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French Department Undergraduate Learning Goals

1. Cultural Awareness: Understand the diversity of cultural expression in French-speaking areas around the world; develop cultural competence, cross-cultural skills, and global literacy.

Students are exposed to a wide range of forms of cultural expression in French-speaking areas across the globe. Course materials and topics promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, facilitate intercultural connections, and help learners develop cross-cultural skills. Students with no prior knowledge of French may explore Francophone cultural issues through courses taught in English.

2. Communicative Competence: Gain proficiency in oral and written French

In lower-division 100-level courses, students practice listening to French, and learn to speak, read, and write in French through oral practice, readings, and written assignments. In 200-level and upper-division courses taught in French, students develop comprehension and communication skills (interpretive, interpersonal, presentational) both spoken and written. Majors and minors will attain Advanced Mid language proficiency as defined in the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency guidelines.

3. Critical Thinking and Interpretive Skills: Analyze oral, print, film, and digital cultural production in French

In advanced and upper-division courses, students will develop skills in critical thinking and in the comprehension, analysis, and interpretation of written, audio, visual or multimodal texts in relation to specific historical, political, social, and environmental contexts.

4. Career Readiness and Project-Based Skills

Through teamwork, experiential learning and capstone experiences in upper-level courses, students apply their linguistic proficiency and cross-cultural literacy to collaborative projects and independent research on French and Francophone topics. Study abroad programs and courses with an applied component (French for the health professions; outreach to French learners in K-12; business French) encourage experiential learning.

Majors in French will develop readiness for education careers and international postgraduate study as well as for professions where language and cultural competence are expected. By taking a senior seminar or equivalent capstone, majors will develop research skills as applied to French and Francophone topics and perfect their command of interpretive and presentational modes of communication.

Eligible majors may complete the Honors Thesis in French or the Interdisciplinary Honors Thesis in French. In preparing this 25 to 50-page document students will develop research and communication skills that prepare them for entry into graduate programs or jobs requiring research and communication in multilingual contexts.