French Language Placement and Curriculum

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

Language Placement Exam
The language placement exam is available through your portfolio shortly after your acceptance to Wesleyan. Incoming students are strongly encouraged to take the exam as soon as possible, but you make take it at any point during the year.

Students are permitted to enroll in a course above the level of the course into which they place via the placement exam, but they are not permitted to enroll in a course below the level of the course into which they place via the placement exam. If you believe that the exam has placed you into the wrong course, enroll in the course you believe to be appropriate and discuss your placement with the course instructor.

We suggest that students with the following scores on the placement exam 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 AP Exam

Your score on the AP exam may also be used to indicate the appropriate course for you. If your placement through the placement exam and your placement through the AP exam are not the same, we encourage you to enroll in the course indicated by your score on the AP exam.

We suggest that students with the following scores on the AP exam take the following courses:

Score                                       Course

3                                              111

4                                              112

5                                              215 

Please note that students who have received a 4 on the AP French exam may request credit for the AP course once they have completed FREN 112 with a grade of B or better; students who have received a 5 on the AP French exam may request credit for the AP course once they have completed any course given in French numbered 215-399 with a grade of B or better. 

The French Language Curriculum

FREN 101 & FREN 102: Elementary French
These multimedia courses combine video, audio, and print to teach French language and culture as complementary facets of a single reality. They put students in the presence of authentic, unsimplified French and train them to use it in the dynamic context of actual communication. These complete, carefully sequenced courses involve students actively in their own learning and emphasize communicative proficiency—not the study of rules and regulations, but the development of skills, self-expression, and cultural insight. 

FREN 101 & FREN 102 are ampersanded. This means that students will receive credit for FREN 101 only if they successfully complete FREN 102 or a higher level course. Students who take FREN 102 without having taken FREN 101 will receive credit for only 102.

FREN 111 & FREN 112: Intermediate French

Students who take these courses will develop their abilities in the four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing through oral and written practice. FREN 111 focuses on grammatical structures and vocabulary at the intermediate level and introduces students to contemporary French-language cultures from around the world through discussion of cultural and literary texts and use of audiovisual material. FREN 112 is a course for students who have taken FREN 111 or arrive at Wesleyan with a good command of French and are ready to develop their reading, writing, and speaking skills through exposure to a variety of challenging cultural and literary materials in various media. It includes a review of basic grammar but emphasizes more complex linguistic structures.

FREN 111 & FREN 112 are ampersanded. This means that students will receive credit for FREN 111 only if they successfully complete FREN 112 or a higher level course. Students who take FREN 112 without having taken FREN 111 will receive credit for only 112.

FREN 112 meets the language proficiency requirements for the Art History major and the Certificate in International Relations.

FREN 215: Composition and Conversation
This course prepares students for upper-level French courses and for study abroad. It offers students the opportunity to review and strengthen their speaking, writing, and reading abilities in French. Class time is devoted to grammar review and to discussions of short reading assignments (literary and nonliterary) from the French-speaking world (France, Africa, and the Caribbean). The semester ends with students reading an entire novel in French. Daily class discussions, oral presentations, weekly discussions with French teaching assistants, laboratory practice, outside-of-class grammar review, and compositions are to be expected.

Students must complete FREN 215 or the equivalent with at least a B in order to take a FREN course numbered 220 or higher or to participate in the Vassar Wesleyan Program in Paris

FREN 215 meets the language proficiency requirements for the Art History major and the Certificate in International Relations.