French Courses

Course Offerings in French & Francophone Studies

Our course offerings vary from the traditional core courses in language and literature to courses in French cinema and Business French.  Our students have the flexibility in their course planning to choose classes that best fit their interests.  Students taking courses in French learn the fundamental skills of speaking, reading, listening and writing in the language, and also develop an understanding of and respect for other cultures.  Our exceptionally well-equipped Language Resource Center (LRC), resources, and support allow us to offer dynamic courses with technology, as well as support extracurricular activities for students of French.

For information about our major and minor in French & Francophone Studies, please go to our major page.

Elementary and Intermediate Basic Sequence

French 101 Elementary French I.  An introduction to the French language and culture that emphasizes the skills of listening, speaking, and reading, and introduces students to writing.  Primary emphasis is placed on oral communicative skills and on functioning in real-life situations in a French cultural context.  Offered each semester.

French 102 Elementary French II. A continuation of language skills developed in 101, with exposure to more complicated grammatical concepts as well as cultural issues. Primary emphasis is placed on oral communicative skills and on functioning in real-life situations in a French cultural context. Prerequisite: 101 or equivalent. Offered each semester.

French 201 Intermediate French (LA). This course continues the proficiency-oriented approach of the first-year sequence. A distinction is made between review grammar and new material. In this way a bridge is made between the grammar of the elementary level and the greater control expected of second-year students. Prerequisite: 102 or equivalent. Offered each semester.


Intemediate and Advanced Language Skills Courses

French 203 Composition and Conversation (G). A course designed to expand reading and writing skills.  Grammar instruction incorporates a close reading of texts including a full-length work.  Several essays are required.  French 203 emphasizes the development of narrative-level discourse, with increased control of complex sentences, hypothesizing, abstract reasoning and self-correction.  Prerequisite:  201 or equivalent.  Offered each semester.

French 301 Advanced Expression I:  Oral Communication (SI, G).  Development of linguistic skills at the advanced level with an emphasis on reading and speaking about contemporary French and Francophone cultures.  Sources include a variety of authentic print, video, and audio materials or commentaries drawn from the French-speaking world.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.  Offered in alternate years, fall.

French 302 Advanced Expression II:  The Written Medium (W).  French 302 focuses on analysis and practice of various text types essential to culturally informed mastery of written French:  portraiture, description, narration, essay, explication de texte, reviews.  A third of the course is devoted to acquisition of the grammatical skills necessary to functioning at this stylistic level.  Prerequisite:  French 203 or equivalent.  Offered in alternate years, fall.


Introductory Literary Studies

French 303 Introduction to Literature I:  The Individual and Society (L).  This course is designed to provide majors and minors in French with an introduction to the reading and study of great French literary works of all genres, spanning the Medieval to the contemporary post-modern period.  In French 303, students examine works that focus on the theme of the individual and society, with an emphasis on developing advanced language skills through reading, discussing, and writing about literature.  Prerequisite:  French 203 or equivalent.  Offered in alternate years, spring.

French 304 Introduction to Literature II:  Ideals of Love (L).  This course is designed to provide majors and minors in French with an introduction to the reading and study of great French literary works of all genres, spanning the Medieval to the contemporary post-modern period.  In French 304, students examine works that focus on the theme of ideals of love, with an emphasis on developing advanced language skills through reading, discussing, and writing about literature.  Prerequisite:  French 203 or equivalent.  Offered in alternate years, spring.


Cultural Studies

French 310 Business French (W).  This course, taught in French, is designed for students who wish to learn specific business vocabulary and acquire experience in business writing procedures.  It concentrates on translation from and into English, letters, precise writing and reports.  It aims to enable students to cope with recurring situations in French business.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.  Offered in alternate years, fall.

French 312 French Cinema (SI, G). This course is designed to show the evolution of modern French and Francophone culture in relationship to cinema.  Students will study the chronological development of French film from the Lumière brothers to the Nouvelle Vague, while studying particular themes such as sexuality, violence, urban tensions, historic representation and narrative adaptation.  Course taught in French.  Films shown will have English subtitles.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.  Offered in alternate years, fall.

French 315 French Civilization I:  Roman Gaul to the Renaissance (CH).  An overview of French civilization from pre-Roman Gaul to 1600 with a focus on the Carolinian Age and the Renaissance High Middle Ages.  Topics include political history and developments in language, literature, art, architecture, music, and the sciences.  Students write a term paper and give an oral presentation.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent. Offered occasionally.

French 316 French Civilization II:  Renaissance to Revolution (CH).  An overview of French culture from 1650 to 1789 that examines political history of this period, as well as the development of its art, literature, and philosophy.  Student evaluation based on short, focused essays, exams, and oral presentations.  Prerequisite:  French 203 or equivalent.  Offered occasionally.

French 317 French Civilization III:  France since the Revolution (CH, G).  This course emphasizes cultural, political, and aesthetic developments in France from the end of the enlightenment to the present, featuring the period of the Revolution, the Imperial eras, the Third Republic, modern and post-modern France.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.  Offered occasionally.

French 318 French Civilization IV:  The Francophone World (CH, G).  This course offers students an overview of the post-colonial Francophone world.  Examines the role of geography, history, and current events as reflected in contemporary societal values and the sense of national identity.  Topics covered will include the family, gender roles, the educational system, political organization, the state, religion, immigration, and decolonization in countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Cameroon, Senegal, La Réunion, and Martinique.  Prerequisite: 203 or equivalent.  Offered occasionally.


Cateogies for Study Abroad Course Transfer

French 330 Studies in Literature.  Upper level courses in an approved study abroad program in French and/or Francophone literature.  Readings and lectures are in French.  Credit should be discussed with a member of the French and Francophone Studies faculty before departure.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.

French 340 Studies in Humanities.  Upper level courses in an approved study abroad program in Humanities, including art history, theater, gender studies, music, history, philosophy, and religion.  Readings and lectures are in French.  Credit should be discussed with a member of the French and Francophone Studies faculty before departure.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.

French 350 Studies in Social Science.  Upper level courses in an approved study abroad program in social sciences, including business, economics, history, political science, sociology, geography, and anthropology.  Readings and lectures are in French.  Credit should be discussed with a member of the French and Francophone Studies faculty before departure.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.

French 360 Advanced French Language Studies.  Upper level courses in French language in an approved study abroad program.  These courses will contain advanced grammar instruction and a strong writing component in addition to conversation and reading.    Credit should be discussed with a member of the French and Francophone Studies faculty before departure.  Prerequisite:  203 or equivalent.


Special Topics

French 370 Special Topics.  Courses under this heading are designed to explore a wide variety of topics in French not part of the regular course offerings.  All readings, lectures, and discussion will be in French.  Students may receive credit for this course in an upper-level French course taken in an approved study abroad program.  Credit should be discussed with a member of the French & Francophone Studies faculty before departure.  Prerequisite:  301 or equivalent.  Offered as needed.


Internship

French 397 Internship. Opportunities for students to apply linguistic and cultural skills in a professional context in a wide variety of professional areas and locations including local, domestic, and international sites.  Prerequisites:  career education 300Y or equivalent and language proficiency at the 302 level.  Offered as needed.


Advanced Literary Studies

French 405 Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (L).  This course surveys the major literary movements in France from the 12th through the 16th centuries and sets them in their social and historical context.  The medieval period will cover lyric, romance, fabliaux and theatre, and for the Renaissance, will examine Rabelais, the poetry of the Reformation and the Pleïade, and Montaigne.  The tension between continuity and renewal will be highlighted throughout.  Prerequisite:  301, 302, 303, or 304, or equivalent. Offered occasionally.

French 406 Studies in Seventeenth and Eighteenth-Century Literature (L).  An exploration of literature generated during a transitional period in the development of French culture.  This course affords students the opportunity to examine French literature in depth from the period 1615-1815 through a study of both canonical and non-canonical works.  Prerequisite:  301, 302, 303, or 304, or equivalent.  Offered occasionally.

French 407 Studies in Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Literature (L).  A lecture and discussion course on the historical and aesthetic evolution of French literature in the 19th and 20th centuries.  The prose, theater, and poetry works of great authors, poets, and playwrights will be explored within the socio-political framework of 19th and 20th century France.  Prerequisite:  301, 302, 303, or 304, or equivalent. Offered occasionally.

French 408 Studies in Francophone Literature (L, G). French 408 covers the historical and aesthetic evolution of Francophone literature of French-speaking Canada, Africa, and the Caribbean.  The creative works of authors will be explored in the socio-political framework of colonization and decolonization.  Attention will also be given to the development of literature as it is shaped by great artistic movements, historical events, and socio-cultural upheavals in the Francophone world.  Prerequisite:  301, 302, 303, or 304, or equivalent.  Offered occasionally.


Independent Study

French 499 Independent Study.  Independent reading, writing, or project related to the advanced study of French language, and French and Francophone cultures or literatures.  Prerequisite:  instructor’s consent. Offered as needed. 

Courses in Literature and Culture in English Translation

LC 125 Special Topics in French Literature in Translation (L). This course will vary in content and approach to emphasize genre, themes and period in French literature.  Readings and lectures in English.

"The French & Francophone Studies courses offered at IWU are unlike anything in high school. Here, you delve into antiquated eras of medieval French literature, experience unfamiliar cultures in Canada and Africa, and enjoy immersive Francophone films you couldn't see anywhere else. Plus, after Sam Welchdeciding to study abroad, I found that IWU's professors and courses prepared me better than many of the other students from other universities. The interesting courses and professors' infectious love of the language and culture made majoring in French & Francophone Studies my best decision at IWU."

- Sam Welch '12,
2013-14 French Government Teaching Assistant in Martinique

"The French & Francophone Studies courses offered at IWU are unlike anything in high school. Here, you delve into antiquated eras of medieval French literature, experience unfamiliar cultures in Canada and Africa, and enjoy immersive Francophone films you couldn't see anywhere else. Plus, after Sam Welchdeciding to study abroad, I found that IWU's professors and courses prepared me better than many of the other students from other universities. The interesting courses and professors' infectious love of the language and culture made majoring in French & Francophone Studies my best decision at IWU."

- Sam Welch '12,
2013-14 French Government Teaching Assistant in Martinique