Courses in French
For a complete listing of sections and times, consult the Schedule of Classes.
Note: Honors option is available at almost all levels. For introductory and intermediate language courses (101, 102, 203, 204, 227 & 228), odd numbered courses offer a dedicated honors section in the Fall, and even numbered courses offer a dedicated honors section in the Spring. Honors sections in 101-228 offer smaller enrollments (16 instead of 24 max) and, by demanding a more concerted and independent effort on the part of the students, class sessions allow for greater expansion of activities and more in-class communication.
Semester: Fall 2018
French 101: First Semester French
French 101 is intended for students with no previous study of French. Course goals focus on developing interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communicative skills and cultural awareness of the French-speaking world. Topics explored in the course include personal identity, daily life, youth culture, and education.
French 102: Second Semester French
French 102 is the continuation of French 101 and is intended for students with limited study of French (e.g., 1-2 years of high school level study). Course goals focus on developing interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational communicative skills and cultural awareness of the French-speaking world. Topics explored in the course include travel, fashion, media, and housing.
French 201: French for Speakers of Other Romance Languages
Accelerated development of oral, reading and writing skills up to a level equivalent to that of the end of second semester French (102). Instruction draws on features shared by Romance languages, with focus on distinctions particular to French. No previous knowledge of French is required.
French 203: Third Semester French
Oral practice and conversation, reading, grammar review, vocabulary expansion, creative writing in French. Lab programs stress comprehension of non-textbook material on life in France today. Prerequisite: French 102 or approp score on placement exam.
French 204: Fourth Semseter French
Oral practice and conversation, reading, grammar review, vocabulary expansion, creative writing in French. This student-centered program engages the learner in textbook and non-textbook material focusing on life today in France and in the French-speaking world. Prerequisite: French 203 or appropriate score on placement exam.
French 228: Intermediate Language and Culture
In this writing-intensive course, students practice the types of writing tasks typical of courses in the major (composition, compte rendu, explication de texte), explore both traditional and evolving notions of culture in France and the francophone world, review grammar, and build vocabulary related to the cultural topics studied. Prerequisite: French 204 or French 227.
French 248: Ethnic Studies in the French/Francophone World(s)
An introduction to French colonialism in the New World and its effects on African-American, Afro-Creole, Native American, Franco-American, Cajun, and Caribbean diasporan communities in the U.S. through literature, history, and culture. Taught in English.
French 271: Introduction to Literary Analysis
An introduction to the terms and techniques of literary analysis, examining works of each genre (short story, poetry, theater and novel) from various time periods and areas of the francophone world. Prerequisite: French 228. All sections are available for honors credit.
Here's a short video in case you're on the fence about taking this excellent course:
French 301: Practical French Conversation
UW-Madison students can join us for lunch any day, Monday through Friday. It’s as easy as that. Come, sit and chat in French with fellow students and native speakers. Many students report that this course was a very valuable experience for them. Their spoken French improved immensely and they felt very comfortable interacting with other students and native speakers on everyday topics.
Those that can come at least 4 times per week should consider enrolling in French 301 (fall) or French 302 (spring) and receive one credit for their commitment. This credit counts towards the French major.
Lunch is served at 12:15. Students can buy their lunch ($5 “all you can eat”), bring their lunch, or just sit and talk.
With 30-40 students and 5-10 native speakers, what’s on the menu takes a back seat to what’s on our minds. French class is great, but learning to chat, in French, about everyday topics, in a complete French immersion environment is something no student of French can pass up. Only French is spoken at the French House and most students at lunch have the equivalent of at least 4 semesters or 4 high school years of French.
Students registered for 301 (fall) or 302 (spring), here is what you need to know:
- Arrive between 12:00 and 12:15 and stay until 12:45 or 1:00. Each student must remain at the French House and engaged in conversation for at least 45 minutes.
- Choose the 4 days per week that work best for you. There is some flexibility (choose 3 days one week and 5 the next, for example). The grade is based on participation (which is of course tied to attendance). A = 54+ days attended; AB= 50-52 days attended; B = 47-49 days attended; BC = 44-46 days attended; C = 39-43 days attended; D = 33-38 days attended; F = 32 or fewer days attended.
- Absences: because of the flexilibilty with regard to scheduling, there are no excused absences. Students who have a conflict on Tuesdays and Thursdays have two options:
- Regularly attend the Wednesday evening dinner which is also open to the public.
- Audit the course.
French 311: Advanced Composition and Conversation
Trains students to write essays on a variety of topics, using different registers of French, and work to correct pronunciation and improve conversation skills.
French 312: Advanced Oral and Written Expression: Writing Across the Humanities
Develops students' writing and oral expression at an advanced level through writing and discussion of internet journalism, translation, or creative genres.
French 313: Professional Communication and Culture in the Francophone World
Study and analysis of the culture and sociology of professional environments in the French and Francophone worlds, including government, international organizations, NGO's and business. Students develop communication skills through interactive teaching methods in multimedia labs.
French 321: Introduction to Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Literature
Introduction to important literary works from the medieval era to the French Revolution. Classes conducted in French.
French 322: Introduction to Literature of Modernity
Introduction to important literary works of modernity (from the French Revolution to the twenty-first century). Classes conducted in French.
French 347: Introduction to Medieval, Renaissance, and Early Modern Civilization
An introduction to the political, social, intellectual, artistic and literary development of French culture, from its origins to the French Revolution (1789).
French 348: Modernity Studies
An introduction to political, social, intellectual, artistic and literary developments in French and Francophone culture, within the time period from the French Revolution to the current era.
French 391: French for Reading Knowledge
Intensive grammar and reading for graduate students and undergraduates with little or no experience in French. Readings from appropriate texts in the humanities, sciences, social sciences. May not be counted toward L&S foreign language requirement. Does not count towards the French major.
Pre-Reqs: Not open to Fr
The goal of this course is to give students with no previous knowledge of French the ability to read texts that are necessary or useful for their research. The fundamental elements of French grammar are given over the course of the semester. Basic exercises focus on translation from French to English. A good deal of memorization will be required, but students will generally not be expected to reproduce forms in French, just to recognize them. French pronunciation will NOT be studied extensively, and students will NOT learn to speak French or to understand spoken French, just to read texts written in French.
No previous knowledge of French is required; those who have studied some French but cannot yet read texts in their field of research are welcome to take the course. French 391 can be taken by graduate students in many departments as a means of fulfilling a foreign language reading requirement (please consult your particular department regarding its particular policies). [Please note: this course is not intended for undergraduates and does NOT count for credit toward the French major]
There will be in-class closed-book exams about every 3 weeks or so, and six or seven at-home translation assignments over the course of the semester. There may be short quizzes now and then. The course requires very regular attendance and systematically keeping up with the material. For their final work, students will have a choice between taking a final exam and doing a "capstone" translation project.
French 464: Literature and Medicine in French-Speaking Cultures
Subtitle for this offering:"Les maux et les mots: La médecine et la culture de Molière à Mesmer" ["Woes and Words: Medicine and Culture from Molière to Mesmer"]
Course Designations: Level: Advanced; Breadth: Literature; L &S Credit Type: C
Credit Range: 3
Prerequisites: French 321 or 322 or cons inst.
Is this a topics course? Yes.
Using the tools of both cultural history and close literary analysis, this course will survey the interactions between literature and medicine in the eighteenth century, the period commonly known as the Enlightenment.
The course will be taught entirely in French. Our class discussions will focus on such topics as the figures of the health-care provider and of the patient; the depiction of real or "invented" diseases; the theme of literature as a source or remedy for illness; the role of gender and social status in scenarios of pathology; representations of disabled groups; political metaphors of contagion and degeneration; and the period's therapeutic practices and methods for disseminating biomedical knowledge. In addition to studying how literary authors and doctors wrote about health and illness during the French Enlightenment, students will have the opportunity to investigate patient documents, to reconstruct how particular individuals experienced illness and its treatment--and how they wrote about those experiences.
FR 464 is designed to provide a capstone-like experience for undergraduate French majors and certificate students, as well as to meet medical school requirements for a literature course, including the required writing component (a substantial final term paper that entails some research).
FR 464 will be offered on a "meets-with" basis with FR630. Graduate students enrolled in FR630 will have supplementary reading assignments in each module, write a mid-term exam that simulates a portion of the French MA exam, and write a substantial research paper.
French 590: Advanced Phonetics
Advanced study of French sounds, phonetic transcription, practice in pronunciation; required of teaching majors.