Course Description: The focus of this course will be on the development of fluency and spontaneity of oral and written expression through close interaction with various aspects of modern French culture. During synchronous class discussions, students will be given the opportunity to formulate their opinions about current points of controversy in France (e.g. the upcoming elections, the 2024 Paris Olympics, the BLM movement in France) and report back on their experiences of virtual cultural exploration (e.g. online tour of the MUCEM museum in Marseille or the Grand Palais, amongst others) while short weekly creative assignments (a virtual travel journal entry, a metro-poem, a review of a film, album or expo, or a longer response paper) will help students improve their writing skills. For this course, students will surround themselves with aspects of everyday French culture: media (newspapers, radio, TV) pop culture (cinema, art festivals, music), and literature (the festival of “bande dessinée” in Angouleme, the prix Goncourt) in order to simulate, as much as possible, complete immersion.
Format: Hybrid - This course will meet once a week in person (Monday in Scott 102 from 10AM – 12:55PM). Three additional class meetings will be taught online synchronously: on Zoom (TWTh 10AM – 12:55PM). This course will be conducted entirely in French. Attendance is mandatory at all class meetings (i.e. students must be able to come to campus for the weekly in-person session).
Course materials: A Canvas site will be available at the beginning of the summer session with all required readings and links to visual content.
Assignments: In addition to weekly creative assignments, and in-class student-lead presentations and discussions, each week students will submit a short (3-minute), improvised (no notes) Google Voice Voicemail to the instructor and interact with other students through this platform. The Zoom meetings will of course be a vital space for student participation.
Other: To alleviate the strain of Zoom fatigue, students are welcome to write their assignments by hand, and submit photos (as .pdf files) of their assignments to the instructor. Audio resources (songs, interviews, radio, etc.) will be available as alternatives to visual documents whenever possible.