least slightly evolved since I took the test.

My personal advice:

About the “programmes” (curricula): Obviously (or, actually, this wasn’t so obvious to me!) you don’t have to memorize the content of the programmes. The programmes in English are often repetitive—clearly you will review and re-use and build on the same grammar and vocabulary from year to year—but there are certain useful things to know that make it clear that you’ve studied them:

The thèmes culturels: Each class or Palier (Palier 1: 6e/5e, Palier 2: 4e/3e) has a cultural theme that serves as a way to frame the documents used and topics studied in class. These are easy and interesting (at least for me) to learn and you can easily reference them in your oral exam.

The Common European Framework for Languages: This document is available in all sorts of places online, and is how the new French curricula are constructed. In secondary school students are supposed to move from level A1 to level B2, and you should know what each of those levels entails.

On the CNED forums it was often recommended, rather than studying the programmes intricately, to look at sample textbooks available online. Colleagues of yours may also have old or new textbook samples lying around. These can give you more easily a good idea of what each level is expected to do.

Editions Hatier:

Nathan college:

Didier anglais:

Académie en ligne:

Next page: Useful Other Stuff


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