• Natasha Causton

    Français 3


    Qui est madame Causton?


    I am passionate about languages as a way of learning to communicate with people from all over the world. I was born in France and lived in Venezuela as a child so I learned my languages very young and missed not being able to use them here in Vermont, which is why I have become a World Language teacher! I feel that it is necessary for you all to have strong language skills in order to be able to participate fully in this small, interconnected world. I have taught in many other settings but I love working at MUHS and to share my experience with you all. I love to travel!!  I also live in this community and have 3 children (2 at MUHS) so you will probably see me on the soccer field or at the hockey rink!


    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the class. You can get in touch with me by email at ncauston@acsdvt.org or by phone at 382-1278.



    • Please arrive on time and ready to work and engage with the teacher and fellow students in the target language.
    • Please treat everyone with kindness.



    Please have a Spanish binder with paper for the MANY handouts you will receive and use on a daily basis. Please make sure to keep your binders neat and organized at all times. Your binder will need 3 dividers for Handouts/Notes, Tests, Homework/Projects.  Students should access wordreference.com at home. I would also suggest you have note cards that you can use for flash cards.



    Language Acquisition assesses your proficiency based on the following criteria: 

    • Criterion A: Comprehending Spoken and Visual Text
    • Criterion B: Comprehending Written and Visual Text
    • Criterion C: Communicating in Response to Spoken, Written and Visual Text
    • Criterion D: Using Language in Spoken and Written Form


    The grading platform we use is ManageBac. 

    Formative assessments (quizzes, homework, classwork) fall into two categories:

    1. assessed using an MYP rubric -- these scores are reported and used to inform teacher professional judgement of the overall grade, though they do not determine the final grade

    2)   assessed for completion -- these tasks may be reported with a comment only (e.g. “incomplete,” “late,” “completed,” or  “missing”). I may assign a number grade so that students/parents understand how much grammar/vocabulary a student knows and understands, though this does not fall under any rubric and does not determine the final grade.

    Summative assessments (final projects, essays/compositions) are used to determine a student’s final grade. These are graded with IB rubrics. There will be a final exam which will serve two purposes: 1. the sections graded with IB rubrics will be a final summative evaluation; 2. the sections that are not graded using IB rubrics will be used as part of the rest of the final exam as a “placement exam” to continue Spanish study the following year.



    Language learning is a cumulative endeavor. Each new skill builds on previous skills. It is in the best interest of the student to strive to stay current with the sequence of assignments. 


    All homework will have a due-date—assumed to be the next day unless otherwise stated. Since we often review homework as a class activity it is important to complete your homework each night. 

    Formative work will be accepted for feedback for up to 3 days  after the deadline (typically the deadline for formative work is the next day). If a student does not hand a formative assessment in it will be reported out as “M” for missing, and given a score of 0. 


    Summative tasks such as unit tests (speaking, reading, listening, written) and dialogues, students 

    • have two weeks from the original date to complete out-of-class assessments. 
    • (if you miss the original day of an in-class assessment) have one week to complete the assessment. Until the assessment is made up, I will comment of “M” for missing in the gradebook and assign a zero. After the two-week time period, if the work has not been completed, the “M” and a score of zero will be assigned permanently in the gradebook. The student should now focus on the current learning and demonstrating the current proficiencies.  



    Students who score a 3 or below on a given assessment may retake/redo assessments, but it must happen within a two week window from the time the original work is returned to students. I strongly urge students to do this within one week, so as not to be overwhelmed by the past work and the current work. Students will be given the opportunity to reassess a specific assessment once.  If students would like to re-assess, the student must do the following:

    1. complete all missing work from the unit
    2. identify and correct mistakes and/or missing concepts on the original assessment
    3. complete any related practice per the teacher’s request
    4. conference with the teacher, showing completion of missing work, corrections on the original assessment.

    Additionally, no late assignments will be accepted after the end of a marking period. 


    Habits of Work:

    The MUHS Habits of Work are a combination of skills identified by IB in the two Approaches to Learning (ATL) categories called Social Skills and Self-Management Skills, as well as other skills from our research. At the end of each quarter I will report out on habits of work.  This is a subjective score, based on weeks of interaction with the student and observations made by me.


    *For more information please see the MUHS Teaching and Learning Handbook 2019.


    If you know you are going to be missing class, you should get handouts and homework ahead of time. I also expect you can look on the class google docs page with the agenda and find out what you missed prior to the next class. 


    Academic Honesty

    I expect you to take responsibility for your own work. Cheating is a serious offense. This includes copying work, letting someone copy your work, talking about the content of an assessment before others have taken it, AND online translators (ie. Google Translate). You may NOT use translators to assist with the writing process. You MAY use bilingual dictionaries or online dictionaries (my preference is wordreference.com) to translate isolated words for use in writing, but text must be composed directly in Spanish by the individual. In Spanish 1, even these should not be used. If I suspect that a student is using a translator he/she will need to complete writing assignments in a supervised environment such as detention. If there is proof of a translator, the students will receive a 0 for the assignment.



    Students will have homework assignments that require them to have access to the internet. These include doing listening activities, conducting authentic research, following the news on Spanish speaking websites, or following a celebrity on twitter. If you do not have access to the internet, please brainstorm ways you/your student can still complete the assignments. The learning center at MUHS is open before and after school for student use. If access becomes a problem, please let me know right away.



    The use of video is a key element in our curriculum, as it is useful for practicing listening comprehension and exploring cultural themes. On occasion these videos may contain material that some parents and students may find objectionable. The teacher will endeavor to advise parents of upcoming movie titles and ratings so that they may inform themselves of content or preview them. Parents—if you have concerns in this regard please contact me.


    Cell Phone Use

    While cell phones are wonders of innovation and can be immensely helpful tools when used appropriately, they have also unfortunately proven to be a routine distraction from learning when abused. To protect our classroom learning environments and our students’ well-being, the Language Acquisition Department has adopted the following approach to cell phones: 


    Unless otherwise directed for the purposes of a specific lesson, or granted an exception due to extenuating circumstances, students will be required to silence and store their cell phones, rear-facing, in a phone organizer upon entering the classroom. There the phones will remain until the end of class, when students will retrieve them. A student who is found to be using a phone they retained, or who retrieves a stored phone during class without permission, will receive a warning and have the phone confiscated (and stored) for the duration of the class period. A student who refuses to turn over a phone upon the teacher’s request, or chronically requires warnings, will be given a disciplinary referral in accordance with the MUHS Student Handbook’s cell phone policy.


    To respect the privacy of students and teachers, recording  and photos are prohibited in the classroom.



    I am available for extra help during flex time. If I am unavailable, please see any of the Language B teachers during their flex times. You will be able to view available times via PowerSchool. All students are expected to sign up for flex time for every flex session. Other Language B teachers are: Ms. Bailey, Mr. Swinhart, Ms. Steele and Mr. Tufts. My schedule is as follows:

    A/Odd/Red Days(Mon/Thurs…)

    1 8:10-9:33 Español 2

    3 9:37-11:00 libre

    11:04-11:10 Advisory

    11:14-11:44 Lunch

    11:46-12: 16 Flex

    5 12:20-1:43 Francais 3 

    7 1:47-3:10 Réunion Colaborativa

    B/EvenGrey Days (Tues/Fri…)

    2 8:10-9:33 Español AP

    4 9:37-11:00 libre

    11:04-11:10 Advisory

    11:14-11:44 Flex

    11:46-12: 16 Lunch

    6 12:20-1:43 Español 1

    8 1:47-3:10 Español


    French 3 Unit Overview 2019-2020 

    Unit 1 La communication aujourd’hui 

    • Statement of Inquiry: Technology changes the way that we communicate amongst ourselves and provides multiple opportunities for connectivity and connection throughout the world.
    • Essential Questions:
      • Factual— What are different ways to communicate with others?
      • Conceptual— How does technology (email, instant messaging, social media) change the way that we communicate with one another?
      • Debatable— Does technology improve the way that we communicate with each other? Does it really improve our human relationships?
    • Thematic and Cultural Content and Vocabulary: technology, verbs and personal description sms shortcuts, netiquette in French
    • Grammatical Structures: description in present, past (passé composé/imperfect) and future tenses, savoir and connaitre 
    • Common Assessments: Interpersonal speaking: Discuss with a partner whether technology improves or worsens human relationships. (Criterion C); Interpersonal writing: Write a letter to your little sister discussion the benefits and dangers of using social media.  (Criterion C & D).


    Unit 2  Les histoires d’enfants (Les contes de fées et les histoires traditionnelles)

    • Statement of Inquiry: Myths, legends and folktales connect people from across the world, using universal themes that express traditions, beliefs, and values.
    • Essential Questions:
      • Factual— What are some elements common to myths, folk tales, and legends?
      • Conceptual— What can I learn from a myth? How do stories represent cultural perspectives?
      • Debatable— Is storytelling an effective way to educate?
    • Essential Questions: How are stories a reflection of our culture? Why do we continue to tell traditional stories? What do stories tell us about ourselves?
    • Thematic and Cultural Content and Vocabulary: fairy tales; nouns, adjectives and verbs; analysis of the traditional story line 
    • Grammatical Structures: the 2 past tenses in French (review) passé composé and imperfect; imperfect vs. past progressive tense
    • Common Assessments: Interpretive: Watch film and answer detailed questions about specific scenes (Criterion A); Presentational: Create and illustrate an original folktale or creation myth, Contes de fées (Criterion D).


    Unit 3 L’hiver au Québec 

      • Statement of Inquiry: Leisure activities (hobbies, sports, music, festivals, carnivals, arts) give meaning to our life, but are determined by the environment and culture in which we live.
      • Essential Questions


    • Factual—What leisure activities are unique to Quebec? 
    • Conceptual—How are these leisure activities similar to what we do in Vermont?
    • Debatable— To what extent are our leisure activities influenced by geography and culture?


    • Thematic and Cultural Content and Vocabulary:  Festival/Carnaval vocabulary, local foods, the history of both French and English languages in Quebec, the role of language and oppression and power, Maurice Richard (The Rocket) and the Quiet Revolution
    • Grammatical Structures: subjunctive with expressions of emotion (je souhaite que/j'espère que), adverb placement, use of relative pronouns qui/que, indirect object pronouns y/en, the verb vivre. Sources and Materials: Carnaval de Québec, Quebec websites, “500 ans d’histoire au Québec”, “Ca Bouge” Canadian tourism website, Film “The Rocket”. 
    • Common Assessments:  Create an itinerary for a trip to Quebec, present it to the class. (Criterion C & D)


    Unit 4 La Santé :  En pleine forme (Health)

    • Statement of Inquiry: Our lifestyle choices and beliefs about health are largely influenced by our culture. We may have inherent cultural biases about what is or is not healthy for us.
    • Essential Questions:
      • Factual— How do I and people in other cultures describe a healthy lifestyle?
      • Conceptual— How do the French balance school/work and leisure similarly or differently from me?
      • Debatable— What are the most important factors to maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
    • Thematic and Cultural Content and Vocabulary:  review of basic body parts; more body parts; health (mental and physical) expressions; some disease vocabulary, vocabulary regarding eating habits ;review of foods;  some world health issues.
    • Grammatical Structures:  en + present participle, verb “suivre”, “vivre” “peser”, past tense of  reflexive verbs, il faut + infinitive, imperatives with reflexive verbs, review of avoir expressions
    • Common Assessments:  Interpretive Reading: Read the routine of 2 professional athletes. Answer questions and offer opinions about which parts of their routines are healthy, and which are not healthy.  (Criterion B & C) Create a “PSA” video for teens, explaining how to be in good health. (Criterion C)


    Unit 5 En famille et les tâches domestiques

      • Statement of Inquiry: Our rights and responsibilities within the home vary  depending on our culture, gender, and social class. Nos droits et responsabilités ménagères  varient selon notre culture, genre, et classe sociale.
      • Essential Questions:


    • Factual— How are household chores similar and different around the world?  Comment est-ce que les tâches ménagères sont-elles différentes ou similaires dans le monde?
    • Conceptual— How are the domestic chores divided along gender lines? How does technology and development change the nature of household chores? How are chores linked to social class? Comment est-ce que les tâches ménagères sont-elles divisées selon le sexe? Comment est-ce que la technologie et le development change la nature des tâches ménagères? Dans quel sens est-ce que les tâches ménagères sont-elles liées à la classe sociale?
    • Debatable— What are my duties as a global citizen? Quels sont mes devoirs en tant que citoyen du monde ?


    • Thematic and Cultural Content and Vocabulary:  verbs and objects for domestic tasks, household furniture
    • Grammatical Structures:  Introduction of present subjunctive in its use after “vouloir que” and “il faut que”
    • Common Assessments:  Pick two articles from the UN’s Sustainable Development Objectives, and use them to write a letter to the Secretary General of the UN and give your opinion about how to better realize these objectives. (Criterion B) Read the UN’s Global Objectives for 2030. With a partner, argue which ones are the most important to you, and what must be done to achieve these objectives. (Criterion B & C) Listen to a video about chores and gender roles, answer questions and provide a personal response. (Criterion A)


    (updated 8/24/19)