FRENCH AT ST. OLAF
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. With English, French remains one of the two languages into which all United Nations’ documents must be translated. As world interest focuses, increasingly, on Africa, French is gradually coming to be viewed by many as a strategic language. Students considering careers in business, diplomacy, the church, or teaching are well served by pursuing a major in French, oftentimes along with another major.
Studying French and Francophone cultures, civilizations, and literature, students develop oral and written language skills, the ability to think analytically and to argue convincingly, and acquire familiarity with diverse philosophies and perspectives, all of which are central to a 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, culture/civilization, and literature for beginning, intermediate, and advanced students, both majors and non-majors.
To expand students' exposure to French beyond the formal classroom setting, the department promotes a weekly French conversation table and a French film series that shows films twice a week. Additionally, St. Olaf provides Lee House as the French honor house (La maison française) that serves as a focal point for French cultural and social activities (lectures, films, musical groups, French/Francophone cuisine, celebrations).
THE FRENCH MAJOR
In courses for the major, students gain understanding of Francophone literature, civilizations, and contemporary cultures as they develop analytical and communication skills in the language. St. Olaf does not offer a concentration in French.
All French majors are strongly encouraged to study in France or in another Francophone country. This is particularly important for French majors pursuing a teaching license in French.
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 the French 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. Students are strongly encouraged to study abroad in a Francophone country. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above.
How the French Major is Organized
Many entering first-year students will place in French 231 Intermediate French I or in French 232 Intermediate French II. These course are likely to be quite different from courses have taken in high school, in that they are organized around topics and texts, with work in vocabulary and grammar grafted onto the study of texts. French 231 is a comparison of French and American Culture in four areas: image of self and other and the notion of stereotypes; the family and child-rearing practices; schooling and the education system; and contemporary trends in immigration. French 232 explores the question of identity in the French-speaking world outside France.
200-level courses beyond French 232 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.
For a detailed description of the French courses offered, please see COURSES.
Requirements for the French K-12 teaching license
Students must complete the French major with the eight courses in French above 232 including 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 must complete a series of education courses for the k-12 teaching license and one course in applied linguistics. Detailed planning sheets are available upon request from the Education Department. Please note that this licensure alone does not fulfill the Educational Studies concentration; two additional courses are required outside of the French and Education departments (see EDUCATION). Students must take the following basic education courses required for all teaching licenses as well as several specific to licensure in French:
ED 290 Educational Psychology (1.0 credit)
ED 330 Principles of Education (1.0 credit)
ED 291 Standards and Technology (0.0 credit)
ED 231 Drugs and Alcohol (0.0 credit)
ED 372 Counseling and Communication in the Schools (0.5 credit)
ED 374 Reading in the Content Area (0.5 credit)
ED 375 Differentiated Instruction for Exceptional Learners (0.5 credit)
One Education Interim: ED 170, ED 378, or ED 379 (1.0 credit)
ED 353 Teaching of World Languages (1.0 credit)
English 250 English Language and Linguistics (1.0 credit)
Student teaching: ED 381, ED 382, ED 385, and ED 389 (4.0 credits)