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Bac 2021: the great oral continues to be debated

For the final, which will resume this Monday, May 3, the way to class, it is the priority of the moment: the grand oral. But one of the two final tests of this 2021 baccalaureate (1) has not finished talking about it. And for good reason: it is one of the novelties of the reform, fully in force this year.

→ READ. Bac, the terms of the new “Grand oral” unveiled

Each candidate prepares two questions, based on one or both of the subject areas. The jury selects one of these subjects, for a five-minute presentation, standing, followed by ten minutes of discussions. The test – twenty minutes in total, coefficient 10 – includes a final part devoted to the young person’s orientation project. A way to prepare for studies and the professional world.

Uneven preparation following high school

Like any novelty, the great oral is not without concern. Especially since the Covid-19 complicates its preparation. Many high schools have thus gone to half-gauge from November when others were able to function normally until the generalization of the measure, this Monday, May 3. Many establishments operating at 50% have certainly maintained a maximum of face-to-face for the terminals. And some of their teachers took advantage of the work in half-groups to focus on speaking.

→ ANALYSIS. Bac 2021, candidates more than ever in the dark

However, not all candidates were able to benefit from equivalent support. , pointe Claire Guéville, national secretary of Snes. Thursday, April 29, in the national council of high school life was put forward the idea of ​​preparing one subject, instead of two, to take into account the context. But the ministry has not yet decided.

Claire Guéville, she pleads for a cancellation of the grand oral this year then, in the future, for its overhaul “. “Candidates are not entitled to any support, which does not make sense for techno baccalaureate graduates , she gives as an example.

“The form rather than the substance”

Another weakness: Among the two teachers who make up the jury, only one is required to teach one of the specialties chosen by the pupil. However, the candidate can present a subject at the junction of his two specialties. How can the jury judge the content of the presentation with relevance? , she asks. A jury which will ultimately have to assess form more than substance . Among the five criteria, knowledge but also the oral quality of the test, continuous speaking, interaction, construction and argumentation.

In any case, the fear of seeing the 2021 candidates wipe the plaster of the grand oral does not prevent some teams from seeing this event as an opportunity. Since March, we prepare it every week in specialty teaching, testifies Cécile Michailidis, professor of physics and chemistry at the George-Sand high school in Domont (Val-d’Oise). I asked my students to film themselves and then benefit from the advice of their classmates. And I invite those who encounter difficulties to participate in weekly personalized support sessions.

INTERVIEW. Bac 2021: “We could have anticipated the uncertainty”

Students must learn to manage their bodies, details the French teacher Nassera Daoud. In conjunction with the sports teacher and with an English colleague who also teaches yoga, we make them work on posture and breathing. To George-Sand, assures the principal Joseph Amoyal, preparation for the grand oral also spills over into school time, with, among other things, an eloquence competition organized by the students ”.

Overcome the “terror of the oral”

In his establishment, a multitude of projects give students the opportunity to speak in public. High school culture helped me overcome my fear of speaking , says Satheen, member of the council for high school life. This final year student works on two subjects, in SVT and maths: “How to fight the effects of stress during a big oral?” “And” How can convexity explain the Covid curve? “. She who long endured ” anxiety attacks “ when it was necessary to pass to the table is serene, with less than two months of the test.

The perspective of the great oral has led many high schools to rethink the place of orality, by approaching it in a more conscious, more structured way. , greeted Benoît Skouratko, in charge of mission within Catholic education. President of Apel, Gilles Demarquet, for his part, interprets the introduction of this event as an invitation to catch up on speaking time . He who is an executive in an international company notes with regret that the French are rarely the first to raise their hands to speak


“Say goodbye to school properly”

Pierre Mathiot, director of Sciences-Po Lille, “father” of the reform of the bac

“Provided that the juries show leniency, it is essential to pass the grand oral. This keeps the students in a dynamic work environment. We must also remember that these young people had their French test canceled last year. Having at least a philosophical writing and a good oral will allow them to say goodbye in high school. “


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