Session 2003





I – Compte-rendu : 20 points

II – Question 2a : 4 points

II – Question 2b : 6 points



20 points


Durée 2 heures


Aucun dictionnaire unilingue, bilingue ou " électronique " n’est autorisé.



An open and shut case


The design of the workplace is the key to job satisfaction and your own well-being, says Kate Hilpern.


Do you prefer working in a lively open-plan office or at a solitary desk in a quiet, closed-off area? Not an obvious dilemma for the secretarial job-seeker. But it should be, according to a fast increasing number of occupational psychologists and designers.

Open-plan offices, not surprisingly, suit the more sociable secretary. And as sociability at work has become a strong incentive to a growing number of administrative staff, employers are glad to comply.

Consequently, more and more companies are using office camaraderie to their own advantage. "Companies are designing bigger offices with fewer partitions and more 'chatting areas' so that they create more motivated staff," explains occupational psychologist Eileen Hill.

For those PAs and secretaries involved in teamwork, open-plan offices also tend to be the firm favourite. "This may be for single projects – such as organising large conferences or compiling a particular report – or it may become a permanent way of working," says Hill. "Either way, team-working is on the rise because companies have finally come to realise that a combination of skills, experiences and judgements can be more productive than individual input. By giving these teams an open-plan office, they are able to share ideas regularly."

Indeed, advocates of open-plan offices often praise their focus on communication. "Managers here used to have that all-too familiar policy of saying, 'My door is always open". Eventually we realised that they didn't really need a door – or even an office," says a spokesperson for Xerox. As a result, all new Xerox offices in the UK are open-plan, with both managers and their staff located in "team space" areas.

Hot-desking is the latest extension of the "open-plan"" style of working, with e-business ICL being the latest company to use the practice, which involves everyone agreeing to sit and work wherever there's a space available that day.

But hot-desking does not suit everyone, cautions occupational psychologist Bridget Hogg. "If it is not the employees' choice to get rid of their desks, they may feel they have no space to call their own and suffer quite a severe loss. Without any territory, many people feel unstable and undervalued. In turn, they may be less productive. I would advise any secretary thinking about taking a job where hot-desking is the norm to carefully consider their suitability to this way of working".

Open-plan offices may cause some workers high levels of stress, adds Gary Evans, an environmental psychologist from Cornell University, New York. "We're unsure as to why there is such a dramatic reduction in work performance, but the lack of motivation is probably due to the uncontrollability of noise which can lead some workers to feel that they cannot control their surrounding," he explains.

Abridged and adapted from The Guardian, Monday April 2, 2001.








1 – Vous rédigerez un compte-rendu de ce texte en français (220 mots plus ou moins 10 %). Vous mettrez en évidence les différentes conceptions de l'agencement du lieu de travail évoquées dans cet article, en en soulignant les avantages et les inconvénients respectifs. Vous indiquerez le nombre de mots que vous aurez utilisés. (20 points).

2a – Vous expliquerez en anglais (en une trentaine de mots) ce que Bridget Hogg veut dire dans la phrase suivante : "I would advise any secretary thinking about taking a job where hot-desking is the norm to carefully consider their suitability to this way of working." (4 points).

2b Vous expliquerez en anglais (en une quarantaine de mots) ce que sont des "chatting areas" et des "team space" areas. (6 points).



Rédaction d'une lettre en anglais (20 points)


Vous êtes Claude Marais, assistant(e) de Mme Catherine Lefranc, chef du personnel de la Société Française de Banque (SFB). Vous adressez un courrier au service après-vente de la société KAROX relatif à la panne récurrente d'un photocopieur de type KM 2009.

Le réparateur est déjà venu deux fois, les 2 avril et 15 avril derniers, et la machine est à nouveau en panne. Votre chef de service vous demande d'écrire une lettre de réclamation qu'elle signera. Elle vous a laissé les instructions suivantes :

1. exposez le problème

2. réclamez une intervention d'urgence

3. indiquez que la machine est essentielle à la bonne marche du service

4. précisez que vous préféreriez le remplacement de l'appareil (ainsi que la garantie le prévoit)

5. concluez fermement et ajoutez que vous pourriez envisager de changer de fournisseur


Présentation et formules d'usage


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5-11 Davington Street The Strand