Language ab initio is a language acquisition course designed for students with no prior experience of the target language, or for those students with very limited previous exposure. It should be noted that language ab initio is offered at SL only. Because of the inherent difficulty of defining what constitutes “very limited exposure” to a language, it is not possible to list specific conditions such as the number of hours or the nature of previous language instruction; however, it is important to note that any student who is already able to understand and respond to spoken and written language on a range of common topics is not to be placed in language ab initio as this would not provide an appropriate academic challenge, nor is it fair for those students who are genuine beginners of the language.


In order to ensure that the range of language and structures covered in language ab initio classes is manageable for all students, and so that they marry closely with the format and contents of final assessments, language-specific syllabuses have been provided and are available on the programme resource centre. At the language ab initio level, a student develops receptive, productive and interactive communicative skills. Students learn to communicate in the target language in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.


Receptive: Students understand, both aurally and in writing, simple sentences and some more complex sentences relating to the five prescribed themes and related topics. They understand simple authentic and adapted written and audio texts and related questions in the target language.

Productive: Students express information fairly accurately, in both writing and in speech, using a range of basic vocabulary and grammatical structures. They communicate orally and respond appropriately to most questions on the five prescribed themes and related topics.

Interactive: Students understand and respond clearly to some information and ideas within the range of the five prescribed themes and related topics. They engage in simple conversations. They use strategies to negotiate meaning and foster communication.


Language ab initio and the core

Teachers of language acquisition courses need to plan carefully to provide opportunities for students to draw on their experiences in the core. Examples of how this might happen include:

• transferring the critical-thinking process explored in TOK to the development of well-supported arguments in written text types, such as a blog or email

• using personal knowledge gained from a CAS experience as a cultural comparison in an individual oral activity or as an example in a written response

• developing ideas for CAS activities as a result of themes and topics explored in a language acquisition class.



Language acquisition aims

The following aims are common to both language ab initio and language B.

1. Develop international-mindedness through the study of languages, cultures, and ideas and issues of global significance.

2. Enable students to communicate in the language they have studied in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes.

3. Encourage, through the study of texts and through social interaction, an awareness and appreciation of a variety of perspectives of people from diverse cultures.

4. Develop students’ understanding of the relationship between the languages and cultures with which they are familiar.

5. Develop students’ awareness of the importance of language in relation to other areas of knowledge.

6. Provide students, through language learning and the process of inquiry, with opportunities for intellectual engagement and the development of critical- and creative-thinking skills.

7. Provide students with a basis for further study, work and leisure through the use of an additional language.

8. Foster curiosity, creativity and a lifelong enjoyment of language learning.



Assessment objectives

1. Communicate clearly and effectively in a range of contexts and for a variety of purposes.

2. Understand and use language appropriate to a range of interpersonal and/or intercultural contexts and audiences.

3. Understand and use language to express and respond to a range of ideas with fluency and accuracy.

4. Identify, organize and present ideas on a range of topics.

5. Understand, analyse and reflect upon a range of written, audio, visual and audio-visual texts.




At IST we use the ‘Panorama francophonie’ coursebook series from Cambrideg University Press. Each student is provided with a copy of the coursebook and the workbook. Below is the overview of the two years.


Grade 11 French Ab initio: -Panorama francophonie 1

Autumn Term

Spring Term 

Summer term

Unit 0&1

Je me présente

Unit 6

Mon paradis sur terre

Internal exams

Unit 2

Tu es comment?

Unit 7

Temps libre

Unit 11

La santé pour tous

Unit 3

La vie quotidienne

Unit 8

Projets de vacances

Unit 12

L ’evolution du shopping

Unit 4

Bon appétit!

Unit 9

Au Lycée

Unit 13

Nous les jeunes

Unit 5

En ville

Unit 10

Faites la fête

Unit 14

Le français dans le monde














Grade 12 French Ab initio: - Panorama francophonie 2

Autumn Term

Spring Term 

Summer term

Unit 1

En route vers l’aventure

Mock exams



Unit 2

Les médias: s’informer, s’amuser, réfléchir

Unit 7

Protégeons notre environement


Unit 3

L’éducation pour tous

Unit 8

Vivre ensemble


Unit 4

Arts francophones: traditions et modernité

Unit 9

La planète en danger


Unit 5

Au travail

Unit 10

Les problems mondiaux


Unit 6

Manger, bouger: vos choix

Unit 11

Nouvelles technologies: le meilleur et le pire


Mock exams prep


Unit 12

Faites vos preuves















Here are all the documents to prepare the oral. / Il y a ici tous les documents pour préparer l'oral.

En français abinitio, vous devez apprendre à comprendre et à produire divers textes. Dans ce cours, vous pourrez trouver une liste de textes qu'il faut comprendre et/ou produire et des exemples de textes appropriés.

In French abinitio, you must learn to understand and produce texts of different texts. In this course, you will find a list of texts you must understand and/orproduce and examples of texts.