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French 101: Elementary French

Spring Semester 2012
MWF 9:15-10:20 — ADMN 219

Prof: Mark Jensen
Office: ADMN 220
Phone: 253.535.7219 (office); 253.756.7519 (home)
E-mail: jensenmk@plu.edu
Web page: www.plu.edu/~jensenmk/
Office hours: T 12:00 noon-2:30 p.m. & R 2:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

Materials

Required purchase:

  • Manley et al. Horizons. 5th ed. (Heinle/Cengage Learning, 2012).  Includes three text audio CDs.
  • Horizons 5th edition iLrn Heinle Learning Center.  Requires course code (GCTHEM363) and book key.  If you do not have a book key, one can be purchased at ilrn.heinle.com.
  • Morton, English Grammar for Students of French, 5th ed. (Olivia & Hill, 2002).

 

Course goals

The goal of this course is to develop your communicative proficiency in some basic situations in French.  You will gain an ability to understand what people are saying and to communicate what you want to say in some basic situations — abilities that will be of use to you in any French-speaking country. You'll learn to greet people in French and return their greetings, tell about your activities, your schedule, and your plans, give your contact information, say what you like and don't like to do, ask how others spend their time, order things in a café, express thanks, surprise, necessity, agreement, disagreement, and other basic attitudes, get basic information you need about times, places, and names, talk about things you own, describe people and their personalities, explain basic family relationships, make choices, express preferences, speak on the telephone, ask people to do things, and accept or refuse invitations, say what you have done and where you went, discuss the weather, buy clothes, and decide what to wear.  A secondary goal of the course is to familiarize you with some French-speaking cultures—primarily, but not exclusively, metropolitan France (l'hexagone, as the French like to call it).  Since this is a presidential election in year that will culminate with first-round voting on April 22 and May 6, it's an interesting time to be learning French.  But it's always an interesting time to be learning French!  For my own take on what makes French culture so interesting and what inspired me to devote my professional life to teaching French, see my web page (address above).

Class schedule

Typically, we'll spend two weeks on each chapter in Horizons, and cover five lessons during the course in addition to the Chapitre préliminaire.  French 102 will continue in the Fall 2012 semester and will use the same course materials.

8 février : Introductions.  Discussion of course.  Discussion of study methods and expectations for the course.  After class, do assigned online workbook exercises.

10 février : Chapitre préliminaire.  After class, assigned online workbook exercises in iLrn (Horizons 5e eSAM).  — La chanson du vendredi : Charles Aznavour, « La Bohème ».  

13 février : Chapitre préliminaire. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

15 février : Chapitre préliminaire. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

17 février : Chapitre préliminaire. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Gérard Genty, « Détention universitaire ».

22 février : Chapter test: Chapitre préliminaire.  Chapitre 1. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

24 février : Chapitre 1. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Bénabar, « Je suis de celles ».

27 février : Chapitre 1. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

29 février : Chapitre 1. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

2 mars : Chapitre 1. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Isabelle Boulay, « Ici ».

5 mars : Chapitre 1. After class, study for exam (online pre-exam recommended).

7 mars : Chapter test: Chapitre 1. Chapitre 2. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

9 mars : Chapitre 2. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Georges Brassens, « Les amoureux du banc public ».   

12 mars : Chapitre 2. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

14 mars : Chapitre 2. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

16 mars : Chapitre 2. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Joe Dassin, « Le Petit Pain au chocolat ».

19 mars : Review.

21 mars : Review.

23 mars : Midterm exam.

2 avril : Chapitre 3. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

4 avril : Chapitre 3. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

6 avril : Vendredi saint.

9 avril : No class.

11 avril : Chapitre 3.  After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

13 avril : Chapitre 3. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Céline Dion, « Le Blues du businessman ».

16 avril : Chapter test: Chapitre 3.  Chapitre 4. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

18 avril :. Chapitre 4. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

20 avril : Chapitre 4. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : MC Solaar, « Nouveau Western ».

23 avril : Chapitre 4. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

25 avril : Chapitre 4. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

27 avril : Chapitre 4. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Jacques Brel, « Madeleine ».

30 avril : Chapter test: Chapitre 4.  Chapitre 5. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

2 mai : Chapitre 5. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

4 mai : Chapitre 5. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. — La chanson du vendredi : Souad Massi, « J'ai pas de temps ».

7 mai : Chapitre 5. After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

9 mai : Chapitre 5.  After class, assigned online workbook exercises.

11 mai : Chapitre 5. After class, assigned online workbook exercises. La chanson du vendredi : Les Nubians, « Makéda ».

14 mai : Review.

16 mai : Review.

18 mai : Review. — La chanson du vendredi : Edith Piaf, « Non, je ne regrette rien ».

22 mai : EXAMEN FINAL (Chapitre préliminaire & Chapitres 1-5) à 8h.

Calculation of grades

Learning a new language requires daily effort.  Our class schedule does not permit daily classes, but the availability of the iLrn system enables you to work with French every day, as you need to do.

Your grade will be determined as follows:

·         Participation                         15%

·         Workbook exercises             20%

·         Four chapter tests                 30%

·         Midterm exam                      10%

·         Final exam                            25%

Comments on each of these components:

  • Class participation. Attendance and active participation are important to your success in learning and retaining French.  Your presence and your participation in class will be evaluated after every class.  You will receive 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each class. Zero means you were absent; 1 means either that you arrived late, did not bring needed materials, or did not participate; 2 means that you were present but barely participated, or were inadequately prepared; 3 means that you participated "normally"; and 4 means that you made praiseworthy efforts at communicating in French.  At the end of the course I'll average these scores, and 15% of your grade will be determined by the result.
  • Workbook exercises.  The workbook exercises, both written and oral, have been carefully designed to help you practice what you're learning about the French language.  You must keep up!  Each assignment is due before the next class and will not be accepted by the iLrn system after that date.
  • Chapter tests. There will be four chapter tests (the preliminary chapter and Chapters 1, 3, and 4). Each will test your aural comprehension and your knowledge of vocabulary as well as your mastery of the structures studied in the preceding week's lesson. Each will contribute 7.5% of your final grade.
  • Midterm and final exams. Mostly because it's useful to review, there will be a mid-term exam on Mar. 23 that will determine 10 % of your grade, and a final exam on May 22 that will determine 25% of your final grade.

BONNE CHANCE ET BON COURAGE !

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Golden rules for learning French

  • FOR EVERY HOUR IN CLASS, SPEND AT LEAST TWO HOURS STUDYING OUTSIDE OF CLASS.  For most people the most efficient foreign language study session is about 45 minutes — long enough to get into the subject, but short enough so that you don't get tired and lose focus.  Ideally, you should try to work three 45-minute sessions into your agenda between classes.  Doing one of these sessions with a fellow student is recommended.
  • DO SOME FRENCH EVERY DAY.  Regular practice is important.  The best way to achieve this is to have regular times when you study French say, the first thing after dinner.  
  • FORM A PRACTICE GROUP!  Join with some other students and meet for a study session every week.
  • GET EXTRA HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT.  Visit me during my office hours for extra help and practice.  You can also meet with the French tutor, who is available at the Academic Assistance Center.  In addition, your iLrn subscription comes with five hours of free online tutoring through NetTutor.
  • DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK ABOUT GRAMMAR.  If you don't understand a term, be sure to find out what it means and master it.  English Grammar for Students of French has been assigned to help you in this area.  If you want to buy a French grammar, I recommend Langenscheidt's Pocket French Grammar for beginners.  
  • STUDY ACTIVELY.  You need to be active if you are to develop communicative proficiency.  Communication is action !  Don't just read and listen.  Open your mouth, repeat words, make notes, copy passages, invent mnemonic devices, memorize !  It can be helpful and instructive to write out the text of the lesson.  The more active you are, the better you learn.
  • DO MORE THAN THE MINIMUM.  The more you put into the class, the more you'll get out of it and the more you'll take away with you.  Surfez le web en français!  With the Internet, it's never been easier to make French a part of your life.  For thousands of learning resources, go to my home page and click on "Tennessee Bob's French Links" and go from there.  Use the Language Resource Center. There are many more learning resources available there.  If you have a special interest in some aspect of French culture, be sure to let me know.