Learning Goals Upper Division French

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French Learning Goals for Upper Division Courses

ROFR 30310 The Art of Interpretation
ROFR 30710-30720 Overview of French Literature and Culture
ROFR 40000-999 Fourth Year Literature and Culture Courses


ROFR 30310 - The Art of Interpretation

Skills

Students will:

  • learn to engage in a “close reading” of a text: literary, artistic (performance or visual arts), or cinematographic
  • analyze the text from various critical perspectives and be able to discuss in depth its stylistic and thematic elements
  • be able to articulate the relation between the form and content of the work
  • integrate into their analyses of poetry basic rules of versification
  • include in their analyses of texts the various critical terms and rhetorical figures presented in the course
  • learn what questions to ask of a text so as to arrive at thoughtful interpretation
  • acquire critical thinking skills
  • improve oral skills in French by participating in class discussions, preparing and delivering oral presentations
  • possess a command of oral and written French that consistently avoids errors of gender and agreement
  • improve written skills in French by composing essays at the appropriate level of competence totaling up to 15 pages over the semester
  • make use of corrections and feedback to improve their skills subsequent essays
  • develop research skills and learn to use the reference tools, such as etymological dictionaries and encyclopedias appropriate to the critical study of French literature
  • be prepared to speak and write intelligibly about French poetry and prose, incorporating theories of literary analysis into their discussion
  • learn to construct an argument.

Knowledge

  • learn the technical terms of versification (such as: sonnet; alexandrine; césure)
  • be able to explain meter and rhyme and will gain a general sense of the evolution of poetry in French through the centuries
  • commit to memory crucial terms for literary analysis (such as: metaphor; irony; intertextuality; antithesis) and learn to recognize their use in texts. They will be able to provide their definitions. They will be able to name examples of texts illustrating these terms

Disposition (values, sensibilities)

  • come to appreciate the various layers of meaning present in texts. They will acquire the tools of discernment and the vocabulary to appropriately critique these layers in oral and written analyses
  • become familiar with the interrelations between different works from the French and Francophone traditions. This familiarity will enable them to appreciate literary allusions where they emerge in the written, musical, or visual text
  • become “culturally literate,” that is, able to identify the mythological, historical, and contemporary allusions in various texts. If they find that they are unfamiliar with such allusions, they will know where to go to find this information
  • be inclined to enter upper-division literature courses with the skills and confidence necessary to study and dissect complete works with the appropriate critical tools (terms and approaches).

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ROFR 30710-30720 - Overview of French Literature and Culture

Skills

Comprehension

Students will:

  • understand French spoken at speeds approaching native-level on advanced subjects, such as lectures on literature, literary history and culture
  • understand propositionally abstract and linguistically complex lines of argument
  • understand the ideas and details of extended speech and academic lectures, and be able to synthesize and paraphrase them
Reading
  • read major literary works in their entirety (when possible) in prose and verse from each historical period from the Middle Ages to the present, in modern French translation where necessary
  • recognize aesthetic, cultural, social, and political contexts of literary texts
  • relate formal aspects of the literary text to its themes
  • discern finer points in literary texts, such as allusions, irony, and other nuances in meaning
Speaking
  • speak at some length (2-3 minutes) in response to precise textual questions
  • deliver well-organized, logical oral presentations with few errors in usage
  • formulate, express, and support ides and opinions, and respond to complex lines of reasoning
  • use the techniques of dramatic reading of literary passages
Writing
  • demonstrate mastery of basic grammatical structures and French syntax, using the following reference grammar until further notice: Roger Hawkins and Richard Towell, French Grammar and Usage, 3rd ed., Routledge, 2013
  • write clearly precisely and coherently using the disciplinary conventions and methodologies that constitute effective literary analysis
  • form and sustain an argument that includes both the exposition and analysis of information
  • demonstrate competence, fluency and clarity of expression, with a good range of vocabulary and syntax
  • write short-to-medium (1-7 pages) length papers in generally correct French, totaling up to 15 pages during the semester
Analysis
  • analyze precisely texts from a variety of historical periods, demonstrating familiarity with literary structures and devices, versification, the vocabulary of literary analysis, and implicit meanings. [builds on skills learned in Textual Analysis]
  • decipher implicit meanings beyond the surface level of words, sentences, characters and plots
  • construct an argument on the basis of evidence [builds on skills learned in Textual Analysis]
Research
  • learn to use the standard bibliographic tools of the field
  • learn to support their judgments with textual evidence, bibliographic research and relevant secondary sources
  • understand the principles of thorough and scrupulous documentation of secondary sources in order to avoid plagiarism

Knowledge

  • become familiar with major literary and cultural figures and works of the French and Francophone literary tradition from the middle ages to the present
  • distinguish the principal characteristics of major trends, periods, and movements in the French and Francophone literary traditions
  • develop increasing familiarity with different genres, verse forms, and literary structures and techniques [builds on knowledge acquired in Textual Analysis]
  • recognize key terms specific to the intellectual and cultural heritage of the French-speaking world
  • situate literary works in the context of their historical, cultural and aesthetic traditions
  • demonstrate knowledge of significant historical events that have influenced French and Francophone literature and culture across the centuries
  • assess the importance of Catholic intellectual and cultural traditions in French and Francophone literary works

Disposition (values, sensibilities)

  • become aware of the linguistic, ethnic, racial, religious, cultural and social diversity of the French-speaking world
  • reflect upon how cultural values evolve across time and how these values shape perceptions, practices and texts
  • recognize the extent to which French and Francophone cultures reflect Catholic intellectual and cultural traditions
  • develop an appreciation for the aesthetic value of literary and cultural artifacts from all periods
  • engage the perspective of others to understand better and reflect critically on their world view
  • develop an inclination to continue reading, discovering and engaging with French and Francophone literature and culture

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ROFR 40000-999 - Fourth Year Literature and Culture Courses

These courses are considered to be the goal towards which undergraduate French majors and enthusiasts have been preparing. In an ideal world the levels of preparation and competence would be more or less equal.

Skills

Listening

Students will learn:

  • to understand spoken language, even when delivered at native speed
  • to follow propositionally abstract and linguistically complex lines of argument
Reading
  • to understand complex and/or extended literary and other artistic works in French from all periods
  • to consider intention and effect from the perspective of the author, the text, and the reader
  • to discern finer points, allusions, irony, and other nuances in meaning even when not clearly articulated
  • to relate formal aspects of a text to its theme
  • to recognize the aesthetic, cultural, social, and political contexts of a text
  • to understand secondary texts (literary criticism and theory) in French
Speaking
  • to prepare and deliver a well-organized, logical oral presentation
  • to formulate, express, and support ideas and opinions, and respond to complex lines of reasoning, with few errors
Writing
  • to write clearly, precisely, and coherently, using the disciplinary conventions and methodologies that constitute effective literary analysis
  • to frame and sustain an argument that includes both the exposition and analysis of information
  • to demonstrate competence, fluency, and clarity of expression, with minimal interference from English, and with a good range of vocabulary in appropriate syntax
  • to incorporate a wide range of expressions and rhetorical forms with attention to register and finer shades of meaning
  • to assess and edit critical writing
  • to write a research paper or reflective/analytical essay of up to 15 pages in grammatically correct French

Knowledge

Cognitive Focus
  • to evaluate and interpret texts through a range of critical approaches (stylistic, historical, intertextual, etc.)
  • to use the standard bibliographic tools in the field
  • to apply the standard citation format of literary studies (MLA)
  • to understand and apply the principles of a thorough and scrupulous documentation of secondary sources, in order to avoid plagiarism
  • to interpret, analyze, evaluate, and explain literary texts and cultural documents, including film
  • to decipher meanings beyond the surface level of words, sentences, characters, and plots
  • to recognize extra-textual meanings, such as the aesthetic, cultural, social, and political contexts of a written or artistic artifact
Subject Matter Focus
  • to identify different stylistic devices and rhetorical tropes and to evaluate their function within the text
  • to use appropriate critical and theoretical terminology in the analysis of texts

Disposition (values, sensibilities)

  • to explain the evidential, conceptual, methodological, hermeneutical, and/or contextual considerations that have lead to the interpretation, analysis, explanation, and evaluation of a literary text
  • to understand potential biases and to reconsider a judgment
  • to discuss contemporary ethical issues related to France and the Francophone world
  • to have an appreciation of the aesthetic value of literary and cultural artifacts from all periods
  • to understand that the aesthetic value of literary works is related to the context of their creation
  • to adapt the knowledge and skills they have learned to new experiences and learning
  • to feel prepared for graduate school at the country’s most elite institutions, should they decide to pursue a graduate degree

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