Spring 2018 Course Descriptions

French 110 Elementary French I

Staff
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French 110 is the first semester of the elementary level sequence designed to develop functional proficiency in the four skills and gain familiarity with French and Francophone culture. The primary emphasis is on the development of the oral-aural skills, speaking and listening. Readings on topics in French culture as well as frequent writing practice are also included in the course.

As in other French courses, class will be conducted entirely in French. You will be guided through a variety of communicative activities in class which will expose you to a rich input of spoken French and lead you from structured practice to free expression. You will be given frequent opportunity to practice your newly acquired vocabulary and grammatical structures in small group and pair work which simulate real-life situations. The course will introduce you to French and Francophone culture through authentic materials including written documents, simple articles, songs, films, videos, and taped conversations between native speakers. Out-of-class homework will require practice with CDs as well as regular writing practice. The course will also invite you to explore the Francophone world on the Internet.

French 120 Elementary French II

Staff
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French 120 is the second semester continuation of the elementary level sequence designed to develop functional proficiency in the four skills and gain familiarity with French and Francophone culture. The primary emphasis is on the development of the oral-aural skills, speaking and listening. Readings on topics in French culture as well as frequent writing practice are also included in the course.

As in other French courses, class will be conducted entirely in French. You will be guided through a variety of communicative activities in class which will expose you to rich input of spoken French and lead you from structured practice to free expression. You will be given frequent opportunity to practice your newly acquired vocabulary and grammatical structures in small group and pair work which simulate real-life situations. The course will introduce you to French and Francophone culture through authentic materials including written documents, simple articles, songs, films, videos, and taped conversations between native speakers. Out-of-class homework will require practice with CDs as well as regular writing practice. The course will also invite you to explore the Francophone world on the Internet.

French 130 Intermediate French I 

Staff 
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French 130 is the first half of a two-semester intermediate sequence designed to help you attain a level of proficiency that should allow you to function comfortably in a French-speaking environment. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary French and you will review these on your own in the course workbook. This course will build on your existing skills in French, increase your confidence and ability to read, write, speak, and understand French, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material.

As in other French courses at Penn, class will be conducted entirely in French. In addition to structured oral practice, work in class will include frequent communicative activities such as role-plays, problem-solving tasks, discussions, and debates, often carried out in pairs or small groups. Through the study of authentic materials such as articles, poems, songs, films, videos, you will deepen your knowledge of the French-speaking world. Daily homework will require listening practice with audio and video material, in addition to regular written exercises in the workbook and frequent composition practice.

Students having completed French 120, or with an SATII score of 450 - 540 or a placement score between 30 and 35 should enroll in this course.

French 134  Intermediate French: Accelerated

Staff

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French 140 Intermediate French II 

Staff 
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French 140 is the second half of a two-semester intermediate sequence designed to help you attain a level of proficiency that should allow you to function comfortably in a French-speaking environment. You are expected to have already learned the most basic grammatical structures in elementary French and will review these on your own in the course workbook. This course will build on your existing skills in French, increase your confidence and ability to read, write, speak, and understand French, and introduce you to more refined lexical items, more complex grammatical structures, and more challenging cultural material.

This course focuses on the culture of French-speaking countries beyond the borders of France. Along with your classmates, you will explore the cities of Dakar, Fort-de-France and Marrakesh, investigating the diversity of the francophone world through film, literature and music. As in other French courses at Penn, class is conducted entirely in French. In addition to structured oral practice, work in class will include frequent communicative activities such as problem-solving tasks, discussions, and debates, often carried out in pairs or small groups. Daily homework will require researching in the library and on the Internet, listening practice with video-clips, in addition to regular written exercises in the workbook.

French 180 Advanced French in Residence 

Staff

Open only to residents in La Maison Francaise

French 202 Advanced French

Staff 
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French 202 is a one-semester third-year level French course. It is designed to prepare students for subsequent study in upper level courses in French and francophone literature, linguistics, civilization, cinema, etc. It is required for students who have completed 140 and recommended for those with an equivalent level, wishing to continue in more advanced French courses or preparing for study abroad. Exceptions can be made with permission of undergraduate chair.

It is also the appropriate course for those students who have time for only one more French course and wish to solidify their knowledge of the language by continuing to work on all four skills - speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students’ work will be evaluated both in terms of progress in language skills and of ability to handle and engage in the content areas.

This course does not include a systematic review of French grammar (that is done in French 212). Nevertheless, through the diverse writing assessments (e.g. creative writing; essays), the various textual and visual references (e.g. novels; articles; films; clips), the communicative approach, the students will play an active role in their learning process and consequently will be led to consolidate and deepen their grammatical competence.

The class studies two thematic units dealing with a wide variety of magazine articles, literary texts, historical documents, movies, songs, etc. In the first dossier, students get a chance to expand their knowledge of French history, with one major focus on World War II and the German occupation of France. In the second dossier, students study contemporary France focusing on issues such as the modern family, education, pop culture. While touching upon issues of identity in France, the class engages the students into an intercultural dialogue which enables them to be more aware of the differences and similarities between the two countries.

French 211 French for Professions I 

Staff
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French 212 Advanced French Grammar & Composition 

Staff 
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Intensive review of grammar integrated into writing practice. A good knowledge of basic French grammar is a prerequisite (French 202 or equivalent is recommended). Conducted entirely in French, the course will study selected grammatical difficulties of the French verbal and nominal systems including colloquial usage. Frequent oral and written assignments with opportunity for rewrites.

Articles from French newspapers and magazines, literary excerpts, and a novel or short stories will be used as supplementary materials in order to prepare students to take content courses in French in disciplines other than French.

French 214 Advanced French Composition and Conversation

Prof. Philippon-Daniel 
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Entitled Contemporary French Society through its Media, this course is intended to improve communicative skills through extensive practice in a variety of styles and forms. It aims toenhance student understanding of contemporary French culture, thought and modes of expression by promoting both cross-cultural understanding and critical thinking and developing students’ communicative abilities (in the presentational, interpretive, and interpersonal modes).The specific language functions we will focus on are: narration; description; offering and soliciting advice and opinions; expressing feelings; critique and analysis; argumentation.It is organized around the themes of current events, identity and art. Activities include the study, analysis and emulation of model texts as well as discussion and debates about events and social issues as covered by the French news media (television, print, internet sources). The oral work will include video blogs and group presentations on selected topics and current events. Written practice will comprise reflective journals, essays and collaborative work on Web projects. On completing this course, student will feel more confident and be able to speak and write effectively on a range of contemporary issues.

(Recommended for students who are planning to study abroad in France).

French 217 French Phonetics 

Prof. Edelstein 
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French 227 French History & Culture 1789-1945: D’une Révolution à une Autre. Décollation, Pétrification, Fragmentation (French Civilization II)

Prof. Peron
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Humanities & Social Science Sector. Prerequisite(s): Two advanced courses beyond French 202 taken at Penn or equivalent. Required for majors in French.

This civilization course presents the creation of modern France from 1789 to 1945 through the omnipresence of the myth of Perseus and Medusa in the historical narrative. The objective of the course is to introduce students to a period in France’s history that begins with the French Revolution and ends with Maréchal Pétain’s National Revolution. It also helps them discover the intricacies of the slow construction of modern France. In this course, students are led to reflect on the contemporary French culture and society that are the result and the remnants of the Revolution, and to make connections with the American history.  

 

The course is taught in French. 

French 229 Le Francais dans le Monde/French in the World

Prof. Degât
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Where and how is French spoken in the world? Which variety (or varieties) of French represents “good” or standard language use? What does it mean to have an accent or to experience linguistic insecurity?  To what extent have political forces and movements historically affected the evolution of French? How do language attitudes differ among French- and English-speaking regions of the world and what is the status of French in an era of globalization? In what ways does language shape our identities?

Le Français dans le monde / French in the World examines these questions by providing a survey of the sociolinguistics of the French language in the contemporary world. We will explore how societal changes influence the manner and the contexts in which the French language is spoken. Case studies focus on various parts of the Francophone world, including Europe (Belgium, Switzerland), New World (Quebec, Caribbean, Louisiana), Africa (North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa), etc. Readings and class discussions will be conducted in French.

French 232-401 French Literature: Individual and Society

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French 232-402 French Literature: Individual and Society

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French 232-403 French Literature: Individual and Society

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French 233 Francophone Literature and Film

Prof. Martin

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French 233 is designed to give students a basic historical and theoretical groundwork in Francophone and postcolonial studies, and to help them develop their skills in literary and filmic analysis. It will provide an introductory survey of the richly diverse literature and film of the French-speaking world, from the 1950s through to the 21st century. Beginning with the gradual breakup of the French colonial empire, we will investigate the construction of individual and collective Francophone identities in such regions as the Caribbean, Africa, and the Maghreb, while exploring an equally wide range of literary and cinematic genres. Other histories and regions such as Quebec and Lebanon will also be discussed.

Throughout the course we will remain especially attentive to questions of space – public and private spheres, urban and rural topographies, borders and migrations, as well as the complex dynamics between the Francophone regions and France itself – and to the ways in which these tensions are mapped onto the textual and visual surfaces of the works studied.

Course materials will include texts by Aimé Césaire, Assia Djebar, Ferdinand Oyono, Georges Schehadé, and Dany Laferrière, and films by Claire Denis, Sembene Ousmane and Abdellatif Kechiche, among others.

The course will be conducted entirely in French.

French 259 Modernism and the Theory of Fashion

Prof. Rabate
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French 325 Advanced French Translation

Prof. Philippon-Daniel
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This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of translation and is designed to help foster a critical understanding of differences between French and English syntactical and lexical patterns. It will introduce students to theoretical concepts and problems of translation, with the ultimate goal being to improve their ability to communicate in more authentic-sounding French. Students will have the opportunity to practice translation individually and to work with their peers on a variety of projects (advertising, journalistic and literary texts, movie and broadcast news subtitling) and to engage in critique and discussion of others' translations. This course will help students refine their language skills and navigate more proficiently between these cultures and language systems.

(Designed for students who already have a solid foundation in French and English grammar)

French 341 Boys Will Be Boys: Masculinity in French Literature

Prof. Francis
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French 386 Paris in Film

Staff
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Latter-day examples like Christophe Honoré’s Dans Paris, Cédric Klapisch’s Paris or the international omnibus Paris, je t’aime (with each director paying homage to a distinctive “arrondissement” of the capital), not to mention American blockbusters like The Da Vinci Code and Inception or Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, are there to remind us that there is something special – indeed, a special kind of magic – about Paris in and on film. Despite the extreme polarization between Paris and provincial France in both cultural and socio-economic terms, cultural historians have argued that Paris is a symbol of France (as a centralized nation), more than Rome is of Italy and much more than Madrid is of Spain or Berlin of Germany, for example. The prevalence of the City of Lights on our screens, Gallic and otherwise, should therefore come as no surprise, be it as a mere backdrop or as a character in its own right. But how exactly are the French capital and its variegated people captured on celluloid? Can we find significant differences between French and non-French approaches, or between films shot on location that have the ring of “authenticity” and studio-bound productions using reconstructed sets? Do these representations vary through time and perhaps reflect specific historical periods or zeitgeists? Do they conform to genre-based formulas and perpetuate age-old stereotypes, or do they provide new, original insights while revisiting cinematic conventions? Do some (sub)urban areas and/or segments of the Parisian population (in terms of gender, race or class, for example) receive special attention or treatment? These are some of the many questions that we will seek to address… with a view to offering the next best thing to catching the next non-stop flight to Paris!

Please note:  This course follows a Lecture/Recitation format.  The Lecture (FREN/CINE 386-401) is taught in English.  For French credit:  please register for both FREN 386-401 (lecture) and FREN 386-402 (recitation); the FREN 386-402 recitation section is conducted in French.  For Cinema Studies credit:  please register for CINE 386-401 (lecture) and CINE 386-403 (recitation); both are taught in English.

French 391 Global France

Prof. Richman
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French 500 Proseminar

Staff
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