French Classes and Courses Overview

Students in French classes practice communicating effectively in French, read French literature and become more familiar with French culture. There are individual French courses available in addition to those included in full degree programs.

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Essential Information

Students interested in learning French can take personal enrichment courses in the subject. In addition, classes are offered through bachelor's or master's degree in French, with some programs geared toward those who want to become teachers. Students pursuing other majors can often take some French courses to meet general education or elective requirements.

Students in a dedicated French program read French literature, study advanced grammar and conversation and learn about French civilization. Such courses may be taught mostly or entirely in French. French graduate programs typically require proficiency in French to enroll. Graduate coursework might cover French linguistics, literary theory, French teaching and French civilization. Students may also have an opportunity to study abroad in France or Quebec.

Here are some common concepts taught in French classes:

  • Vocabulary
  • Reading and writing
  • History of the French language
  • Society and culture
  • Business environment
  • Marketplace
  • Banking system
  • Composition
  • Modern studies

List of Classes

Business French

Business French classes provide spoken language and comprehension skills for those using French in the workplace or who want to have the opportunity to create a business relationship with French companies. Business French classes provide insight into the economy, banking and business practices in France. It introduces students to the basics of French, particularly the words, phrases and concepts for conducting a successful business relationship in French.

French Literature

Literature classes in French are usually offered completely in French. Students read poetry, short fiction, novels and fairy tales from different time periods, including the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and modern literature. Authors may include La Fontaine, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Moliere, Camus and Flaubert. Usually, students discuss the work in class to gain perspective of the historical era and what's going on in the story.

French Grammar and Conversation

Romance languages like French have a different structure than Germanic, Baltic, Celtic, Slavic, Asian and African languages. This French course goes beyond the basics and covers the nuances of French as a language. Students hold discussions with one another and professors, read and discuss newspaper articles and engage in other forms of communication. French grammar and communication classes are advanced classes, typically taken in the last two or three years of a French degree program.

French Civilization

This course is more than a French history course, students examine the French economy, vacations, leisure time, food, meals and even films. Students learn about cultural topics like French clothing and events in French history which still affect the people of France and the French-speaking world. Schools may offer this advanced French course in French or English.

French Study Abroad

Study abroad courses are an immersive language study experience allowing students to become familiar with the language and how it's used every day in a francophone country and culture. Classes are offered completely in French through an affiliated college or university located internationally.

Students meet other students from around the world and have the opportunity to study French in a classroom setting with native-speaking professors, studying topics that include history, literature, art, music, grammar, writing and pronunciation. Students maximize their abilities by interacting with other people, including families they stay with or other individuals in a dorm, which forces them to learn French and communicate in a language that's not their native tongue.

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