French

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Welcome to French at the University of Delaware!

​​​​​​​​

​​French Faculty

Meet the Faculty​


​The main goal of French studies at UD is to ensure that enrolled students become skilled in using the French​​ language to communicate with French speakers all over the world. On campus and through study abroad, every effort is made so that students understand as fully as possible French and Francophone literature and civilization and the contributions they have made and c​ontinue to make to human culture. Students will find the French program at the University of Delaware to be one of the most rewarding and positive linguistic and cultural experiences. Immerse yourself in the culture of France and francophone world by exploring their rich literatures, films, history, politics, and current events. Prepare for graduate study, at the MA or PhD level, or for a career in international business, journalism, translation, editing, marketing, travel, teaching, or many other fields. Expand your world and prepare your future: discover the fascination of a culture that has contributed and continues to contribute to human culture.

Study French at UD!

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General Course Offerings

​​​Semester course offerings are listed in the Course Catalog

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FREN 200: French Grammar and Composition

This course enhances students' writing and comprehension skills through French grammar activities. Contextualized in contemporary Francophone literary texts, grammar is taught using a blend of descriptive grammar and discourse analysis. For example, students will be able to recognize the functions of pronouns and their role in the comprehension of a text. Students write micro-themes and rewrite compositions based on topics studied in the readings.

Prerequisite: FREN107
May be taken for Honors credit

FREN 209: French Conversation through Film

A conversation course contextualized in mainstream films, animated shorts, and popular short documentaries, this class invites you to build and to practice your oral and aural skills in French while watching a variety of cinematic products from the French-speaking world. Some films are as close as your nearest laptop.

Prerequisite: FREN 107 or FREN 200 with a minimum grade of C
RESTRICTIONS: Not intended for native speakers of French

FREN 211 Reading and Composition

This course includes reading and discussion of French and Francophone literature and the writing of compositions. The emphasis of this course is on improving critical reading skills and on writing formal academic essays. Therefore, a close reading of the text (in regard to character development, historical or social context, and narrative voice for example) encourages the student to move beyond the level of plot summary to analyze the works under study. Students will be introduced to literary movements such as Naturalism and Existentialism. Grammar review is incorporated to accompany the readings.

Prerequisite: FREN 107 with a minimum grade of A- or FREN 200 with a minimum grade of C

FREN 301: Self and Society

An introduction to the analysis of French cultural materials, this class lets you practice the essential reading and writing skills that prepare your success in the French program. We will discover and discuss a variety of brief prose works that offer glimpses into 18th-21st century French culture, and understand how best to prepare an oral presentation, close reading, and argumentative essay.

Prerequisite: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in the French language
Fulfills College of Arts and Sciences Group B (History and Cultural Change) requirement​

FREN 302 Love, Passion, Faith and Death

Does love exist without passion? Is there such a thing as platonic love? Are there different kinds of love? What does it mean to enter an union ‘until death does us part’? Does passion always lead to tragic ending? Is faith based on fear of death or love of God? This course focuses on those themes in French literature across the centuries and across the genres. It will provide insights on love and passion, as well as faith and death from some of the greatest French poets and playwrights, among them Ronsard, Labé, Corneille, Racine, Hugo, Baudelaire, Rimbaud. Taught entirely in French, this course is based on selected readings and class discussions, with special emphasis on literary movements, cultural history and critical approaches.

Daily written assignments
Prerequisite: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in the French language

FREN 303: Texts and Contexts: French travel writing

Do you enjoy traveling? Are you fascinated by exotic places? Do you think a journey could change your life? If so, you have something in common with such famous authors as Nerval, Maupassant, Camus and Le Clézio. This course focuses on several French masters of the short story in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Selected short stories, all connected by the theme of travel, will enable us to discuss the varied facets of that genre and that theme, and to better understand the intricate relationships between texts and contexts, plots, themes, symbols, narration, imagery and structure. Famous poems by Hugo, Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Rimbaud will also be included in our class discussions on travel writing.

Prerequisite: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in French

FREN 314-010/080 French Phonetics

Do you know the difference between the pronunciation of “Louis” and “lui”? Do you still choke over the pronunciation of the French “r”? Are you unsure of when to pronounce final consonants and when to drop them? Are you unsure of when to use the “liaison” in sentences like “les horribles petits enfants” Do French people pick you out as American as soon as you pronounce the first syllable of what you thought was their language? Then FREN 314 may be the course for you! Two hours of each week are spent learning the rules of pronunciation, practicing auditory discrimination, and transcribing French discourse, using the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet); one hour a week is given to practicing the sounds in small groups. Oral models and exercises to accompany the textbook are available on the Department of Languages Literatures & Cultures website.

Prerequisites: FREN 211 and any 200-level course taught in the French language, both with a suggested minimum grade of B-
This course may be taken for Honors credit; recommend A or A- in previous French coursework for those pursuing Honors credit.

FREN 403 010-080: Structure of French

Do you wonder why French words need to be either feminine or masculine? Do you want to understand why some words change their gender when they are in a plural form? Do you want to know the difference between “On arrive dans une heure” and “Nous arrivons dans une heure”? If so, this course will help you answer these questions. Using a modern linguistic approach, this course examines several aspects of standard French and builds on what students have learned in previous grammar courses. In particular, the course explores the morphological categories that make French as well as the formation of French words. Furthermore, the course analyzes the semantics and the syntactic features of French as well as some sociological aspects that affect communication. Audio and online resources will complement the textbook to further help the students’ understanding of modern French.

Prerequisites: Two 300-level French courses, one of which should be FREN314.
This course may be taken for Honors credit.
Satisfies ‘Group C’ Arts and Science breadth requirement​

FREN 405 Translation and Stylistics

Expand your vocabulary and improve your writing style as you study the fascinating craft of translation. Working in groups to translate various texts (literary, journalistic, commercial) from French to English (and to a lesser extent, vice versa), students enrolled in this course will acquire the basics of a marketable skill as well as enhanced knowledge of French and Francophone culture. Activities may include composing film subtitles, simultaneous interpretation, and discussions with professional translators. Students select a final project according to their academic and/or career interests. A service-learning component will involve translating documentation for a French humanitarian organization or a digital humanities library.

Prerequisite: One of FREN 301, 302, or 303, plus one other FREN 3XX.
Suggested minimum grade of B+ for the prerequisites.

FREN 451/65​​1 The Age of Anxiety and the Absurd

What is the meaning of the absurd? Can one truly shape one’s existence through free will, thoughtful choices and personal responsibility? Without religion, are men and women always led to immorality? When is rebellion or social violence justified? Is authentic art the expression of subconscious drives? These are some of the themes we will discuss this semester through close readings of some of the masterpieces of 20th century French literature. Special attention will be devoted to Surrealism (Apollinaire, Breton, Éluard, Michaux) and Existentialism (Sartre and Camus).​

Prerequisite: Two 300-level French courses, including at least ONE of FREN 301, 302, or 303

FREN 455 / 655 Science Fiction

This class brings together French science fiction novels, films, comic books and video games in an exploration of the place of science in French culture. Together we will reflect on how authors in these diverse media represent the scientific imagination and craft utopian and dystopian environments. We will examine works engaging with specific scientific issues (such as artificial intelligence), as well as those in which science is perceived as a dangerous presence, hostile to art and literature.

Prerequisite: Two 300-level French courses, including at least ONE of FREN 301, 302, or 303.​

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