Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.
Department Chair, 2008-09: León Narváez (Romance Languages) (Semester I & Interim); Wendy Allen (Romance Languages), 17th-century French literature, contemporary France, the Maghreb, content-based instruction (Semester II)
Faculty, 2008-09: Jolene Barjasteh (Romance Languages), 19th-century French literature, autobiography; Amine Bekhechi (Romance Languages), 20th-century French and Francophone literature; Mary Cisar (Romance Languages), 18th-century French literature, feminist criticism, Franco-Manitoban studies; M. Clare Mather (Romance Languages), Francophone Theater, Québec studies
French holds an important position among the world’s languages. More than 200 million people around the world — in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and Indochina — speak French. French remains, with English, one of the two languages into which all United Nations documents must be translated. Thus, students considering careers in business, diplomacy, the church, or teaching are well advised to complete a major in French, sometimes along with another major.
By studying French and other Francophone cultures, civilizations, and literatures, students develop and enhance oral and written language skills, analytical thinking, and familiarity with diverse philosophies and perspectives, all of which are central to liberal arts education with a global perspective.
The French section of the Department of Romance Languages offers a variety of courses, on campus and abroad, in French language, Francophone cultures/civilizations, and literatures for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, both majors and non-majors.
To expand students’ exposure to French beyond the classroom, the French program hosts a weekly French conversation table and film series and sponsors an honor house (Maison française).
OVERVIEW OF THE FRENCH MAJOR
In courses for the major, students gain understanding of Francophone literatures, civilizations, and contemporary cultures as they develop analytical and communication skills in the language.
200-level courses are divided into two sequences. In 250-level courses, students practice and refine their emerging language skills through textual analysis, writing, and discussion. In 270-level courses, students explore the diverse cultures and literatures of the Francophone world.
300-level courses build upon the interpretive skills and knowledge of the Francophone world acquired by students in 270-level courses. 300-level courses examine a particular topic or genre as well as critical or theoretical issues associated with it through the analysis of representative works.
INTENDED LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR THE MAJOR
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJORS
All French majors are urged to study in France or in another Francophone country. This is particularly important for French teaching majors.
Students who participate in an approved semester-long St. Olaf study abroad program normally receive credit for one French course toward the major and one credit for the required French/Francophone history course. Students who participate in an approved year-long St. Olaf study abroad program normally receive credit for two French courses toward the major and one credit for the required French/Francophone history course.
REQUIREMENTS FOR A GRADUATION MAJOR:
The graduation major consists of eight courses in French above French 232 plus a co-curricular requirement in French/Francophone history. Students must take: two 250-level courses; two 270-level courses, at least one of which must be taken on campus; two 300-level courses taken on campus; two French courses of the student’s choosing; and either History 226 or History 227 or an approved French/Francophone history course taken abroad. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above.
Requirements for a French Major with K-12 Teaching Licensure:
Students must take: eight courses in French above 232; one approved applied linguistics course (may be taken abroad); History 226 or 227 or an approved French/Francophone history course taken abroad; and Education 353 and all other requirements for the K-12 teaching licensure program in French (see EDUCATION). The eight courses in French above 232 must include one immersion course (French 233, 250, 275, or other approved immersion course), two 250-level courses, two 270-level courses, and two 300-level courses. Students not taking an approved course in applied linguistics abroad must take English 274. Students who participate in an approved year-long St. Olaf study abroad program normally receive credit for two courses in French, plus one approved course in applied linguistics, and one in French/Francophone history toward the major. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above. (Consult World Language Licensure Adviser.)
Licensure Requirements for a K-8 Specialty in French Teaching:
Students must take: four courses in French above 232, including French 250, 251 and 253, plus one French course of the student's choosing; English 274; and Education 353 and all other requirements for the K-12 teaching licensure program in French. Licensure for K-8 French teaching can be awarded only by an endorsement onto a full K-6, K-12, 5-12 or 9-12 license in another content area.
French faculty lead January Interim courses in Paris and Martinique. St. Olaf is affiliated closely with semester and year-long study programs in France (Rennes and Angers) and Sénégal (Dakar). Eligible students should contact the program advisor for current information. French program faculty also participate in the Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum Program, collaborating with faculty in other departments to offer students the opportunity to use their foreign language skills in selected courses in other departments. (See FOREIGN LANGUAGES ACROSS THE CURRICULUM in the Academic Programs section.)
Students begin to learn French through listening, speaking, reading and writing about topics familiar to them. They study social and cultural notions inherent in the daily life of peoples in diverse Francophone communities and learn to think critically and make interdisciplinary connections and informed cross-cultural comparisons. Open to students with no prior background in French or placement into French 111. Offered Fall and Spring Semesters.
Students expand their developing language skills by continuing to listen, speak, read and write on topics familiar to them. They continue their study of social and cultural notions inherent in the daily life of peoples in diverse Francophone communities and learn to think critically and make interdisciplinary connections and informed cross-cultural comparisons. Prerequisite: French 111 or placement. Offered Fall and Spring Semesters.
Students expand their ability to communicate in French, understand French texts and interpret French and U.S. cultures through study and discussion of specific social and cultural topics that are relevant (e.g. stereotypes, the family, education, immigration). Explicit focus on cross-cultural comparison/contrast and analysis. Students develop their ability to listen, speak, read and write, while paying particular attention to listening and reading strategies. Prerequisite: French 112 or placement. Offered Fall and Spring Semesters.
Students continue to develop their oral and written expression through the exploration of issues important to the Francophone world outside France (national, cultural and linguistic identities) and through reading, discussing and writing about a wide variety of different texts. Focus is on vocabulary expansion, review of the French verb system and other key grammatical structures, especially through regular written work. Prerequisite: French 231 or placement. Offered Fall and Spring Semesters.
Students study the French language and French-Caribbean culture on the island of Martinique in an immersion experience that includes home stays. The course emphasizes the multicultural aspects of the region and facilitates student interaction with the local population. Field trips and other cultural activities complement instruction, which is carried out at the Université des Antilles. Taught in French. Prerequisite: French 231 or 232, or placement into French 232. Open to first-year students. Offered only during Interim.
This course provides an on-campus immersion experience for students interested in improving their oral language proficiency. Students engage in small and large group discussion, give individual and group oral presentations, and review grammar and registers of language. They also explore the notions of communicative competence and oral proficiency in order to become more effective speakers. Taught in French. Prerequisite: French 232, 233 or equivalent. Offered only during Interim.
Students engage in intensive practice in various types of writing in French (e.g., summary, extended description, narration, and professional correspondence). Literary and non-literary texts provide topics and models. The course involves discussion, writing, and revising and stresses advanced grammar review. Taught in French. Prerequisite: French 232, 233 or equivalent.
Students read a variety of French literary texts. The course focuses on aspects of literary analysis, terminology, methodology, and literary history. Students develop critical skills through discussion and analytical writing. Taught in French. Prerequisite: French 232, 233 or equivalent.
Students explore French-speaking regions of the world outside France through the close reading, discussion, and analysis of literary and non-literary texts as well as other cultural artifacts. Readings, discussions, viewings, and written and oral assignments are organized around the exploration of specific topics or themes. Regions include Manitoba, Québec, the French Caribbean, and North Africa. May be repeated if region is different. Taught in French. Prerequisite: minimum of one 250-level course (two recommended).
Students are introduced to contemporary French political, economic and social institutions and/or issues through close textual analysis of articles from the contemporary French press and other media (e.g., the World Wide Web, cinema). Students read, analyze, discuss and write in French on a wide variety of non-literary topics. Taught in French. Prerequisite: minimum of one 250-level course (two recommended).
Students explore a particular period or century through examination of selected literary and non-literary works within their socio-historical and cultural contexts. Coursework includes discussion, analysis and interpretation of representative works. Sample topics: "19th-Century French Literature", "La Belle Epoque" and "20th-Century French Literature." May be repeated if period is different. Taught in French. Prerequisite: minimum of one 250-level course (two recommended).
Students delve into advanced language work and on-the-spot investigation of French culture, past and present, including theater, film, visual arts, the French court, and the medieval cathedral through background readings and visits to important monuments. Students read, discuss, see and critique plays ranging from the classical to the contemporary. Taught in French Prerequisite: One French 250-level course (two recommended).
298 Independent Study
Students explore a specified topic or theme in language, in literature or in culture/civilization, or in a combination of these, through close reading, discussion, analysis and interpretation of selected literary and/or non-literary works. Sample topics include "The Courtly Love Tradition," "Post-Colonial French Caribbean Literature," "Madness and the Romantic Dream," and "The Question of Female Identity in Post-Colonial North Africa." May be repeated if topics are different. Taught in French. Prerequisite: minimum of one 270-level course.
Students study a particular genre or medium (e.g., novel, play, poetry, short story, film) from a variety of periods and authors, with particular emphasis on form. Coursework includes close reading, discussion, in-depth analysis and interpretation of works. Sample topics: "Medieval Romance," "The Short Story," "Autobiography" and "Modern Québécois Theater." May be repeated if genre is different. Taught in French. Prerequisite: minimum of one 270-level course.
This course provides a comprehensive research opportunity, including an introduction to relevant background material, technical instruction, identification of a meaningful project, and data collection. The topic is determined by the faculty member in charge of the course and may relate to his/her research interests. Prerequisite: Determined by individual instructor. Offer based on department decision.
398 Independent Research
This is an integrative seminar in which students examine specific issues and conceptual notions central to the understanding of the French language and/or Francophone literatures and cultures. Coursework includes readings, critical analysis, research methods, student reports, and substantive projects. May be repeated if topic is different. Taught in French. Prerequisite: minimum of one 300-level course.