Prof: Mark Jensen
This course initiates a sequence that continues with French 302 in the spring semester.
Oll woeurk een zees classe wheel bee een Frannsh — must off eet, Aye meeen — zere wheel bee eenfreeqvent exzeptions layke zees seellabouss. But ideally, all communication will be in French (or at least franglais). You will endear yourself to the heart of the instructor if you help make the classroom a French-language zone (une zone de langue française) where use of other languages is, if the expression is not too inhospitable (or do I mean unhospitable?), a less-than-welcome intrusion. Feel free to speak English, however, in the event of an earthquake, an asteroid impact, or the collapse of the euro.
The goals of French 301 are: 1) acuminating (bet you didn't know that word) your understanding of those elements of grammar that you've been working to master for years now; 2) enlarging and refining your vocabulary in French in a systematic fashion, with the same end in view, enabling you to avoid faux amis and say that you went to une conférence (right here on campus, no preregistration required) and not une lecture (which you can do anywhere anytime; 3) to fatten, in other words, your ability to speak and write effectively in ways that French-speaking people might really use when they are not exercising their all-too-common desire to show off their knowledge of English; (4) to gain deeper aperçus into the structure not only of the French language but of language itself, and to cause you to pooh-pooh no more phonetics and the ways in which the sociolinguistic register of your communications affects pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar; 5) to fill you with wonder at the cultural, social, and intellectual dimensions of communication in French.
Second, French 301 seeks to give you glimpses of both the universal values associated with French culture as well as some aspects that are supposedly franco-français (too French to be easily appreciated by the non-French).
Third, the teacher of this course, even in his dotage, hopes you will: 1) become better able to analyze and compare ideas and opinions, both your own and those of others; 2) deepen and perplex your relationship to cultural conventions through investigation of and discussion of imaginative works, with attention to genre, history, and the evolution of ideas in ways that you will only rarely find operative in popular culture; and 3) probe assumptions — your own and those of others —, reflect upon different perspectives, evaluate and explain different viewpoints on complex issues, and defend judgments. Intensive work with the French language at this now fairly advanced level should also give you new perspectives on your own native language. If you succeed in achieving all of this, you will have demonstrated such intellectual probity and academic virtue that you will win a free pass to the 2014 French Film Festival in Richmond, Virginia and have dinner with director Patricia Mazuy and actress Josiane Balasko!
During the fourteen weeks of this course, you will 1) labor through the first half of a rigorous presentation of French grammar and workbook at an advanced level ; 2) study a classic French film (Les parapluies de Cherbourg) and an intensely personal film about the life of the person who made it (Jacquot de Nantes), 3) a classic short story by a famous French novelist, (Émile Zola, L'attaque du moulin), and 4) study Voltaire's amaranthine (got you again, didn't I?) Candide ; (3) make two presentations to the class in French, one with one or two other students of a nature to be determined by you, and one an analysis of the phenomenon of linguistic register in an article from the popular press A savory bouilli — just the fricadelle (zap!) the doctor ordered!
Activities in class will plod along in an unimaginatively monotonous yet somehow reassuring weekly manner.
Just about every class will begin with a few minutes' attention to Vocabulaire progressif, so you should review the day's pages beforehand and bring that book to class every day.
On Monday, this will be followed by some time devoted to phonetics or sociolinguistics, then the grammatical material for the week. You'll be assigned pages to study in the grammar text in preparation for the class. In addition, on Mondays a meticulously prepared short written composition (or, on the following week, the attempted perfection of the previous week's now discouragingly and spider-webbily red- or green- or purple- or blue- or indigo-inked composition) will be also be due in class.
Wednesdays will be devoted to further laborious and baffling explication, exploration, and exploitation of French grammar, usually with additional attention to group work, occasionally including entertaining performances, amusing games, or diverting class presentations.
Fridays (vendredi ! enfin ! merci Dieu ! ) will be devoted to works of literature or film. As noted above, the works we'll look at in detail this semester are quite diverse in their origins: a charmingly quirky fusion of opera and New Wave film from the 1960s and a moving 1991 film about Jacques Demy, the director, made by his wife, Agnès Varda, as Demy was dying; an 1880 short story by Émile Zola (which he later turned into an opera); and Voltaire's amusing, fast-paced, and sophisticated 1759 ROFL satire of philosophical optimism and human pretension, which is as irresistibly sassy, bold, irreverent, and dangerous as anything Edward Snowden ever leaked.
A new element has been introduced into the class: an all-in-French conversation with a native French speaker who lives abroad. This will be conducted through a web-based service called Talk Abroad, which started up about five years ago and is used by more than fifty universities. You'll be required to pay for a half-hour conversation during the tenth week of the class with an individual you'll choose and at a time that you'll schedule on your own at the beginning of November. You should have this conversation during the week of November 11-15. You'll discuss your conversation with the class on November 18. The Section Code you should use on this website for our course is Jense2013-880383. The theme of the conversation will be the daily rhythm of life (how everyday life—waking, eating, working, socializing—is typically organized in the societies you and your interlocutor live in). You should register on the Talk Abroad website and schedule your first conversation as soon as you can, but at least a month before. The cost to you will be $15. Conversations involve logging into Skype and then receiving a call at the scheduled time from your partner. (It is possible that the video may have to be turned off because of bandwidth limitations in some countries.) The partner will record the conversation and later upload it to the website, so that I can have access to it. You can cancel and reschedule your conversation up to 12 hours before the conversation time.
Mon., Sept. 9(1) Introductions and what sociologist Erving Goffman (not French) would call presentations of self. (2) Discussion of course, study methods, and expectations for the course—yours and mine. Some English, for the sake of clarity. (3) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 6-7.
Wed., Sept. 11(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 8-9. (2) Review exercises. (3) Discussion of New Wave film. Please read "A Short History of French Cinema" by Andrew Pulver (Guardian [London], March 22, 2011); view also the videoclips and trailers. Soyez prêt/e à répondre oralement en classe aux questions suivantes : 1. Pourquoi peut-on dire que la France a inventé le concept du cinéma ? 2. Quel était le premier film de science-fiction ? 3. Quel est le film muet français le plus extraordinaire ? Qui l'a fait ? 4. "Les Enfants du paradis," "Diva," "Les Quatre Cents Coups," et "Le Chien andalou," sont associés avec un mouvement : lequel ? (a) Le surréalisme ; (b) le réalisme poétique ; (c) la Nouvelle Vague ; (d) le cinéma du look. 5. Combien de films français sont mentionnés dans cet article ? 6. A votre avis, pourquoi est-ce que Pulver donne le nom français de certains films et le nom de certains autres sont en anglais ? 7. Avec quel mouvement est-ce que Jacques Demy et Agnès Varda sont associés ? 8. Quelle description est-ce que Pulver donne des valeurs ou des caractéristiques de ce mouvement ? (4) Also, read the preface in Denise Rochat's grammar textbook.
Fri., Sept. 13
Mon., Sept. 16(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 12-13. (2) Levels of language study: phonetics, syntax, semantics, discourse; sociolinguistics; historical linguistics. (3) Rochat, Chapter 1, Le présent de l'indicatif, pp. 1-6.
Wed., Sept. 18(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 14-15. (2) Rochat, Chapter 1, L'impératif, pp. 6-9.
Fri., Sept. 20(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 16-17. (2) Conclusion of Les parapluies de Cherbourg.
Mon., Sept. 23(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 18-19. (2) The International Phonetic Alphabet. (2) Rochat, Chapter 2, Les articles, pp. 10-20.
Wed., Sept.. 25
Fri., Sept. 27(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 22-23. (2) First part of Jacquot de Nantes, a 1991 film by Agnès Varda about Jacques Demy.
Mon., Sept. 30(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 24-25. (2) Phonetic transcription. (3) Rochat, Chapter 3, Les pronoms objets directs et indirects ; les pronoms y et en, pp. 30-43.
Wed., Oct. 2(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 26-27. (2) Rochat, Chapter 3, Place des pronoms, pp. 43-49.
Fri., Oct. 4
Mon., Oct. 7
Wed., Oct. 9
Fri., Oct. 11
Mon., Oct. 14
Wed., Oct. 16(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 38-39. (2) Rochat, Chapter 5, Les démonstratifs invariables, pp. 69-75.
Fri., Oct. 18(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 40-41. (2) Zola, L'attaque du moulin, pp. 23-45 (sections 3, 4, & 5).
Mon., Oct. 21(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 42-45 (two sections). (2) Présentations des étudiants. (3) Midterm review.
Wed., Oct. 23The long-dreaded but no longer avoidable MIDTERM EXAM!
Fri., Oct. 25
Mon., Oct. 28
Wed., Oct. 30
Fri., Nov. 1(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 90-91. (2) Voltaire, Candide, chapitres 1-8, and prepare answers to questions (pp. 164-72).
Mon., Nov. 4
Wed., Nov. 6
Fri., Nov. 8
Mon., Nov. 11
Wed., Nov. 13
Fri., Nov. 15
Mon., Nov. 18(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 104-05. (2) In-class discussion of Talk Abroad conversations. (3) Rochat, Chapter 11, Le futur, pp. 142-48.
Wed., Nov. 20(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 106-07. (2) Rochat, Chapter 11, Le conditionnel, pp. 148-54.
Fri., Nov. 22(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 108-09. (2) Voltaire, ch. 21-25, and prepare answers to questions (pp. 186-92).
Mon., Nov. 25
Wed., Nov. 27
Fri., Nov. 29No class ; Thanksgiving break.
Mon., Dec. 2(1) Vocabulaire progressif, pp. 112-13. (2) Rochat, Chapter 14, §§ 1-7 L'expression de la condition, pp. 181-87.
Wed., Dec. 4
Fri., Dec. 6
Mon., Dec. 9
Wed., Dec. 11
Fri., Dec. 13
Workbook exercise schedule
The instructor has examined and worked through many a workbook. You deserve to know that the second edition of Workbook for Contrastes: Grammaire du français courant is without exception the most well-worked-out, appealing, intelligent, intellectually nimble, smart, sharp as a tack, and generally felicitous book of grammar exercises that he has ever, in his threescore-plus years of trekking, come across. Perhaps, decades from now, you'll agree. Call me up to let me know.
The workbook exercises should be turned in on the dates indicated below, in class. Ideally, you will attempt them only after carefully studying the relevant sections in Contrastes. Many exerices are optional, in recognition of the fact that you have other things to do in your life besides doing French exercises, like studying chemistry, washing clothes, or watching The Big Bang Theory on Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. with friends. Skipping optional exercises will not affect your grade. But since they are still worth doing, if you do them, turn them in. (NOTE: I would prefer you write out the answers to the exercises in complete sentences and turn them in on notebook paper, rather than filling in the blanks; doing it this way is more conducive to learning, more engagé. However, I'll also accept torn-out workbook pages. Not acceptable, however, is handing in lists of the answers to the exercises.)
Wed., Sept. 18. Turn in exercises 1-1, 1-2, 1-3 (optional), 1-4, 1-5, and 1-6 (pp. 1-4).
Fri., Sept. 20. Turn in exercises 1-7, 1-8 (optional), 1-9 (optional), and 1-10 (pp. 4-7).
Wed., Sept. 25. Turn in exercises 2-1, 2-2, 2-3 (optional), 2-4 (optional), 2-5 (optional), 2-6, 2-7, 2-8, 2-9, 2-10, 2-11 (optional), 2-12 (optional), 2-13 (optional), 2-14, 2-15, and 2-17 (optional) (pp. 9-16).
Fri., Sept. 27. Turn in exercises 2-18, 2-19, 2-20 (optional), 2-21, 2-22, 2-23, 2-24 (optional), 2-25, 2-26 (optional), 2-27, and 2-28 (optional) (pp. 17-22).
Wed., Oct. 2. Turn in exercises 3-1, 3-2, 3-3 (optional), 3-4, 3-5 (optional), 3-6, 3-7 (optional), 3-8, 3-9, 3-10 (optional), 3-11, and 3-12 (pp. 23-28).
Fri., Oct. 4. Turn in exercises 3-13, 3-14, 3-15 (optional), 3-16, 3-17, 3-18 (optional), and 3-19 (pp. 29-32).
Wed., Oct. 9. Turn in exercises 4-1, 4-2 (optional), 4-3, 4-4, 4-5, 4-6 (pp. 33-36).
Fri., Oct. 11. Turn in exercises 4-7, 4-8 (optional), 4-9, 4-10, 4-11, 4-12 (optional), 4-13, 4-14 (pp. 37-41).
Wed., Oct. 16. Turn in exercises 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5 (optional), 5-6 (optional), and 5-7 (pp. 43-46).
Fri., Oct. 18. Turn in exercises 5-8, 5-9, 5-10, 5-11 (optional), and 5-12 (optional) (pp. 47-49).
Wed., Oct. 30. Turn in exercises 6-1 and 6-2 (pp. 51-52).
Fri., Nov. 1. Turn in exercises 6-3, 6-4, 6-5 (optional), 6-6, 6-7, 6-8, 6-9, 6-10, 6-11, 6-12 (optional), 6-13 (optional), 6-14 (optional), and 6-15 (optional) (pp. 53-59).
Wed., Nov. 6. Turn in exercises 8-1, 8-2, 8-3, 8-4, 8-5 (optional), 8-6, 8-7, and 8-8 (optional) (pp. 71-74).
Fri., Nov. 8. Turn in exercises 8-9, 8-10 (optional), 8-11, 8-12, 8-13 (optional), 8-14, 8-15 (optional), and 8-16 (pp. 75-78).
Wed., Nov. 13. Turn in exercises 9-1, 9-2 (optional), 9-4, 9-5, 9-7, 9-8, 9-9, 9-10 (optional), 9-11, and 9-12 (optional) (pp. 79-86).
Fri., Nov. 15. Turn in exercises 9-13, 9-15, 9-16, 9-17 (optional), and 9-18 (optional) (pp. 87-94).
Wed., Nov. 20. Turn in exercises 11-1, 11-2 (optional), 11-3, and 11-4 (pp. 111-12).
Fri., Nov. 22. Turn in exercises 11-5 (optional), 11-8, 11-9, 11-10, 11-11, 11-13, 11-14, 11-15, 11-16 (optional), 11-17 (optional), and 11-18 (optional) (pp. 114-18).
Mon., Dec. 2. Turn in exercises 12-1, 12-2, 12-3 (optional), 12-4, 12-5, 12-6 (optional), 12-7 (optional), 12-8, 12-9 (optional), 12-10 (optional), 12-11 (optional), and 12-12 (optional) (pp. 121-25).
Wed., Dec. 4. Turn in exercises 14-1, 14-2, 14-3, 14-4 (optional), 14-5, 14-6, 14-7 (optional), 14-8 (optional), 14-9, 14-10 (optional), 14-11 (optional), 14-12, 14-13 (optional), 14-14 (pp. 147-52).
Fri., Dec. 6. Turn in exercises 14-15, 14-16, 14-17, and 14-18 (pp. 152-54).
Wed., Dec. 11. Turn in exercises 21-1, 21-2 (optional), 21-3, 21-4 (optional) (pp. 227-28).
Fri., Dec. 13. Turn in exercises 21-5, 21-6, 21-7 (optional), 21-8, 21-9 (optional), 21-10, 21-11 (pp. 229-32).
Schedule of compositions
NOTE: The first drafts of these compositions are due in class (no email submissions accepted) on the day indicated. The final, corrected version is due in class one week later. Compositions should be 300-400 words in length. Triple-space and leave margins on all sides of at least one inch (2.54 centimeters).
Mon. Sept. 16 : LOIS INUTILES ET NÉCESSAIRES. Montesquieu, dans L'Esprit des lois, a écrit : « Les lois inutiles affaiblissent les lois nécessaires. » Etes-vous d'accord ? Justifiez votre opinion, en citant au moins une loi « inutile » et une loi « nécessaire ».
Mon., Sept. 30 : PERSPECTIVES SUR « LES PARAPLUIES DE CHERBOURG ». Le monde a beaucoup changé depuis la production des Parapluies de Cherbourg. Écrivez un dialogue imaginaire entre un spectateur du film de 1964 et un spectateur de 2013 où ces deux personnes discutent leur réponse au film.
Mon., Oct. 14 : « JACQUOT DE NANTES ». Lisez (en anglais) la discussion du cinéma d'Agnès Varda dans A History of the French New Wave Cinema par Richard Neuport (Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 2002), pp. 56-63 (distribuée en classe). Jacquot de Nantes est mentionné dans cette discussion. Identifiez quelques aspects de la carrière cinématographique d'Agnès Varda qui sont discutées par Neuport et leur rapport à Jacquot de Nantes.
Mon., Oct. 28 : « L'ATTAQUE DU MOULIN » D'ÉMILE ZOLA. A votre avis, est-ce que ce conte est « réaliste » ? Pourquoi ou pourquoi pas ?
Mon., Nov. 11 : L'IRONIE DANS « CANDIDE ». Voltaire emploie abondamment l'ironie dans Candide. Trouvez une bonne définition du terme « ironie » et citez-la, en en donnant la source. Choisissez deux ou trois exemples dans Candide qui illustrent votre définition. Expliquez pour chaque exemple comment nous pouvons savoir que l'intention de Voltaire est ironique.
Mon., Nov. 25 : VOLTAIRE, ÉCLAIRÉ OU PRÉJUGÉ?. A votre avis, est-ce que Voltaire dans Candide est éclairé ou préjugé ? Expliquez votre point de vue en définissant ces termes et en citant le texte au moins quatre fois.
Calculation of grades
Your grade will be determined as follows:
Obiter dicta on each of these components:
University academic policies
PLU's expectation — alas! sometimes disappointed! — is that students will not cheat or plagiarize, and that they will not condone these behaviors or assist others who plagiarize. This includes the use of machine translation in the preparation of assignments. Academic misconduct not only jeopardizes the career of the individual student involved, but also undermines the scholastic achievements of all PLU students and attacks the mission of this institution. Students are inherently responsible to do their own work, thereby insuring the integrity of their academic records.
Respectful and Civil Conduct
Accomodations for Sudents with Disabilities
BONNE CHANCE ET BON COURAGE !
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