FRE 201 – Fall 2016, Spring 2017

Course description:

This is an intermediate French class that targets speaking, listening, reading and writing skills, in addition to cultural competence and knowledge. Students review many of the basic structures of French, build conversational skills, read authentic texts, and develop a deeper understanding of Francophone culture.  French 201 is for students who have completed French 102 or for those who have placed into French 201 through the French Language Placement Exam. This four-credit class meets 4 times a week for 55 minutes each time and is conducted in French.

Course goals:

By the end of this course, students are able to:

  • describe complex relationships and social problems in French
  • narrate events using present, past and future tenses
  • draw connections between their own culture and Francophone cultures
  • read authentic literary and cultural texts in French at a mid intermediate level
  • write narratives and essays at a mid intermediate level in French
  • understand conversations in French at a mid intermediate level

Challenges faced and how I dealt with them:

  • students came from a variety of levels and backgrounds; some placed into French 201, others took several years of French in High School, others had not taken French since Middle School or grew up with a certain level of native fluency. It was a challenge for me to cater to such a broad spectrum of levels and methods of learning. Moreover, most students had never had a native French instructor before, and it took some getting used to for them to adapt to my emphasis on pronunciation.
  • most students were freshmen who had just settled into college, and most of them were easily intimidated by my very engaging and oral-based style of teaching. I had to push though the first few weeks when participation was low and quiet, but once they realized that making errors was actually something I encouraged, they started to participate exponentially more.
  • by the middle of the semester, we managed to build an atmosphere of proximity and comfort despite the difficult beginnings. Such a positive group dynamic was crucial for the French class to go smoothly, and I am glad I kept on encouraging them to participate and get to know one another better through small group work. By the end of the semester, most of my students had chosen to continue on to FRE 202 and it was truly rewarding to notice how much progress they had made in the span of a couple months.

My responsibilities included:

  • designing lesson plans and PowerPoints for each day of class
  • designing online tutorials for grammar explanations
  • grading and correcting
  • designing prompts for essays
  • designing activities for tests and finals

My responsibilities did not include:

  • creating the syllabus
  • creating the rubric