Syllabus

Course Objectives

This is the second part of an introductory course to French which is conducted in French. The goals for this semester are:

  1. to further develop linguistic proficiency through active communication;
  2. to expand vocabulary acquisition and to complete the basics of French grammar;
  3. to study short texts and to increase practice in writing without the use of a dictionary;
  4. to continue exposure to culturally authentic audio and video materials in the classroom and in the language lab.

Course Requirements

A. Content

We will begin the semester with a quick revision of chapters 1 through 7 of your textbook. We will then try to cover chapters 8 through 13. Class time will be devoted to the development of oral communication skills designed to develop fluency, increase vocabulary and reinforce specific grammatical structures. Most activities will be based on materials found in Parallèles. These will also be supplemented with activities based on French videos and Francophone web sites. Class time will also be used to improve pronunciation. 

B. Attendance and Participation

You are expected to attend all class meetings and to participate actively. Your ability to speak, write and understand French can only be developed and improved through daily individual work and in-class intensive practice. More than 4 unexcused absences will affect significantly your final grade in the course. Regular late arrivals will also affect your final grade. Should you miss class, it is your responsibility to find out what was done in class, what handouts were given, what the next assignment is, etc.

C. Homework

Students are expected to do the assigned readings, to be prepared before class and to participate actively in all course activities, group work, etc. Coming to class fully prepared will help you have a rewarding and productive experience.

Every week or two weeks you will receive a detailed syllabus outlining the work for the following week(s). Therefore, your assignments will be announced ahead of time. They will include:

  • studying the vocabulary and grammar in the textbook Parallèles;
  • completing each day the assigned written exercises in the Cahier d'activités (these will be collected);
  • writing and correcting compositions;
  • preparing listening exercises from the audio CD (this CD contains recorded materials for the in-text "En direct" activities);
  • completing all the "Compréhension auditive" exercises and the revision exercises in the Cahier d'activités. You need to complete all the exercises for each chapter by the day of the exam for that chapter when they will be collected.
  • listening to the audio CD on your own time and as often as you need to practice your pronunciation.

Additional homework might include watching videos and using the web. These assignments will always be announced well ahead of time.

  • please check the MIT French Web page for regular updates on the program, French resources, as well as useful information about available French grants and fellowships for both undergraduate and graduate students.

The LLARC (Language Learning and Resource Center)

For the pronunciation and listening comprehension activities, you will have the option to go to the Language Learning and Resource Center and borrow the corresponding cassettes in order to work on the listen/record cassette decks if you wish to do so.

D. Exams

Six exams, which are all required, will be scheduled throughout the semester. If you miss any exam and want to make it up, you need to make arrangements with me ahead of time. If you miss any exam because of an illness or an accident, you or someone on your behalf needs to call the office the day the exam is administered in order to be allowed to make it up later. Make-ups will not be allowed if this procedure is not strictly respected. Pop quizzes may be given without prior notice on any day. These cannot be made up.

The first exam will not be included in your final grade, and there is no final exam.

At least once during the semester, you will be asked to come in small groups (2 or 3 students at a time) to my office during a regular class hour for an informal discussion in French. These discussions will not be graded but they will help me give you a precise assessment of your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Grading

Evaluation

Grades will be based on pop quizzes, class work and participation, attendance, homework, compositions and five exams.

Grading Procedure

ACTIVITIES PERCENTAGES
Five Exams and Quizzes 50%
Attendance and Active Participation 25%
Homework and Compositions 25%