Hélène Diaz Brown, Professor

Karen Haire, Associate Professor

"Learning a foreign language fosters diversity, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue in Europe and beyond," said Dennis Abbott, the European Commission's spokesman for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, adding that "languages are a crucial asset for mobility and jobs, especially for young people." (Teffer, Peter. “E.U. Fights to Get Everyone Speaking Same Language on Education.” The New York Times. March 16, 2014).

French is one of the only two global languages in the world with English, being spoken on all continents in over 40 countries.

Students choosing to major in French may elect one of two concentrations: French Language or French and Francophone Studies.

The French Language concentration is focused on the French language and culture, with an emphasis on all fundamental language skills: oral fluency and comprehension, and the ability to write correct French and to understand various texts written in French.

The French and Francophone Studies concentration offers a greater emphasis on French culture and on the Francophone world, through literature, film, and other media, while preparing students for oral fluency in the language and an ability to write correct French.

Both French major concentrations will also equip students with knowledge of major aspects of French history and civilization and with an understanding of French society and of the Francophone world, through literature, film, and other media.

This major may also include recommended courses from other disciplines such as history, political science, and art history, some of which may also fulfill liberal arts distribution requirements (LADRs).

The program is designed to be compatible with other majors such as educational studies, business administration, global perspectives, history, and political science. Such combinations can lead to a broad range of career choices.

At least one course of study abroad is strongly recommended for both concentrations.

Independent studies, projects, and seminars in French are available as contract courses.

The French Program also offers a minor and a certificate, allowing students at different levels in their learning process to benefit from the global dimension of the French language.

Useful links include:

Departmental Learning Outcomes

  1. Communication
    • Language majors will express themselves at the ACTFL advanced-low proficiency level.
    • Studies majors will express themselves at the intermediate-high proficiency level.
  2. Cross-Cultural Competency
    • Students will demonstrate cross-cultural competency using the target language as a tool.

College-Wide Student Learning Outcomes of Principia College: Defining a Liberal Education

The curricular and co-curricular programs at Principia College are designed for students to be lifelong learners, thinkers, and problem-solvers, to draw out spiritual and moral qualities indispensable to growth in Christian Science, and to cultivate an understanding of service to the Cause of Christian Science in meeting the global needs of the 21st century. To accomplish this, the College has established the following outcomes for its graduates. Students graduating from Principia College will:

  1. Demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge.
  2. Demonstrate critical and generative thinking.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively.
  4. Be intentional learners.
  5. Be effective members of communities.
  6. Act on the basis of Principle.

FREN 104Elementary French I3.0 SH[  ]

In this first semester of the two-semester elementary sequence students learn from video, lab CD exercises, and classroom activity how to listen and speak, read and write French sentences. They describe themselves and others, and their present and future activities. They also begin work with the past tense and elements of French culture as they follow the video story.

FREN 105Elementary French II5.0 SH[GE2L]

In this second course of the two-semester elementary language sequence, students fulfill the general education second language requirement. They understand and speak, read, and write sentences and paragraphs in the present, future, and past tenses in order to function in everyday situations in French-speaking cultures they are beginning to learn about.
Prerequisite: FREN 104 or placement.

FREN 110Elementary Review3.0 SH[GE2L]

Intensive review of first year French with emphasis on normal conversational French and grammar correctness. Fulfills all-college language requirement for students entering Principia with insufficient preparation for exemption from further language study.
Prerequisite: FREN 104 or placement.

FREN 130Language and Culture Abroad I3.0-6.0 SH[GE2L]

Elementary language study with native speakers at a French institute. May be offered for variable credit from three to six semester hours. Offered only on Principia abroads.
Class Level Restriction: Freshman and Sophomore only.

FREN 200French Culture: Cinema1.0 SH[  ]

Weekly watching and discussion of French/Francophone movies. Class taught in English, movies with subtitles, open to all students.

FREN 204Intermediate French I3.0 SH[  ]

Develops speaking, reading, and writing skills. Culture and history used as basis for reading and speaking.
Prerequisite: FREN 105 or placement.

FREN 205Intermediate French II3.0 SH[  ]

Development of fluency and accuracy in oral and written expression, through reading and listening comprehension.
Prerequisite: FREN 204 or placement.

FREN 210Intermediate Writing Review1.0-3.0 SH[  ]

Allows students to develop their writing skills and to review some aspects of French grammar, through weekly compositions based on written texts or video material. May be taken for up to 4 SH in any combination.

FREN 216Intermediate Conversation3.0 SH[  ]

Discussions on issues of French/Francophone civilization and culture, through video watching, conversation and reading, with an emphasis on developing oral comprehension skills.
Prerequisite: FREN 204.

FREN 220Contemporary French Society3.0 SH[  ]

An analysis of contemporary French society focusing on social class/power, gender, immigration/ethnicity, plus the religious and educational systems. Students who complete all assignments in French receive credit towards a French major. May be offered on campus as well as on Principia abroads.

FREN 225Intermediate Grammar I3.0 SH[  ]

Exercise in grammar and style. This course reinforces the student's foundation in written French at the intermediate level, as a preparation for further studies in French or as a refresher course.
Prerequisite: FREN 204 and FREN 205, or placement.

FREN 226Intermediate Grammar II1.0-3.0 SH[  ]

Exercises in grammar and style to complement and strengthen the student's foundation in grammar at the intermediate level.
Prerequisite: FREN 204 and FREN 205 or placement.

FREN 230Language and Culture Abroad II3.0-6.0 SH[  ]

Intermediate language study with native speakers at a French institute. May be offered for variable credit from three to six semester hours. Offered only on Principia abroads.

FREN 241French Pronunciation1.0 SH[  ]

Introduction to French phonetic theory and practice of pronunciation of modern French.
Prerequisite: FREN 255 and either FREN 250 or FREN 260.

FREN 250French Cultural Studies3.0 SH[  ]

Develops reading skills and understanding of Francophone literature. Prepares students for further study of French literature.
Prerequisite: FREN 205.

FREN 255Textual Analysis and Writing3.0 SH[  ]

Develops style and grammatical correctness; intensive work on creative writing with some reading. Includes practice in textual analysis and analytic writing about literary texts.
Prerequisite: FREN 205, FREN 225, or FREN 226.

FREN 260Reading French Through Time3.0 SH[  ]

This course approaches French literary history as a textual journey through time, using excerpts of major French literary texts from the Medieval to the contemporary period. Students develop reading, writing, oral, and analytical skills in French at the intermediate level.
Prerequisite: FREN 205 and FREN 255.

FREN 270Intro to French Literature3.0 SH[GEH]

This course covers genre studies across the centuries, from the classics to the modern period, with the reading of complete works related to French culture. Students learn to analyze texts and improve their oral and written expression.
Prerequisite: FREN 255 and either FREN 250 or FREN 260.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 300Love, Reason, and Monarchy3.0 SH[GEH]

Genre studies in 17th and 18th century literature showing how power, love, and reason interplay in the French society of absolute monarchy.
Prerequisite: FREN 255 and either FREN 250 or FREN 260.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 310Advanced French3.0 SH[  ]

Intensive analytical grammar and reading. Develops writing skills.
Prerequisite: three French courses above FREN 205 or placement.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 316Advanced French Conversation1.0 SH[  ]

Reading, conversation, and writing on topics of French/Francophone culture and history.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 320Topics in French Literature1.0 SH[  ]

Allows students to develop their reading skills and to broaden their knowledge of French literature. May be taken up to four times, with the consent of the instructor. Counts only once toward the French major.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 325Advanced French Grammar1.0 SH[  ]

Course develops writing skills at the advanced level, focusing on grammar through exercises.
Prerequisite: two French courses at the 200 level.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 330Language & Culture Abroad III3.0-6.0 SH[  ]

Advanced language study with native speakers at a French institute. May be offered for variable credit from three to six semester hours. Offered only on Principia abroads.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 340Image & Power in 19th C France3.0 SH[  ]

This course looks at images of power and the power of images in 19th century France through a study of major literary movements using printed texts, paintings, and film. Develops an understanding of certain 19th century authors - Chateaubriand, Stendahl, Balzac, Flaubert, Baudelaire, Maupassant, Zola, and others - based on the reading of novels, short stories and poetry of the period, in their cultural context. This course develops reading, oral, written, and analytical skills.
Prerequisite: FREN 255 and either FREN 250 or FREN 260.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 35020th Century: Mind Revolutions3.0 SH[  ]

This course looks at the twentieth century in France as an era of mental revolutions that helped to transform France and the French-speaking world. Reading of major literary authors of the period as well as oral and written textual analysis of the texts in their cultural contexts.
Prerequisite: FREN 255 and either FREN 250 or FREN 260.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 360Seminar in French Literature3.0 SH[  ]

Seminar in a particular topic of French literature. Offered upon sufficient demand. The title will be extended to describe the current topic.
Prerequisite: FREN 255 or FREN 260.
Class Level Restriction: Junior and Senior only.

FREN 470Capstone1.0-3.0 SH[  ]

This independent course consists primarily of self-directed research concerning French literature or culture. After research and reading of original texts dealing with a topic (primary and secondary sources), the student writes a capstone paper, but will also demonstrate, through other review and written or oral tests, mastery and understanding of essential aspects of the French language and culture. Open to French majors.
Prerequisite: at least two of the following: FREN 300, FREN 340, FREN 350.
Class Level Restriction: Senior only
Field of Study Restrictions: French Majors only.