Romance Languages

Language Program

Placement in French Courses and the French Language Curriculum

The French section requests that all students take the placement exam including those with a French AP score.

Placement in French Courses

Language Placement Exam
The language placement exam is offered at the beginning of each academic year during Freshman orientation. Incoming students are strongly encouraged to take the exam at that time. During the course of the semester, students may schedule to take the language placement exam on an ad hoc basis by contacting the Language Resource Center. Once the exam is scored, the results are reported to the appropriate language coordinator in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures.

We suggest that students with the following scores take the following courses:

Score

Course
0 - 11
French 101

12-22


French 102

23 - 37


French 111
38 - 57
French 112
58 - 70
French 215
71 -100
French 220 - 299


The French Language Curriculum

Elementary French: FREN 101 & FREN 102 (ampersand courses)
Intermediate French: FREN 111 & FREN 112 (ampersand courses)
Composition and Conversation: FREN 215

Ampersand courses: Students who take FREN 101 or FREN 111 will get credit for those courses only if they successfully complete FREN 102 or FREN 112, respectively, or the equivalent or are moved to a higher-level course. Students who take FREN 102 or FREN 112 without having taken FREN 101 or FREN 111, respectively, will receive credit for only 102 or 112.

FREN 101 & FREN 102 
FREN 101 is the first semester of the four-semester introductory and intermediate French language sequence and is intended for students with little or no experience in French. FREN 102 is the second course in the Introductory sequence and is intended for students who have completed FREN 101 or have been placed in FREN 102.

These courses will involve you actively in your own learning and emphasize communicative proficiency -- not the study of rules and regulations, but the development of skills, self-expression, and cultural insight. They put you in the presence of authentic, unsimplified French and train you to use it in the dynamic context of actual communication.
Video and audio material for this course are available in the Language Resource Center but can also be accessed on line from anywhere on campus.

FREN 111 & FREN 112 
FREN 111 is the third semester of the four-semester introductory and intermediate French language sequence. This course is intended for students who have completed FREN 102 with a grade of B or better or have placed into FREN 111. 

These courses will involve you actively in your own learning and emphasize communicative proficiency--not the study of rules and regulations, but the development of skills, self-expression, and cultural insight. It puts you in the presence of authentic, unsimplified French and trains you to use it in the dynamic context of actual communication.
Video and audio material for this course are available in the Language Resource Center but can also be accessed on line from anywhere on campus.

FREN 112 is the fourth semester of our language program. This course is intended for students who have completed FREN 111 or have placed into FREN 112.

This course features an intensive review of basic grammar points that frequently cause problems. A variety of readings will introduce contemporary literature and serve as a springboard to conversation. Videos and/or movies will be used to develop students' listening skills.
Students are required to attend one session a week with one of our native speaking Foreign Language Teaching Assistants.

FREN 215 (Composition and Conversation)

This course is intended for students who have completed FREN 112 with a grade of B or better or have placed into FREN 215. 

It introduces you to various aspects of modern French life through a wide range of materials and methods: videos and readings on various cultural topics, oral reports, weekly discussions with Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, laboratory practice, and compositions. It helps you to continue to develop your language skills (listening, speaking, reading and writing), preparing you for upper-level French courses or for study abroad.

FREN 215 or the equivalent is the prerequisite for all FREN courses numbered 220 or higher.

FREN 215 is required to go abroad with the Vassar Wesleyan Program in Paris.

FREN 215 is the required level (if French is the chosen language) for the Certificate in International Relations (Dept. of Government).