Modern Languages

All Majors & Minors

French

Outcomes for French Majors

A successful French major will:

  1. Demonstrate advanced French linguistic skills in speaking, writing, reading and listening:
  2. Demonstrate cultural competence:

    • Ability to communicate with a native speaker in a nuanced manner;
    • Ability to read and understand a French or Francophone text or cultural product within its cultural context;
    • Ability to function in French and Francophone cultures and to understand and appreciate their  uniqueness;
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking:
    • Demonstrate the ability to conduct close readings and critical interpretations of a variety of cultural products from countries where French is spoken
    • Demonstrate an awareness of social and historical contexts  from geographic areas where French is spoken;
    • Demonstrate basic knowledge of literary and cultural traditions from France and Francophone countries;
    • Demonstrate the ability to make connections between French and Francophone  cultures and other disciplines;
  4. Demonstrate research competency:
    • Demonstrate ability to do independent research using sources written in French;
    • Produce a senior thesis in French that adheres to proper scholarly format, develops a clear thesis, properly uses secondary sources, and develops a convincing argument;  
    • Present a coherent oral presentation of the research for the senior thesis in French before an audience;
    • Demonstrate knowledge of major concepts in literary and cultural studies. 
  • Requirements for Majors

    French majors are required to take at least 36 credit hours in French language, literature, and civilization above the 100 level. FREN-251 and 252 and at least one 400-level W course are required, as well as a study abroad experience as approved by the department. French majors can fulfill the requirement for an oral presentation in the major and the capstone requirement by taking FREN-440W, 441W or 492W.

    Secondary School Certification:

    Students planning to obtain certification for secondary-school teaching in French must take a minimum of 24 credit hours in French at the 200, 300 and 400 levels. The following courses are required: FREN-251; 252, 317, 328, and at least two 300- or 400-level courses. In addition to the course requirements, students are required to pass a qualifying examination before they will be admitted to candidacy for certification and a competency examination before being certified.

    These tests will examine students’ linguistic competence, orally and in writing, testing phonetics, conversation, grammar and composition. The exit exam will also check their knowledge of French literature and culture, including the arts, history and geography. Students and their advisers should consult the Ursinus College Education Department. Language majors and students preparing for certification are required to supplement their work at Ursinus by spending a summer, a semester or an entire year in a foreign country with a program approved by the department. Exceptions to this policy may be made by petition to the department chair.

    Requirements for Minors

    Consists of FREN-251 and 16 additional credits of French at the 200-, 300- or 400-level.

French Courses

  • FREN-101. Introduction to French Language and Francophone Cultures I

    Development of the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Designed for beginners. Four hours per week plus plus one hour with interactive technologies or in teaching-assistant-led conversation. Four semester hours. (L.)

    FREN-102. Introduction to French Language and Francophone Cultures II

    Continuation of FREN-101. Four hours per week plus one hour of work with interactive technologies or in teaching-assistant-led conversation. Four semester hours. (L.)

    FREN-103. Intensive Beginner Studies of French Language and Francophone Cultures

    This course is intended for students who have previous experience in the language, but who lack the foundational knowledge for the intermediate level. It is designed to be an intensive review that covers the entire beginning sequence seen in FREN-101 and 102 in one semester. The course combines development of the four skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing) with a grammar review. It is followed by FREN-111. Four hours per week plus one hour with interactive technologies or in teaching-assistant-led conversation. Four semester hours. (L.)

    FREN-111. Intermediate Studies in French Language and Francophone Cultures I

    Conversation and vocabulary development; grammar review, written work and discussions are based on cultural, social and literary selections. Prerequisite: FREN-102, FREN-103, or the equivalent. Four hours per week plus one hour with interactive technologies or in teaching-assistant-led conversation. Four semester hours. (L.)

    FREN-112. Intermediate Studies in French Language and Francophone Cultures II

    Continued emphasis on comprehension and speaking. Reading of literary and cultural texts and longer writing assignments. Introduction to elementary Francophone literature. Prerequisite: FREN-111 or the equivalent. Four hours per week plus one hour with interactive technologies or in teaching-assistant-led conversation. Faculty

    FREN-201. Communiquer en Français

    The course offers students an opportunity to perfect their French pronunciation and to improve their oral and aural proficiency in both formal and informal French. Students will learn the International Phonetic Alphabet; engage in discussions of ethnicity, gender and global culture; and perform dramatic scenes, in French, before a live audience. Prerequisite: FREN-112 or the equivalent. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L.)

    FREN-202. Introduction à l’écriture en Français

    The course allows students to practice formal, informal, and creative writing (analytical essays, short stories, poetry). The course provides students with strategies for incorporating previously learned grammar into written and oral expression. Prerequisite: FREN-112 or the equivalent. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-251. Introduction à la Littérature Française et Francophone

    A selection of major French and Francophone writers from the Middle Ages to the present. Special attention will be given to the socio-cultural context from which the narratives emerged. Students will also be introduced to literary analysis and formal writing engaging secondary research texts. Prerequisites: FREN-202 or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L, G.)

    FREN-252. Le Monde Francophone

    A study of culture and literature from Francophone countries from the 19th and 20th centuries. This course will examine how colonization and its aftermath have shaped the issues of language, identity, class and gender in French-speaking literature of Canada, Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. Prerequisite: FREN-202 or permission of instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L, G.)

    FREN-255. Civilisations Françaises & Francophones

    A thematically driven course in which students investigate a wide range of topics by exploring the political, social, economic and cultural history of France and the Francophone World from the Revolution of 1789 to the present day. Students interrogate the meaning of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” in these contexts. Primary sources will consist of historical and sociological texts, as well as first-hand reports, scholarly papers, and archives. Prerequisite: Two of the following: FREN-201, 202, 251, 252; or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    Note: This course will be offered in the spring term of even-numbered years and will alternate with FREN-252. All 300-level courses are offered in rotation.

    FREN-317. Culture Populaire et Questions Contemporaines en Europe Francophone

    France, Belgium, and Switzerland are the subject of this course, which focuses on politics, economics, religion, immigration, and popular culture. This multimedia-driven course also looks at the culture of youth from Francophone Europe through television programs, bande-dessinée (graphic novels), music, film, fashion, blogging, and current events. Prerequisite: Two courses at the 200-level or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-318. Le Français des Professions

    Students perform tasks related to their majors: writing, presentations, cv resumes, cover letters, interviewing skills, cultural considerations, and career development. Participation in several excursions is required. The final project is an oral presentation of a final paper in the student’s major field. Prerequisite: FREN-201, 202, or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-328. Advanced Grammar and Translation

    French phonetics, morphology and syntax, with emphasis on problems related to the teaching of the language. Frequent translations focus on structural differences between French and English. Prerequisite: Two courses at the 200-level. Offered upon request. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-335. Independent Study in French

    Individual study of topics in French literature and civilization. May also be used in preparation for research or internship abroad. Prerequisites: Two 200-level courses and permission of instructor. Two to four semester hours. (I, if 4 credits.)

    FREN-342. Etudes Queer-Contexte Français/Francophone

    An exploration of the theme of queerness in Francophone film, music, and literary and theoretical texts. Students consider Queer bodies — ethnicities, sexes, and genders — and queer cultural products, which transform the French language by challenging traditional, continental modes of writing and representation. Authors include: Labou Tansi, Ben Jelloun, Tremblay, Sassine and Lê. Films by: Claire Denis and Alain Berliner. Prerequisites: FREN-251, 252, or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-341. Junior Seminar in French

    This course is designed for juniors who wish to take the French senior seminar taught in the same semester. Assignments for students of FREN-341 will correspond to the workload of a 300-level course. FREN-341 is offered concurrently with FREN-440W or FREN-441W. Prerequisites: junior status, or permission of instructor. Does not fulfill the capstone requirement. Three hours per week. Four semester hours.

    FREN-345. Topics in French

    The course focuses on a specific topic or theme not otherwise treated in the curriculum. Topics will vary from year to year. Recent topics have included « Regard sur/des Autres dans la société française » and « Passion et amour dans la littérature classique et moderne ». Independent written work is required. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L.)

    FREN-352. Identité, Migration, et Immigration

    The course examines notions of identity and exile and asks students to consider how we know ourselves and how we live together. Works from Chateaubriand, Gide, Maupassant, Sembene, Mabanckou, Voltaire, Waberi, and others. Prerequisites: FREN-251, 252, or permission from the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-362. Introduction à la Théorie Littéraire et Sociale

    Being Human, Knowing the World, Self and Other, and Engagement with the world in texts from the Renaissance to the 21st century. Readings from Montaigne, Descartes, Fanon, Cixous, Sartre, Barthes, Sartre, Mbembe, Foucault, and Baudrillard. Prerequisites: FREN-251and 252; or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-372. Chefs d’œuvres en Littérature Française et Francophone

    A thematically-driven course in which students perform advanced analysis of texts from authors such as: Proust, Balzac, Zola, Corneille, Voltaire, Racine, Maupassant, Mabanckou, and Sony Labou Tansi. Prerequisites: FREN-251, 252, or permission of the instructor. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L)

    FREN-381. Internship

    An off-campus academic work/experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact the chair of the department for further details. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 120 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: three courses in French and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Three semester hours. (I.)

    FREN-382. Internship

    An off-campus academic work/experience under the supervision of an internship adviser and an on-site supervisor. Contact the chair of the department for further details. Open to juniors and seniors. The term during which the internship work is performed will be noted by one of the following letters, to be added immediately after the internship course number: A (fall), B (winter), C (spring), or D (summer). Internships undertaken abroad will be so indicated by the letter I. The intern must complete a minimum of 160 hours of work. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: three courses in French and approval of a faculty internship adviser. Four semester hours. (I.)

    FREN-440W. Seminaire en Littérature et Culture Francophone

    This course asks students to reflect on their liberal arts education and to engage with issues linked to literary, theoretical and cultural exploration. An additional focus of the course is professional development and the application of the major beyond college. This course satisfies the capstone requirement for the French major. Prerequisites: FREN-342, 352, 362, 372, or permission of the instructor. MCS-201 is highly recommended. Three hours per week. Four semester hours. (H, L.)

    FREN-491. Research/Independent Work

    This course is open to candidates for departmental honors and to other students with the permission of the department chair. This course does not satisfy the College requirement of a capstone experience. Four semester hours. (I.)

    FREN-492W. Research/Independent Work

    A continuation of FREN-491. This is a writing-intensive course and at least one formal oral presentation is required. This course satisfies the College requirement of a capstone experience. Prerequisites: FREN-491 and permission of the department chair. MCS-102 is highly recommended. Four semester hours. (I.)