AP FRENCH LANGUAGE 2008 SCORING GUIDELINES

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1 AP FRENCH LANGUAGE 2008 SCORING GUIDELINES Part A (Essay): Question 31 9 Demonstrates STRONG CONTROL Excellence Ease of expression marked by a good sense of idiomatic French. Clarity of organization. Accuracy and variety in vocabulary, grammar, and syntax, with a few errors. Thorough and creative development of the topic may compensate for more language problems than this category normally allows. 7 8 Demonstrates GOOD CONTROL Competence Reads smoothly overall despite some errors in grammar and usage. Evidence of organization. Varied and generally appropriate vocabulary. Thorough treatment of the topic may compensate for more language problems than this category normally allows. 5 6 Suggests FAIR CONTROL Competence Easily comprehensible, with some signs of fluency and organization. Correct use of simple grammatical structures with minor errors and/or less accurate use of more complex structures. Some apt vocabulary. Appropriate treatment of the topic may compensate for more language problems than this category normally allows. 3 4 Suggests WEAK CONTROL Incompetence Generally comprehensible but frequently forces interpretation on the part of the reader. Inaccuracies in grammatical structures and/or limited vocabulary throughout. Contains some redeeming features. Evidence of efforts to treat the topic. 1 2 Demonstrates POOR or NO CONTROL Incompetence Barely comprehensible. Almost total lack of structural accuracy and/or vocabulary resources. Unacceptable from most points of view. A 2 may be distinguished from a 1 by having more error-free word sequences. 0 A composition that is very clearly on another topic. Blank or not written in French. As a general rule, essays containing no more than one page of normal-size handwriting will not receive a score higher than The College Board. All rights reserved.

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8 AP FRENCH LANGUAGE 2008 SCORING COMMENTARY Note: Student responses are quoted verbatim and may contain grammatical errors. Overview Part A (Essay): Question 31 The essay question allows students to demonstrate the level at which they can express themselves in written French while addressing a specified topic. Shrewd students will show off what they do know, while concealing what they are not sure of. This year s question directed students to write on the theme of important decisions. Sample: 31AAA Score: 8 This essay reads smoothly from beginning to end, but it contains enough errors in grammar and usage to keep it out of the strong control category. A clear central idea is developed throughout ( c est en faisant ces choix qu on peut apprendre sa vraie identité ), accompanied by well-organized examples. There is, however, no conclusion. The student displays impressive use of advanced grammatical structures and sophisticated manipulation of verb tenses (see, for example, the long sentence that spans pages 1 and 2). Some verb-form errors, such as être résoudre and j ai du prendre (accent missing), lower the essay to the level of good, rather than strong, control. Other errors of various types, such as missing accents and the repeated article and spelling error in avoir le success, are bothersome. Pronoun errors (direct object pronoun, instead of an indirect one, used with the verbs dire and demander) also break up the flow and limit ease of expression. The vocabulary is competent overall and features some especially notable phrases ( en revanche, Dans ma propre vie, Ces décisions m ont rendu heureuse ) but with enough errors to bar the essay from a score of 9. Mistakes such as Pendant que instead of tandis que, En ce moyen, and pour gratuite keep the essay from demonstrating excellence. Nonetheless, thorough treatment of the topic compensates for errors. The second and third paragraphs each deal with an example of decisions and the consequences of those choices. Sample: 31BBB Score: 6 This essay demonstrates fair control overall, with occasional stretches into the good control category and some dips to the level of weak control. It is easily comprehensible but does not flow smoothly enough to merit a score of 7. Seven different verb tenses are employed: present ( on doit, des enfants doivent ); passé composé ( j ai décidé, j ai pris, je me suis amusée [with agreement]); imperfect ( j avais, je devais, il était ); pluperfect ( j avais choisi ); past conditional ( j aurais démenagé ); present subjunctive ( je suis... contente que nous soyons ici ), and future ( on ne pourra ). The use of the phrase Après avoir véçu indicates knowledge of this construction. The sentence that uses a si clause (paragraph 3) is impressive, despite the fact that it falls apart at the end. Not all attempts to use the tenses are successful ( Dans ma vie j avais fait trois grands décisions and ma mère et mon père m ont dit qu ils se seront divorcés, as well as habiterions in the penultimate paragraph), and some subject verb agreements are incorrect ( décisions... qui... joue in the last sentence of the first paragraph and Je ne peut pas ). The vocabulary is generally apt and includes some appropriate verbs ( aurais démenagé, rester, choisir de + infinitive) which are occasionally used erroneously ( rendre visite without the à and je remercie à Dieu ). The student chooses suitable nouns ( un grand rôle, le vol ) but makes some gender errors ( un entreprise ) and agreement mistakes ( décisions vraiment difficile, choix qui sont vraiment complèxe ). Some of the spelling/usage errors ( à l agée très jeune ) and anglicisms ( beaucoup de peur, si on entend de leur 2008 The College Board. All rights reserved.

9 AP FRENCH LANGUAGE 2008 SCORING COMMENTARY Part A (Essay): Question 31 (continued) coeur, ) require interpretation. The essay s structure is based on the presentation of examples and consequences, and this basically competent organization contributes to the relatively clear treatment of the topic, which in turn placed the essay in the upper part of the fair control range. The essay is characterized, however, by an uneven mix of complex structures that are used correctly alongside mistakes in simple grammar; it was this feature that kept it from earning a score in the good control category. Sample: 31CCC Score: 2 The essay exhibits poor control throughout. No single sentence is error-free, but the student does communicate a few ideas, despite the linguistic problems. French syntax is largely lacking. Some correctly conjugated verbs ( nous avons, je suis tombé, je ne mange pas, j ai, je ne serai pas ) are found in error-ridden contexts ( je ne serai pas fait bien a la ecole ). Most verbs are incorrectly conjugated, including those in the present tense and the passé composé ( je n ai pas etudions, je n dormi pas ). Subject verb agreement raises serious concerns ( tu pense, tu connait, Mon devoirs finit ). Some isolated words are spelled correctly, but the vocabulary is very limited, and spelling mistakes are numerous ( tout les joue, petit dejunier ). Because of minimal comprehensibility in some sentences and incomprehensibility in many others ( Apres le premier decision, est-il que tu pense tu connait a Je picke? ), this essay demonstrates incompetence. It makes reference to the question and does have some error-free word sequences. These kept the essay at the upper end of the bottom category. It received a score of The College Board. All rights reserved.

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