National French Contest: FLES

FLES CONTEST DATES: February 14 - March 1, 2021

FLES Specifications and Enrollment Information

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Other Important Dates of Note:

-        Audio Files Due: March 26 2021

-        Release of National Results: mid-April 2021

LISTENING: (All Divisions) Students listen to a CD and choose the appropriate response from a series of pictures. A few non-visual items are included at the end for more advanced levels.

STUDENT HEARS: Qu’est-ce que c’est?  C’est une vache.







READING & STRUCTURE: (Divisions 2B & 3B only, refer to Division guidelines) Picture identification, some elementary grammar, and question-answer items.  NOTE: There is no writing.

EXAMPLE: Dans ses bras, Françoise porte  ______.

a.  un nounours
b.  une poupée 
c.  un coussin.


READING COMPREHENSION: (Division 3B and Hors Concours only, refer to Division guidelines) A reading selection followed by multiple choice questions.

SPEAKING: (All Divisions)  Teachers are notified after initial scoring.  Questions are given for the teacher to pose to the student. Teachers are requested not to prompt or pose additional questions of their own, but may rephrase questions that might be totally unfamiliar in form. 

Separate questions are provided for each division. It is assumed that the responses of younger students will be simple phrases or single utterances, whereas the older students can comment in a more complex form or elaborate on a response.

NOTE:  Students are NOT to write out a statement before speaking and must not see the picture before the taping nor drill vocabulary from the picture in advance.

HOW TO PREPARE? Past contest materials may be used. Online access to the 2020 Contest is available or you may order paper and CDs - see order form

NOTE:  Use contest recordings and pictures throughout the year as supplementary oral activities!

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:   Contact Karen Kuebler

DIVISIONS: How do teachers determine which division is appropriate for their students? The basic contest is the same for all grade levels, with reading/grammar for the more advanced students, and a sliding scale for scoring based on amount of French study to evaluate fairly. A class meeting only once a week will not be competing at the same level as a class that meets five times a week, for example. Correct division placement is imperative to maintain fairness for all students.


DIVISION 1A:  Students in school grades 1, 2, 3.  (Listening section only and speaking if qualified.) 

DIVISION 2A: All grade 4 students; students in grades 5 & 6 who have just started French or are in strictly oral programs. (Listening section only and speaking if qualified.)

DIVISION 2B: Students in grade 5 or 6 with several years of French. Recommended for most 6th graders. (Listening, structure, and speaking if qualified.)

DIVISION 3A: Students in grades 1, 2, 3 who are in immersion or partial immersion programs, students privately tutored for two or more years, all students studying in French speaking countries, students with more than one year of immersion preschool. (Listening section only and speaking if qualified)

NOTE: “PARTIAL IMMERSION” would be any program with 500 minutes per week of French.

DIVISION 3B: Same as Division 3A but for students in grades 4, 5, 6.

HORS CONCOURS: Students who speak French at home with any member of the household. These students must do Division 3A (Grades 1-3) or 3B(Grades 4-6) contest and are eligible for national prizes.    

ORDERING:  Please note that we no longer use contest “kits”, instead you will order individual copies for the exact number of students you have as in other levels of Le Grand Concours.

CONTENT:  We are aware that FLES programs vary a great deal across the country, and no contest can reflect the emphasis of every individual class. So, only as a guideline for teachers, we list below the subject areas often touched on. 

  1. weather & seasons
  2. school & classroom
  3. food & table
  4. clothes (je porte)
  5. time & calendar
  6. numbers
  7. negatives
  8. town & stores
  9. culture - daily life, holidays
  10. locutions of position (dans, sur, devant, etc.)
  11. house, rooms, furniture
  12. body & avoir mal à
  13. family members
  14. simple descriptive adjectives
  15. action verbs & aural distinction of il/elle
  16. transportation & directions
  17. animals
  18. personal information (name, age, etc.)
  19. sports
  20. instruments



In many ways the FLES contest is the same as the secondary contest in format, which makes students comfortable with the procedure before they reach secondary school. What makes FLES unique is our speaking section for the top scoring students to emphasize what we all feel is the essential goal of FLES teaching: encouraging students to speak the language.