Intermediate French II: Advanced Intermediate Studies in French

Taught at: Williams College
Last taught: Spring 2019

This course, as a continuation of French 103, is conceived to enable you to express yourself with fluency and to comprehend the spoken and written language with ease.

Part of that process will be, of course, the continued study of the French language itself. However, at this point you are already able to express yourself orally and in writing on a number of topics, and have demonstrated mastery of all foundational grammatical concepts. In this course, therefore, we will build on what you already know to incorporate greater nuance and finesse into your oral and written expression. To do so, we will use the assigned grammar book (Focus), but rather than working through it chapter by chapter, we will instead use it as a reference guide for grammatical points that are complementary to other readings and assignments in the course. In other words, the grammar book will not be the structural backbone of the course, nor will any other textbook—likely a first for many of you in a French classroom.

Instead, this course will be oriented around a series of “texts,” with this term understood broadly: poems and short stories taken from French and Francophone literature; cinematic productions; music; art; and photography. For each text that we encounter, we will begin by analyzing it (and learning the vocabulary and techniques to do so as we go—tools that will serve you well in future French classes that you will take). Then, you will create pastiches or imitations of select texts as a way to cultivate your written expression. Finally, at the end of the semester, you will work in groups to create your own original literary creation, which will be shared with the class as a final oral presentation during the last week of classes.