Skipping French Levels in High School

I’m a sophomore in high school currently taking French II. I didn’t take a language in middle school which is why I started with French I in my freshmen year of high school. I’d like to take AP French Language and Culture (I really like learning French!) in my senior year, but that would mean skipping a level of French.

So far, French I and II are practical jokes. Out of a 10 chapter book, we’ve just started chapter 4. Homework is also extremely underwhelming. I never spend time outside of class doing homework since it takes an average of 15 mins during class. I’m worried this regime will not adequately prepare me for AP French, which will probably be exacerbated by my decision to skip a level of French.

I’m a pretty natural language learner. I’ve never had to study vocabulary because I’m able to memorize new words when they are presented to me. I’m also able to identify nuances of pronunciation and speak at a pretty good level for French II. My weakness is grammar when speaking, which I’m actively working on. I can write eloquent passages but grammar trips me up when speaking.

With these things in mind, should I skip French III and take French IV honors junior year or take French III junior year and skip French IV honors? How feasible do you all think each course of action is and which one will prepare me better for AP French?

Thank you CC community!

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AP French does not teach grammar. You are expected to have all tenses and moods covered by then. In addition, you need to be comfortable speaking French and understanding spiken French.

Look into doing a summer program, preferably immersion, that will advance your verbal skills.


I would not skip any level of French - you would be setting yourself up for potential problems. Our HS would not allow a student to skip a level of a language (unless he/she takes that level elsewhere - ex. as an accredited summer class). I’d discuss with your guidance counselor and French teacher before even considering such a jump.

Remember – you can continue to pursue French in college if you like.


Would your French teacher allow you to sit on the French III class? What textbook do they use? Do they cover chapters 7-10 in your (same) book?
In the meanwhile, work on your textbook yourself. You could find a used copy of English grammar for students of French, very useful for French 2-3-4.
Memorize vocabulary from further chapters. Make flash cards and test yourself.
Make sure you understand how to use passé composé,* imparfait*, and futur.
Watch TV5Monde if you can find it, or if you have Netflix, watch Lupin or Call my Agent in French with English subtitles, then choose a short scene (1’30 or so) and remove the subtitles. Do you understand them? Can you ‘act’ them?
The easiest level to skip would have been French II, but short of that see with your French teacher if you could do a compressed French II+III class.
Look into Concordia Language Villages. You’ll learn to speak and use French very quickly! Taking the “village level 3” over the summer will allow you to jump into Level 4 with no problem.

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I think you can do it!


Good for her! What do you mean through her high school? Do schools offer a self-study program?

Thank you, that was really helpful! I checked out Concordia Language Villages but the only virtual French program is the one week one.

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Thank you for the insight! I’ve been doing some research, do you happen to know any good ones?

I’d suggest, they will have a summer program again in 2022 and also have semester and year long programs. I did a year in Spain with them, it’s a fabulous program!

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Her high school does not routinely offer self-study.

Talk to your french teacher about this.

Duolingo (online free) is also not that bad at filling in French, so whether you opt to skip a year or not, take some time on your own and work through their lessons and stories until you get pretty much everything perfect. When you’re at the point where you can, make sure you close your eyes to not read when they are speaking. This will help you pick up spoken, not just written, language. When you get good at all that is on Duolingo, start looking at French library books or finding videos online, etc. You’re working on self-studying.

It’s not all that uncommon for good language learners to be able to skip a year of ps language, though it’s usually I or II that is skipped vs III or IV.