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Épreuve compréhension orale et expression écrite : 1h
Épreuve compréhension écrite et expression écrite : 1h30
Préparation aux épreuves communes de contrôle continu

Exam file

Compréhension de l'oral

The Myths of the Frontier, The Men Who Built America: Frontiersmen, History.

Debunking the myth

Before listening → Look at the title above and the word cloud.

Write three suppositions on what the recording might be about.

Tip: You can use words from the word cloud.

Make a list of five other words that you might hear in the recording.

First listening
Listen to the recording and take notes.

a. Note down all the words you actually hear.

b. Pick out all the proper nouns and dates. What do they refer to?

Use your notes to answer basic questions.
a. What type of document is it? Where does it come from?

b. How many people are speaking? Who are they?

c. What is the theme of the recording?

Other listenings
Listen to the recording again and complete your notes with more details.

Give more details about what is presented.
a. Which myth is debunked (ridiculed)?

b. Who played an important role in it?

Which nationality are the persons speaking? Which opinion do they have on the subject?

Compréhension de l’écrit

Willa Cather, 1912.
Willa Cather, 1912.

O Pioneers!, Willa Cather, 1913.

O Pioneers! tells the story of the Bergsons, a Swedish family of farmers who settled in Nebraska.

“We must have faith in the high land, Emil. I want to hold on harder than ever, and when you’re a man you’ll thank me.” [...]

When the road began to climb the first swells1 of the Divide, Alexandra hummed an old Swedish hymn, and Emil wondered why his sister looked so happy. Her face was so radiant that he felt shy about asking her. For the first time, perhaps, since that land emerged from the waters of geologic ages, a human face was set toward2 it with love and yearning3. It seemed beautiful to her, rich and strong, and glorious. Her eyes drank in the breadth4 of it, until her tears blinded her. Then the Genius of the Divide, the great, free spirit which breathes across it, must have bent lower than it ever bent to a human will before. The history of every country begins in the heart of a man or a woman.

Alexandra reached home in the afternoon. That evening she held a family council and told her brothers all that she had seen and heard.

“I want you boys to go down yourselves and look it over. Nothing will convince you like seeing with your own eyes. The river land was settled before this, and so they are a few years ahead of us, and have learned more about farming. The land sells for three times as much as this, but five years it will double it. The rich men down there own all the best land, and they are buying all they can get. The thing to do is to sell our cattle and what little old corn we have, and buy the Linstrum place. Then the next thing to do is to take out two loans5 on our half-sections, and buy Peter Crow’s place; raise every dollar we can, and buy every acre we can.”

“Mortgage the homestead again?” Lou cried. He sprang up and began to wind the clock furiously. “I won’t slave to pay off another mortgage. I’ll never do it. You’d just as soon kill us all, Alexandra, to carry out some scheme!”

Oscar rubbed his high, pale forehead. “How do you propose to pay off your mortgage5 ?” Alexandra looked from one to the other and bit her lip. They had never seen her so nervous. [...] “The chance that father was always looking for has come.” Lou was pacing the floor. “But how do you know that land is going to go up enough to pay the mortgages and—” “And make us rich besides?” Alexandra put in firmly. “I can’t explain that, Lou. You’ll have to take my word for it. I know, that’s all. When you drive about over the country you feel it coming.”

O Pioneers!, Willa Cather, 1913.

1. waves, moves 2. place 3. desire 4. width / size 5. money you owe to the bank
Voir les réponses


a) Who are the characters ? How are they related?

b) Where does the scene take place?

c) How does Alexandra relate to the land?

d) How do you understand the sentence in bold letters?

e) What are Alexandra’s plans?

f) What is the reaction of her brothers? Why?

g) Imagine what dream the father had.

Expression écrite

Voir les réponses

Choisissez un sujet et répondez-y en anglais.

SUJET A : Text p. 151 Imagine the end of the conversation. It should lead to a decision about their land and farm. Write the dialogue.

SUJET B : Video p. 150 With a classmate, you’ve been asked to make a presentation about the Frontier. You’re almost finished when you find this video which completely changes your view of the Frontier. Write a mail to your partner to tell him / her about it in order to convince him / her to change what you wrote.

SUJET C : Text p. 151, video p. 150 “This country was founded and built by people with great dreams and the courage to take great risks.” Ronald Reagan. Discuss this quote.


Your arguments should rely on what you know about life as a pioneer in the West.

Méthode Je m’exprime à l’écrit p. 247

Subject A: write an introductory paragraph to set the action and use stage directions to express the emotions and reactions of the characters.

Subject B: give your opinion and use your personal knowledge about American history to answer.


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