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 and Graduation Requirements

The Department offers four courses meeting the Language component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, FREN 101, 102, 105 and 201; and three courses meeting the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement, FREN 330, 430 and 440. Courses taken during the France off-campus study program can meet General Education Requirements: FREN 435 meets the Theoretical/Historical component of the Arts Requirement, and FREN 435 Art History and FREN 445 meets the International component of the Perspectives on Diversity Requirement. FREN 301 and 440 are designated as Writing Intensive Courses.

The Major

Students majoring in French and Francophone Studies must:

  • Complete at least 29 credits at the 300-level or above in the department, including:
    • At least one of the following:
      • FREN 301 The Art of Writing with Style
      • FREN 302 Exploring Grammar Through the Media
      • FREN 303 Culture and Conversation
    • At least two of the following:
      • FREN 330 Cinema and Society
      • FREN 340 Literary Studies
      • FREN 345 Riots and Rights: French and the World of Work
    • At least two of following:
      • FREN 407 Translation Theory and Practice
      • FREN 430 Crisis and Identity in the 21st Century French-Speaking World
      • FREN 440 Advanced Literary Studies
    • FREN 488 Senior Capstone
  • Participate in an off-campus semester or yearlong study program in a French-speaking country. Three courses from a semester program or five courses from a yearlong program may be applied toward the major.
  • Complete three credits at the 300-level or above in another academic department to support your interest in the major. Courses such as:
    • AAAS 376 A History of West Africa
    • PHIL 330 Postcolonial Theory
    • TESO 344 Studies in Language Learning and Teaching
    • TESO 345 Linguistics
    • ENG 369 Contemporary Literary Theory.

The Minor

Students minoring in French and Francophone Studies must:

  • Complete at least 18 credits in the department at the 300-level or above, including at least one course at the 400-level. Those pursuing a minor are invited to discuss with a French and Francophone faculty member whether they are prepared for and would benefit from enrolling in FREN 488 Senior Capstone.
  • Participate in an off-campus semester or yearlong study program in a French-speaking country. Three courses from a semester program or five courses from a yearlong program may be applied toward the major.

* 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
  • (IE) = Immersive Experience
  • (RCH) = Research
  • (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)
This course uses peer teachers, student-designed projects and a wellness component to help students develop basic skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing along with the cultural competence necessary for effective communication. Students also leave with knowledge of communities where French is spoken, connections between French and other disciplines, and a basic critical understanding of linguistic and cultural differences. Students who successfully complete this course are prepared for 200-level work in French. (D-L)

*FREN 201 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH I (3 credits)
Students review speaking, writing, listening, and reading skills and build on these so as to enhance their confidence in using French in specific cultural and communicative situations such as travel and email exchanges. They continue to grow in their knowledge of communities where French is spoken, make connections between French and other disciplines, and develop a critical understanding of linguistic and cultural differences. (D-L)

*FREN 202 INTERMEDIATE FRENCH II (3 credits)
Students further develop speaking, writing, listening and reading skills and the cultural competence necessary for communicating in an increasing range of settings. They continue to grow in their knowledge of communities where French is spoken, make connections between French and other disciplines, and develop a critical understanding of linguistic and cultural differences.

FREN 301 THE ART OF WRITING WITH STYLE (3 credits)
L'art de bien s'exprimer. In this writing intensive course, students read and analyze shorter texts representative of a variety of genres and modes. By identifying formal and stylistic elements of each text, students will learn to better appreciate the linguistic function of these texts while also improving their own skills to write with greater precision and ease. Students will reflect on the process of writing by considering the choices an author makes in creating a work. Prerequisites: Placement, FREN 202 or permission of instructor. (WI) (AY)

FREN 302 EXPLORING GRAMMAR THROUGH THE MEDIA (3 credits)
In this comprehensive study of French grammar and syntax, students will read and mine various forms of print media to acquire grammatical structures and idiomatic expressions that they will apply in frequent essays. Prerequisites: Placement, FREN 202 or permission of instructor. (AY)

FREN 303 CULTURE AND CONVERSATION (3 credits)
This advanced-intermediate course is designed to increase confidence in oral language skills by engaging students in conversation activities focused on present-day spoken French. An additional goal is to build vocabulary related to contemporary cultural topics in the French and Francophone world. Discussions revolve around current events, films, music and short readings. Prerequisites: Placement, FREN 202 or permission of instructor. (AY)

FREN 330 CINEMA AND SOCIETY (3 credits)
This course aims at introducing students to sociocultural and political discourses in cinema from the French-speaking world. Students will study cinematic techniques and vocabulary and analyze principal themes. Sample topics include West African Cinema, the films of Claire Denis, and Quebecois Cinema. Prerequisites: FREN 301, 302 or permission of the instructor. (D-I) (AY)

FREN 340 LITERARY STUDIES (3 credits)
Emphasizing critical literary approaches, this course enables students to gain familiarity with tools used in interpretation and analysis by encountering texts organized by topic, genre or period. The requirements include substantial reading in French and frequent written work with an emphasis on multiple drafts and the writing process. Sample topics include Monstrous Dreams: Figuring Fantasy in Nineteenth-Century French Literature, and Poetry Engagé. Prerequisites: FREN 301, 302 or permission of the instructor. (AY)

FREN 345 RIOTS AND RIGHTS: FRENCN AND THE WORLD OF WORK (3 credits)
Through literature, film, news and cultural analyses, this course familiarizes students with important moments in labor history that shape contemporary work practices and relationships and prepares them for linguistic and cultural aspects of working in a French-speaking setting. Prerequisites: FREN 301, 302 or permission of the instructor. (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. Prerequisites: FREN 301, 302 or permission of the instructor. (AY)

*FREN 430 CRISIS AND IDENTITY IN THE 21ST CENTURY FRENCH-SPEAKING WORLD (3 credits)
Students will examine contemporary perspectives on crisis and identity across literature, film and society in a 21st-century context where French is used. Discussions will address a variety of issues such as natural disasters, economic crises, the future direction of literature, immigration, and the influence of American culture. The class will draw from literary theory and cultural studies to enrich its queries. Prerequisites: two courses at the 300-level or above or permission of the instructor. (D-I) (AY)

*FREN 440 ADVANCED LITERARY STUDIES (3 credits)
This course challenges students to demonstrate a command of key terms and critical approaches used in literary studies. Students will sharpen skills in interpretation and analysis by encountering texts of varied genres and periods and by making comparisons between literary, cultural and historical disciplines. They will complete assignments related to research process and an extensive research project that studies literature in its social, historical and/or cultural context. Requires substantial reading in French. Students may repeat this course under a different topic. Prerequisites: two courses at the 300-level or above or permission of the instructor. (D-I, WI)

FREN 481 INTERNSHIP  (0-3 credits)
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 483 TEACHING ASSISTANTS (1-3 credits)
Primarily reserved for the French language assistant, advanced students who lead conversation groups or who assist in classes may also be enrolled by the supervising faculty member. The number of credits will be determined by that faculty member.

FREN 484 FORD/KNIGHT PROJECTS (1-3 credits)
Collaborative research with faculty funded by and under the auspices of 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 (3 credits)
Bringing together students' experience with French, this course entails preparation for and completion of the comprehensive exams, including an extensive written paper, reflection on their own growth through French, a grammar exam, and several oral components. It also draws attention to current issues in the field of French and Francophone Studies and helps students reflect on career and life goals related to French, to French-speaking communities, and to global society.

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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