• This Tuesday marked the start of the baccalaureate exams for nearly 187,000 students in the professional course.

    The first of these, the French test, included the following subject: “In your opinion, is the game still fun?

    »

  • If we believe Twitter, at the end of this test many students stumbled on the term "playful" which they did not understand the meaning.

  • So is Gen Z's vocabulary level declining?

    We asked the question to an author, a French teacher and a doctoral student in Language Sciences.

They were, this Tuesday, 186,200 students in the vocational sector to embark on the deep end.

The official bac pro season started at 9 a.m. with a French exam.

A test that has already caused a lot of ink to flow, in particular because of the following question: “In your opinion, is the game still fun?

".

According to Twitter, many high school students have dried up: impossible for them to put a definition behind the word "playful".

“I'm not surprised, part of the game, Aude Denizot, author of

Why do our students no longer know how to write?

I have noticed real gaps in vocabulary in the twenty years that I have been teaching”.

Seeing “epic instead of equestrian”, “marked instead of trivialized” or even “summoned instead of evoked” has thus become commonplace in the copies that the teacher has been correcting for a few years.

What is “written is acquired”

The reason ?

"The massive use, from the smallest classes, of photocopies or pre-filled media," says the one who is also a law professor at the University of Le Mans.

These handouts prevent students from practicing writing: “If we take the example of the word “playful”, it was probably used from CM2.

But was surely already pre-registered on a working handout”, argues Aude Denizot, adding that what is “written is acquired” and not the reverse.

Me in front of the word “Playful” #Bac2022 pic.twitter.com/Lb2UAj84PT

— anaiss.hyr (@Anaishyr09) June 14, 2022


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Another obstacle to the richness of the lexical field?

The lack of reading.

"It is in the traditional book object that we draw a large part of our vocabulary", notes the author.

An observation shared by Frédéric Gendarme, French teacher in a private Parisian college: “My students have not lost their taste for reading but have moved away from the classics, which are still at the heart of school programs.

” The manga prevail over the novels and, from college, Honoré de Balzac and the richness of his vocabulary are no match for One Piece.

The truth about my copy I wrote * I don't know the meaning of playful * #Bac2022 #playful

— Naow (@NaowRZAY) June 14, 2022


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If the French teacher notes the "difficulty of the students to vary their vocabulary or to bring nuance to their writing", he does not blame them for all that.

"We should review certain works in the program and in the context of this test, question the consistency of the statement with the public concerned", he explains.

A vocabulary that has changed

" I'm wondering.

Is the term playful so common in 2022?

I'm not convinced of that,” asks Auphélie Ferreira, a doctoral student in Language Sciences.

The sociolinguist, for whom it is important to put the church back in the middle of the village, the word “fun” is simply not part of the daily lives of high school students: “The vocabulary has changed.

It does not cover the same areas and the same ages.

»

A question of generation and uses that pushes our doctoral student to ask herself another question.

“Does an elderly person know the term “disrupter”?

Or "distance"?

However, do we say of this same elderly person that his level of French plummets?

".

The answer is no.

Our file on the baccalaureate

And then faith of sociologist, before making a conclusion, it is initially necessary to make a research: “To date there does not exist any study which compares the level of vocabulary of the young people of same sociodemographic profile on various generations.

No study, no observation.

That is clear.

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