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French Courses

Courses offered Fall Semester 2014 are highlighted; details can be found in the Class Schedule.
FREN 101
Elementary French I
An introduction to French through a communicative approach. Language is learned in a thematic context, based on real-life situations. Listening comprehension and basic speaking skills are emphasized. Aspects of life in French- speaking countries are also presented.
FREN 102
Elementary French II
Continuation of FREN 101. Emphasis is on extending skills in spoken French, within the context of real-life situations. A greater amount of reading and writing is included in this course. Prerequisite: FREN 101 with a grade of “C” or higher or equivalent.
FREN 103
Intensive Review of Elementary French
Open to students who have completed level III in high school and who are nevertheless unprepared for FREN 201 – either as the result of an interruption of five years in their study of the language or as a result of a weak language background. This course offers an intensive review of Elementary French I and II as an opportunity to improve the student’s listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. FREN 103 or 102, but not both, may be used toward UMBC’s language/culture requirement.
FREN 201
Intermediate French I
Further development of listening comprehension and speaking skills and increased emphasis on reading, writing and cultural knowledge. Focus is on everyday life in France and other French-speaking countries. Prerequisite: FREN 102 with a grade of “C” or higher.
FREN 202
Intermediate French II
A continuation of FREN 201, with deeper emphasis on advanced grammar and discussion in French on social and cultural issues. Prerequisite: FREN 201 with a grade of “C” or higher.
FREN 301
Advanced French I
An advanced French language course offering practice in the four language skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing) primarily through the use of French films. In addition to regular speaking practice, the course will include formal oral presentations and expository writing. Prerequisite: FREN 202 with a grade of “C” or higher.
FREN 302
Advanced French II
A continuation of FREN 301, with more attention devoted to the development of reading and writing skills. Prerequisite: FREN 301 with a grade of “C” or higher.
FREN 310
Interconnections: Language
This course is an introduction to language history and use in the French-speaking world. Among the topics covered are style and register, the origins of French, dialect diversity, language attitudes, and language policy. Lectures, readings, and activities will focus on a number of different Francophone societies and will emphasize connections and contrasts with North American habits and practices. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FREN 302. Highly recommended: MLL 190.
FREN 320
Interconnections: Trade, Technology, and Globalization
This course focuses on France’s role within the European Union and in the world economy. It will examine how economic and technological developments are shaping France’s socio-political landscape while raising new questions about French identity. Globalization trends and the anti-globalization movement will be studied from a French point of view. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FREN 302.
FREN 330
Interconnections: Ideas, Literature, and the Arts
This course examines major moments in French intellectual, literary, and artistic history and their interactions with other cultures. Emphasis will be on those movements that have left their mark on present-day cultures, such as medieval religious, courtly, and architectural ideals; renaissance humanism, rationalist and classical appeals to moral and aesthetic balance; the Enlightenment belief in progress and human rights; romantic and realist concerns with the environment and social justice; impressionism; surrealism; existentialist and post-structuralist thought; feminisms; and francophone post-colonialism and post-modernism. Taught in French. Prerequisite: FREN 302.
FREN 339
Exploration in Ideas, Literature and the Arts
This course will examine a selected topic in French and Francophone literature, arts and ideas. Topics could include a movement, such as classicism, romanticism or post colonialism; a genre, such as drama or the novel; a theme; or individual authors. Emphasis will be placed on artistic and intellectual interconnections between French-speaking countries and other cultures. Notes: May be repeated for credit as topics change.
FREN 340
Interconnections: Social and Historical Confluences
This course treats key historical events and social movements in France and French-speaking lands and their connections with the rest of the world. These include, among others: exploration in the New World, the Great Revolution of 1789, nationalism, the Napoleonic legacy, socialism and communism, the World Wars, imperialism and decolonization. The course is conducted in English. Students registered for FREN 340 will read supplementary material in French. Prerequisite: FREN 302. Also listed as MLL 340.
FREN 315
French Phonetics
Detailed analysis of problems in diction; the use of the international phonetic alphabet; functions of the human vocal apparatus; the essentials of an authentic French accent through systematic exercises in pronunciation, intonation and rhythm. Extensive use of the Media Center. Prerequisite: FREN 202.
FREN 329
Business French
A course designed for students who wish to learn about French business language and practices. The course aims to be both theoretical (academic study of French work culture) and practical (introduction of business terminology, correspondence and public speaking skills). Prerequisite: FREN 302 or equivalent. Highly recommended: French 320.
FREN 339
Explorations in Ideas, Literature, and the Arts
This course will examine a selected topic in French and Francophone literature, arts, and ideas. Topics could include a movement, such as classicism, romanticism, post-colonialism; a genre, such as drama or the novel; a theme; or individual authors. Emphasis will be placed on artistic and intellectual interconnections between French-speaking countries and other cultures. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: FREN 330 or permission of instructor.
FREN 349
Modern French Civilization
An examination of modern French society and culture. Topics include French politics, youth and the educational system, feminism, immigration issues, cultural practices and policies, and intellectual and daily life. It is recommended that students take this course before studying abroad. Prerequisite: FREN 340 or permission of instructor. Highly recommended: FREN 320.
FREN 319
French Translation
Instruction and practice in translating from French to English. Students work with various written materials covering many fields. Prerequisite: FREN 302 or equivalent. Highly recommended: FREN 310.
FREN 399
Experiential Learning in French
Intensive language practice in a French-speaking environment. This course is most effectively completed through study abroad, or through a work or community service placement in a French-speaking milieu. Prerequisite: FREN 302 and advisor’s permission.
FREN 410
Studies in French Language and Linguistics
Advanced work in French language and linguistics. Topics may include intensive work on prose style, study of a particular sociolinguistic problem, or analysis of some aspect of the French language. Prerequisite: FREN 310 or permission of instructor.
FREN 430
Studies in French Literature
Selected topics in French and Francophone literature may include the study of a century, movement, genre, theme or individual author. Topics will be announced each semester offered. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: FREN 339 or permission of instructor.
FREN 440
Studies in French-Speaking Culture and Society
Selected topics will deal with French-speaking societies of the present or past, both in Europe and elsewhere. Topics will be announced each semester offered. Among the recent offerings: contemporary French cinema, the dark side of the Classical period, Senegal and the French experience, and French public memory and national identity. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: FREN 340 and FREN 349, or permission of the instructor.
FREN 450
Seminar in French
Topics will cover some aspect of French language, literature or civilization. Topics will be announced each semester offered. Note: May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: 12 credits in French courses above 302 and senior standing, or permission of instructor.
MLL 205
Great Books from the French-Speaking World
The course will examine the culture of the French-speaking world as reflected in the works of such writers as Chretien de Troyes and Marie de France (medieval romances); Rabelais and Montaigne (Renaissance); Racine, Moliere (17th century); Rousseau, Voltaire (18th century); Balzac, Hugo, Sand, Flaubert (19th century); Proust, Sartre, Beauvoir, Césaire, Hébert (20th century). Taught in English.
MLL 215
French Film Classics
An introduction to the classic films of French cinema in the context of French culture and society. Representative directors include Vigo, Clair, Carne, Renoir, Truffaut, Godard, Rohmer, Chabrol and Malle. Taught in English.
MLL 219
Contemporary French Cinema
Contemporary French cinema is an introduction to popular French films of the last 25 years. It charts recent developments in all genres of French cinema. Reflecting the diversity of French film production since the new wave, this course will examine a variety of genres from the thriller to the war movie alongside the cinema du look and the work of women filmmakers. Directors will include Luc Besson, Jean-Jacques Beinex, Claude Berri, Yves Robert, Diane Kurys, Agnes Varda, Maurice Pialat, Jean-Marie Poiret and Coline Serreau. Taught in English.
MLL 250
Introduction to the French-speaking World
A historical and cultural presentation of societies in which French plays a major role, including France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, North and West Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. The points of view of French speakers from around the world will be on such themes as political and cultural conflict, literary creativity and music. Readings and discussions are in English.
MLL 255
Intercultural Paris
This culture course aims to introduce students to the field of French studies by examining France’s capital city in both historical and contemporary contexts and the numerous, marginalized, and multicultural populations it has been home to: women, gays and lesbians, North-and Western African immigrants, Jews, and undocumented workers. The course adopts an interdisciplinary approach informed by cultural studies, history, anthropology, linguistics, urban studies, and gender and women’s studies.
MLL 319
Images of Society in Contemporary French Films
An examination of outstanding films from the Francophone world, encompassing a range of genres and styles and reflecting the diversity of French film production. Emphasis on the film as an art form and a mirror of society. Taught in English.