French 300

FREN 300: Readings in French

Prerequisites: FREN 210 or three years of high school French

Credit Hours: (4) Four hours lecture and language practice

A course devoted to developing reading, writing, oral and aural skills. This course has been approved for credit in the Foreign Languages Area of the Core Curriculum.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Students continue their development of the five language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture) in the context of literary and cultural texts, films, and of current cultural materials. In reading the textual materials, students expand their vocabulary, refine their reading skills, and learn about culture. Class discussions of the texts provide practice in speaking, and cultural materials on video or audio-tape engage the students in listening practice in a cultural context as well as do the discussions in class. Weekly writing assignments on textual materials read or listened to enable students to develop their writing skills and offer an excellent opportunity for them to review and intensify their familiarity with French grammar while learning about current issues and problems in French-speaking cultures.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Students are both assisted in class with vocabulary acquisition and also checked on their comprehension of the new material. Students request assistance in class to clear up difficulties with morphology, syntax, or cultural content. Class time is also spent practicing listening and speaking in discussions and role playing of the assigned cultural materials. Some of the listening and speaking practice is done in small groups to personalize the oral contributions and also to maximize the amount of time spent speaking the target language. Assigned texts are critically examined in class, improving the students’ vocabulary acquisition, and the completion of a required 1 5-minute oral presentation on a cultural topic increases their public-speaking ability in French.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Speaking and listening goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): in speaking, students will be able to handle successfully a limited number of interactive, task-oriented and social situations. They can ask and answer questions, initiate and respond to a variety of statements, maintain face-to-face conversation, and communicate in a wider variety of situations such as are covered in the textual materials read and practiced. Students will develop listening skills that will enable them to understand learned utterances, some longer sentence-length utterances, and will begin to understand main ideas and some facts from interactive exchanges and connected aural texts.

Reading and writing goals (standardized ACTFL proficiency criteria): Students will develop reading skills that will enable them to read consistently with increased understanding simple connected texts dealing with a variety of basic and social needs. As regards writing, students will be able to meet a number of practical writing needs by communicating simple facts and ideas in a loose collection of sentences.

Students will achieve a degree of competence in a foreign language and culture. 


Students will be able to:

a. demonstrate language skills appropriate to the level of study

b. analyze similarities and differences between their own and the target cultures

c. explain contemporary international issues from the perspectives of their own and the target cultures


Assessment Measures

The weekly writing assignments are graded for quantity, accuracy, and for organization; speaking is evaluated based on the participation in class and small group discussions; progress in reading, vocabulary acquisition, cultural familiarity and in listening comprehension is evaluated in hourly exams and also on the final exam in a context in which students demonstrate their awareness of the diversity of French-speaking cultures. One 1 5-minute oral presentation is also required.


Other Course Information

French 300 completes the B.A. degree requirement for students who began their college level French study with FREN 210, the third semester. If students receive a B and a C or better on these, their first two, college- level French courses, they will receive six additional hours of placement credit. This is the first French course above the intermediate level that counts toward the required 24 for the major.


Approval and Subsequent Reviews
August 2001 Revised Eric du Plessis