The French Language and Literature program offers students the opportunity to acquire or advance communication skills in the French language, with a focus on French literature, culture, and society. The LC Commons, a state-of-the-art technological facility, provides software and other instructional material, as well as Dish International TV and SCOLA programming for student use in support of their program of study.
The French program is primarily designed to ensure that students gain a substantial degree of competence in speaking and writing the language (advanced courses are all conducted in French), and to study the language, literature, and cultural practices of the Francophone world. Our global perspective prepares students for international careers, and many of our majors and minors have gone on to teach English in France, work in international business, continue in graduate school in linguistics or other language-based fields, or become teachers or translators. Many students pair their studies in French with fields such as biology, theater, political science, international affairs, business, or English, providing them with a global perspective that a single major or minor cannot offer. Almost all of our majors or minors spend at least a semester in a French-speaking country, perfecting their language skills through immersion programs in France, Quebec, Africa, and Belgium.
Every spring, students in Phi Sigma Iota, the French and Spanish language honor society, present independently produced projects based on specific issues in language, literature, and/or culture. These presentations, done in English or bilingual format, are required of all senior members of the honor society. The biannual Student Symposium serves as a forum for senior majors to present papers designed around a single theme, often selected to complement the annual theme for the Center of Ethics.