French Ab


French ab Initio is a two-year course which will provide students with the necessary skills and intercultural understanding to enable them to communicate successfully in an environment where the language studied is spoken. Offered at SL only, language ab initio is a language acquisition course designed for students with no previous experience in – or very little exposure to – the target language.

French ab initio students develop their receptive, productive and interactive skills while learning to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. Students develop the ability to communicate through the study of language, themes and texts.

There are five prescribed themes:

  1. Identities
  2. Experiences
  3. Human ingenuity
  4. Social organisation
  5. Sharing the planet.


They will be assessed regularly on the 4 equally weighted skills of Speaking / Reading / Writing and Listening.

Please click on the arrow for a detailed breakdown:

Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional detailsLength of time.Learner Attribute(s)
Unit 1 – IDENTITYFrench speaking countriesText type: personal letter / email12 lessonsKnowledgeable
Personnal attributesDaily routineThe present tense of regular -ER, -IR and -RE verbs  Thinker
relationshipsPersonal identificationAdjective agreements  
 Family relationships Articles, genders and number  
 CharacterReflexive verbs  
 Daily routinePossesive adjectives  
 PetsVerbs être and avoir  
 Telling the timeNegation ne…pas  
 Days, monthsQuestion words  
 ColoursNear future aller + infinitive  
Unit 2 – SHARING THE PLANET Prepositions6 lessonsOpen minded
Physical geographyCountries To and at Reflective
 Nationalities and Languages Adjective agreements  
 Geographical features Irregular verbs present tense: “faire, aller, prendre”  
 Weather and climateGenders and numbers  
Unit 3 – SOCIAL ORGANISATIONSchool subjectsText type: formal email  / formal letter / diary15 lessonsInquirer
EducationOpinionsOpinion verbs followed by infinitives Communicator
 Types of schoolConditionnal tense  
 FacilitiesAdjective agreements  
 French school systemFaire vs jouer  
 Physical description of teachersPartitive article du/de la/de l’/des  
 Extra-curricular activitiesModal verbs  
 TimetableRelative pronouns  
 Ideal school   
Unit 4 – EXPERIENCESLeisureText type: blog9 lessonsOpen minded
Leisure and entertainementSportsRelative pronouns Balanced
 Music, radioVerbs + prepositions  
 CinemaPerfect tense with avoir  
 Newspapers, magazinesPerfect tense with être  
  Perfect tense of reflexive verbs  
Unit 5 – SOCIAL ORGANISATIONRooms and types of housingText type: Invitation9 lessonsOpen minded
HomeHome lifeIrregular adjectives Reflective
 Household choresPossesive adjectives  
 InvitationsPossesive pronouns  
 CelebrationsPosition of adjectives  
 Relationships with family and neighboursPrepositions  
Unit 6 – SOCIAL ORGANISATIONDescription of my townPrepositions à / en + transport6 lessonsRisk taker
My neighbourhoodTypes of shopsIrregular past participles Caring
 Buying clothesImperative  
 Customer serviceAdverbs of intensity  
 Public transport   
 Post office   
Unit 7 – EXPERIENCESTypes of holidaysText type: Brochure5 lessonsThinker
Holiday and celebrationsCountries Perfect tense revision Caring
 Holiday accomodationsSuperlative  
 Holiday activitiesSimple future tense  
 Local celebrations and festivalsSimple future tense – irregular verbs  
 Weather predictions   
 Physical geography   
 Types of landscapes   
Unit 8Weather phrasesMasculine and feminine endings6 lessonsInquirer
Climate and weatherCurrent weather conditionsImmediate future tense revision Reflexive
SHARING THE PLANETNatural catastrophesSimple future tense revision  
Unit 9Types of restaurantsText type: Poster10 lessonsCommunicator
Food and drinksTypes of mealsPartitive article du / de la / de l’ / des Principled
IDENTITYReservationsPerfect tense revision  
 Menu ordersNegative in the perfect tense  
 RecipesIrregular past participles revision  
 Food preferences   
 Local dishes and culinary traditions   
Unit / Block of workKey Episodes / QuestionsAdditional detailsLength of time.Possible Symbol?Learner Attribute(s)
Unit 10 – HUMANE INGENUITYEveryday technologyAdverbs in “-ment”15 lessonsInternet, cinemaInquirer
Technology, entertainmentTVSuperlative revision  Open-minded
and mediaRadioDemonstratives   
 The internet pros and consComparative of adverbs   
 Film typesAdverbs of places   
 Film reviews and ratingThe passive   
 Social networksDirect and indirect speech   
 Advertising“Si” – if   
Unit 11 – IDENTITYHealthThe imperfect tense12 lessonsDoctor, foodBalanced
HealthBody parts“Avoir” expressions  Caring
 IllnessModal verbs   
 Physical well-being“Venir de” + infinitive   
 DietImperfect vs Perfect tense   
 At the doctor’s     
 Leisure and sports    
Unit 12 – SOCIAL ORGANISATIONJobsConnectors12 lessonsJob, diplomaReflective
WorkplaceCarreersSimple future tense – revision  Risk taker
 Working conditionsConditional tense – revision   
 Work experienceRelative pronouns – revision   
 Qualifications and degrees    
 Applying for jobs    
Unit 13 – SHARING THE PLANETEnvironmental challengesAdverbs 9 lessonsGlobeThinker
EnvironmentClimate changeImperative – revision  Communicator
 Global warmingReflexive verbs in the perfect tense – revison   
 Natural resources    
Unit 14 – SHARING THE PLANETPovertyThe passive voice6 lessonsCharityInformed
Social and global issuesWarThe past participle as an adjective  Principled
 VolunteeringThe subjunctive   

IB1 – IB French Ab initio – Panorama

Main Vocabulary Themes

Identities: Personal Attributes, Relationships

Experiences: Daily Routine

Personal identification

Family relationships


Daily routine, time


Social Organisation: Education

Types of school




Extra-curricular activities

School calendar, dates


Experiences: Leisure & Entertainment





Text types:

Personal Letter

Formal Letter





Social Organisation: Home


Home life

Household tasks

invitations, celebrations


Social Organisation: My Neighbourhood

Types of shops

Buying clothes

Customer services

Purchases, payment

Public transport

Banks, post office


E-mail, fax, internet


How we share the planet: –

Physical Geography/ the World


Geographical features


Text types:



Social Media Posting/Chat room


Experiences: Holidays & Celebrations

Human Ingenuity: Transportation

Means of transport

Types of destination

Holiday inquiries Facilities


Celebrations and festivals in France


How we share the planet: Climate & Weather

Current weather conditions




Identities: Food & Drink (Eating Out)

Types of restaurants

Meals in a restaurant

Reservations, menus, orders


Diets, preferences

Special dishes


Text types:

Travel Guide







Main Assessment

Listening: 1 extract 

Reading: 1 text

Writing: 1 Question, known text type

Oral assessment: one picture to describe (3 prepared at home).


Listening: 2 extracts 

Reading: 2 texts

Writing: 1 Question w/choice of text types

Oral assessment: 2 unseen pictures to describe (students pick one).

Listening: Full Paper 

Reading: Full Paper

Writing: 2 Questions

Oral assessment: 2 unseen pictures to describe (students pick one).


Using a mark-scheme to identify opportunities for improvement (All skills, esp. Writing & Speaking in term 1)

Researching unfamiliar cultures and systems, and presenting findings (French education system vs. others)

Analysing and identifying the key points of a visual stimulus (Oral Cards)


Combing and differentiating between fundamental linguistic concepts (Imperfect vs. Perfect tense)



Comparing weather in the Middle East and European countries (Climate)


Comparing and contrasting cultural differences around the world (Celebrations, cultural holidays)