The Program

In French and Francophone Studies, students take language, literature and culture courses at all levels and complete an Earlham degree with a major or minor in French. Beginning classes emphasize student interaction, communicative competence, and the link between language and culture. Students in upper-level courses acquire substantial background in the literature, history and culture of communities that use French, with a particular focus on these communities in France, the Caribbean and Africa. At all levels, students acquire strategies of reading, listening and research that enable autonomous learning.

Central to French and Francophone Studies are two off-campus programs — one in France offered by Earlham, and another in Senegal offered by the Great Lakes Colleges Association. On-campus opportunities include La Maison Française where students live with a native-speaking teaching assistant. Additionally, students and faculty collaborate on in-depth research projects. Recent projects include studying Chinese immigrants in the Caribbean and 1950s France.

Graduates have used their French proficiency to pursue advanced degrees in various fields, teaching and careers in international trade, law, linguistics and administration. Almost annually, graduates are awarded English Teaching Assistant opportunities by the French government.

General Education Requirements

The Department offers three courses meeting the Language component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, FREN 101, 102 and 201; and four courses meeting the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, FREN 350, 364, 430 and 462. A number of General Education Requirements may also be fulfilled through off-campus study.

The Major

Given the importance of sequential learning, it is recommended that prospective majors enroll in one or more French courses during their first year and meet with faculty in French and Francophone Studies.

Students majoring in French and Francophone Studies must:

  • Complete 30 credits of coursework at the 300-level or above.
  • Complete at least one of the following:
    • FREN 350 Topics
    • FREN 364 Readings in French Caribbean and African Literature
  • Complete at least one of the following:
    • FREN 407 Translation: Theory and Practice
    • FREN 430 French and Francophone Culture
    • FREN 458 Contemporary Thought
  • Complete at least two of the following:
    • FREN 454 Literature and Revolution
    • FREN 456 French Narrative
    • FREN 462 From Negritude to Creoleness
  • Participate in an off-campus study program in a French-speaking country. Three courses from off-campus study may be applied toward the Major.
  • Complete FREN 488 Senior Capstone Experience (comprehensive examination)

Note: Beyond the 30 required credits, majors are encouraged to work with their adviser to create a cohesive program with a focus (i.e., language and culture, Africa, French literature) and to include one or two courses outside the Department (i.e., linguistics, West African history, European history, film, TESOL).

The Minor

Students minoring in French and Francophone Studies must complete 18 hours of coursework at the 300-level or above.

All minors should participate in an off-campus study program in a French-speaking country. Two courses from off-campus study may be applied toward the Minor.

* Key

Courses that fulfill
General Education Requirements:

  • (A-AP) = Arts - Applied
  • (A-TH) = Arts - Theoretical/Historical
  • (A-AR) = Analytical - Abstract Reasoning
  • (A-QR) = Analytical - Quantitative
  • (D-D) = Diversity - Domestic
  • (D-I) = Diversity - International
  • (D-L) = Diversity - Language
  • (ES) = Earlham Seminar
  • (IP) = Interpretive Practices
  • (SI) = Scientific Inquiry
  • (W) = Wellness
  • (WI) = Writing Intensive
  • (AY) = Offered in Alternative Year

*FREN 101 BASIC FRENCH I  (5 credits)
A communicative approach to basic French that emphasizes the development of language skills, cultural competence needed to communicate effectively and knowledge of French-speaking communities. Incorporates the recently articulated national Standards for Language Learning: communication, culture, comparison, connection and community. (D-L)

*FREN 102 BASIC FRENCH II  (5 credits)
A continuation of Basic French I. (D-L)

FREN 105 SUPER FRENCH (8 credits)
Students complete two semesters of beginning French in a course that uses peer teachers, student-designed projects, and a wellness component (yoga) to help them develop basic skills in speaking, listening, reading, and writing along with the cultural competence necessary for effective communication. Students also leave with some knowledge of communities where French is spoken, connections between French and other disciplines, and a basic critical understanding of linguistic and cultural difference. Students who successfully complete the course are generally prepared for 200-level work in French.

*FREN 201 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH (4 credits)
An intensive review of the four language skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading). Emphasizes the development of communicative strategies for informal conversation and introduces students to culturally-specific situations. (D-L)

FREN 222 READING AND WRITING (3 credits)
An advanced intermediate course that presents readings of progressive difficulty, allowing for both discussion and the writing of essays on related topics. Emphasizes style, the understanding of short literary texts and composition in French.

FREN 301 ADVANCED GRAMMAR (3 credits)
A functional approach to grammar that explores how to express ideas by selecting useful grammatical tools. Discussions of structural choices and cultural differences using examples from the media.

FREN 302 ADVANCED CONVERSATION (1 credit)
Designed for upper-level students of French who wish to practice and improve their oral skills. Entails active participation in class discussion, presentations and outside conversational activities.

FREN 303 READING A TEXT (2 credits)
Focuses on French prose and poetry. Students learn strategies of reading and techniques of textual analysis. Can serve as an extension of FREN 222 for students interested in more challenging texts or as preparation for upper-level literature courses.

*FREN 350 TOPICS IN FRENCH (3 credits)
Topics vary, as does the focus on European or non-European literatures or cinemas in French. Designed to enable students to begin to engage in serious analysis with an emphasis on critical approaches. Recent topics include: representations of Paris, African cinema, Mandinka literature. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. Prerequisite: FREN 222, 301, 303 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as FILM 350. (D-I)

*FREN 364 READINGS IN FRENCH CARIBBEAN AND AFRICAN LITERATURE (3 credits)
An array of fiction, poetry and film by authors and cinematographers from West Africa and the French Antilles. Papers and discussions focus on cultural themes and issues such as tradition and modernity, urban and rural life, and men's and women's roles. Prerequisite: FREN 222, 301, 303 or consent of the instructor. Also listed as AAAS 364. (D-I) (AY)

FREN 407 TRANSLATION: THEORY AND PRACTICE (3 credits)
Students consider a range of issues in translation including comparative stylistics, text types, machine translation and gender in translation. In addition to readings, discussion and research on particular aspects of translation, students design and carry out individual and group translation projects. Prerequisite: FREN 222, 301, 303 or consent of the instructor. (AY)

*FREN 430 FRENCH AND FRANCOPHONE CULTURE (4 credits)
Explores contemporary issues pertinent to understanding French and French-speaking communities. Extensive use of film, the media and the Web. (D-I) (AY)

FREN 454 LITERATURE AND REVOLUTION (4 credits)
Explores texts that have deeply changed ways of thinking, either politically, socially or aesthetically. Selected works include essays, novels and plays that preceded the advent of the French Revolution and a choice of texts representative of innovative directions in literature such as romanticism, surrealist poetry or theatre of the absurd. (AY)

FREN 456 THE FRENCH NARRATIVE (4 credits)
Explores the development of narrative techniques in French through the study of literary texts and film adaptations from different time periods. Recent topics include 19th- and 20th-century novels. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. (AY)

FREN 458 CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT (4 credits)
Students use readings, film screenings, discussion and written assignments to consider various poststructuralist approaches to theorizing the relationship between language and society and to place these approaches in historical context. Prerequisite: An Interpretive Practices course and one course at the 350-level or higher, or consent of the instructor. (AY)

*FREN 462 FROM NEGRITUDE TO CREOLENESS (4 credits)
Postcolonial issues are brought to the forefront by a new and imaginative literature from the French Antilles. Voices obliterated in the past reclaim their history and celebrate their Creole culture and traditions. Also listed as AAAS 462. (D-I) (AY)

FREN 481 INTERNSHIP
Students may submit a request for internship credit by conferring with faculty of the French and Francophone Studies Department before the work is undertaken.

FREN 482 SPECIAL TOPICS (2-4 credits)
Selected topics determined by the instructor for upper-level study. A recent topic was Women and the Unspeakable. May be repeated for credit with a different topic. (AY)

FREN 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)
Reserved for International Teaching Assistant.

FREN 484 FORD/KNIGHT PROJECTS (1-4 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by the Ford/Knight Program.

FREN 485 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3 credits)
Investigation of a specific topic conceived and planned by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser. Culminates in a comprehensive report prepared in the style of a thesis or research paper.

FREN 488 SENIOR CAPSTONE EXPERIENCE (1 credit)
Comprehensive examination.

France Program Courses

FREN 205 LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY (4 credits)

FREN 235 FRENCH HISTORY (2 credits)

*FREN 435 ART HISTORY (4 credits) (A-TH)

*FREN 445 FRENCH POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD (4 credits) (D-I)

FREN 455 FRENCH CONTEMPORARY THEATER AND CINEMA (4 credits)

May Term Courses

FREN 343 SENEGAL MAY TERM (3 credits)
By considering Senegalese culture as expressed by multiple languages, art and religion, students build a connection to French-speaking Africa. Prerequisite: Basic French II or higher level of French.

FREN 345 MARTINIQUE MAY TERM (3 credits)
Students explore two major aspects of the French Caribbean island: the Creole culture and the ecosystem. They are introduced to Creole language, traditional dances and crafts, creole gardens and mangroves, the rain forest, and volcano climbing. Students learn about the Amerindian and Tamil histories of the island. Homestays throughout. 

 

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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