Studying French at Drake University is rewarding and productive from the very first day of class. Regardless of the level of study, students work with a native speaker of French and no more than five classmates and use French exclusively to communicate things that are truly meaningful, i.e., not the mindless filler materials found in many current textbooks.
Through the standard sequence of courses (001, 002, 051, 052, 140, 150, 151, 152, 160), students expand their competencies beyond the initial emphasis on speaking in order to develop skills in listening, writing, and reading. French 150, Studies in Language and Culture, is a course that can be repeated for credit as the topic of the course changes from semester to semester. French 160, Studies in Language and Literature, can also be repeated for credit.
Culture is not, of course, neglected in these courses. The faculty of World Languages and Cultures is well aware that culture is embedded in every language. Gaining intercultural competence is integral to becoming a functionally proficient speaker of another language; each French student works toward understanding and appreciating specific aspects of francophone culture through their comments of the French blog, Perspectives on French Culture and Identity. The blog is written in English with links in French, to help students expand their understanding of the language in context, and to address varying levels of proficiency.
Students beyond the beginning levels are often able to tailor courses to suit their own professional and/or personal goals. The faculty members who design the courses get to know all the students in the program and are able to take into consideration who will be in upcoming courses. The small size and flexibility of individual sections allow the faculty to consider the needs and wishes of those students.
French students are also able to continue their studies of the language while on trips abroad, whether it be for a year, a semester or even a shorter summer trip. Check out the study abroad opportunities for French students.
We are also happy to announce that French 002, 052, 151, 152, and 160 are available to count toward students requirements for the Areas of Inquiry in the category of Global and Cultural Understanding! Students are able to take language courses to fulfill these university-wide requirements toward graduation.
FREN 001 - Beginning French I
FREN 002 - Beginning French II
FREN 051 - Intermediate French I
FREN 052 - Intermediate French II
FREN 140 - Practical Speaking and Writing
FREN 150 - French Language and Culture
FREN 151 - French National Identity in a Transnational Age
FREN 152 - French Cinema
FREN 160 - French Language and Literature