French language is taught in a five-semester sequence after which students can enroll in courses and tutorials on literary and cultural topics. Beginning French I & II and Intermediate French I & II focus on oral and written communication.
Advanced French, which is offered each fall, is both a systematic review of grammar and an introduction to the study of literature in French. A placement test is offered at the start of the fall term so that students who have previously studied French can be placed at the appropriate level. After completing Advanced French, students are prepared to enroll in literature courses and tutorials in which they will read, discuss, and write in French.
Each spring one seminar is offered that is conducted entirely in French. These thematic surveys (L’amour interdit, Le rire à travers les siècles, Contes et conteurs, Représentations de l’enfance) expose students to a wide range of literary styles. In addition, one other literature course is offered each semester that is open both to students who can read French as well as to those who read in translation.
Students may complete an Area of Concentration in French with a focus in either French Literature or French Studies. In both cases, students are required to have a high level of proficiency in spoken and written French, as demonstrated by the completion of Advanced French or the equivalent, and strongly satisfactory evaluations in courses conducted in French.
Students are strongly encouraged to arrange an Independent Study Project or off-campus semester in a French-speaking country or region.
For a concentration in French Literature, students:
Students are expected to complete at least 8-10 semester-long courses or tutorials for the AOC, with as much coursework as possible in French.
For a concentration in French Studies, students need to complete courses and/or tutorials focused on France or the Francophone world in at least three different disciplines (in addition to literature, students may work in fields including art history, philosophy, political science, history, anthropology, etc.), with at least two semester-length projects in each discipline. Students are expected to complete at least 8-10 semester-length courses or tutorials for the AOC, with as much coursework as possible in French.
For either version of the French AOC, students are expected to complete at least 8-10 semester-long courses or tutorials, or 6-8 courses or a combined (joint) AOC. Only courses at the level of Advanced French or beyond count toward the AOC.
For courses taught in English that contribute to the AOC, students should focus their written work on topics related to France and/or the Francophone world, and use source materials written in French where possible.
Students are strongly encouraged to include study abroad (during a semester, ISP or summer) as part of their curriculum. Students have recently studied in France, Belgium, Quebec, Morocco, and Senegal.