French Courses

Whether or not you have ever studied French before, there is a course for you at Simpson!  (Not sure where you would fit in?  Click here to see our Information for self-placement in French.)

WARNING: Taking French classes can be addictive and can lead to a major or minor that will enhance your employability. Proceed with abandon.

Beginning Level

French 101 students making a videoFrench 110 Identity and Culture and French 111 Memory and Culture
The focus of the first year is on using French—really using it—to communicate with native speakers in order to learn about their culture and share something about yours. Multimedia is the norm, so think blogs, Skype, video…. These are definitely not your traditional language classes!


Intermediate Level

French 203 students working on a survey research projectFrench 203 / 223 Comparing Cultures
The third- and fourth-semester French classes can be taken in either order. This course is offered in the fall and focuses on contemporary culture around the French-speaking world.  Working in teams, we use survey research to interview native French speakers in Europe, Africa, and Oceania about their lives and customs. By comparing their responses, we are able to reach conclusions about the cultural perspectives of a variety of French-speaking countries.

Screen shot of skype session with a World War II survivorFrench 204 / 224 France in History
This course, offered in the spring, focuses on life in France during World War II. Using memoirs and films, we explore a particularly difficult period in French history. Emailing and Skyping with World War II survivors brings the time period alive, as we hear their memories first-hand.



Advanced Level

French students re-enacting a film

Students in FREN 344 Spoken Language through Film have fun re-enacting a scene from the film Le Huitième Jour.

Issues in Language classes
At the advanced level, two menus of electives form a 4-year rotation of classes. Issues in Language classes are offered in the spring and include:
FREN 341 French Narratives
FREN 342 French for Professional Purposes
FREN 343 Advanced Stylistics
FREN 344 Spoken Language through Film




The Place des Vosges in Paris

FREN 354 Paris through History starts with key places in order to understand the events that happened there and the players involved.

Issues in Culture classes
Issues in Culture classes are offered in the fall. The rotation includes:
FREN 351 French Press
FREN 352 Movements in Art and Literature
FREN 353 Comparative Cinema
FREN 354 Paris through History



Workshop Classes

French students working on computers in the language labWorkshop classes are modular courses, each focusing on a specific skill in French. Topics include:
FREN 211 Vocabulary Workshop
FREN 212 Pronunciation Workshop
FREN 213 Grammar Workshop
FREN 214 Listening Workshop
A different topic is offered each semester on a 2-year rotation. Each workshop meets once a week and is the equivalent of half of a regular class, counting 2 credits instead of 4, so workshops can fit easily into a full schedule. These classes have basic and advanced tracks, so you can take them at any level and repeat them once for credit.

Culminating Classes

WLCS 330 Study Abroad Capstone
A semester abroad is an intense learning experience, but the best time to capitalize on that learning is after you return. Beyond Study Abroad helps you reflect on your experiences and learn how present your new skills to potential employers.

WLCS 365 Senior Capstone
Capping off the major, our Senior Research Seminar allows you to explore a cultural research topic in depth, honing your writing and presentation skills in the process. All of your language, cultural, and analytical skills come together, preparing you for your career or graduate school.


French major at a glance

2 Intermediate classes
4 Advanced classes (2 workshops = 1 advanced class)
2 Culminating classes
8 study abroad credits


French minor at a glance

2 Intermediate classes
4 Advanced classes (2 workshops = 1 advanced class)