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Twin Cities Campus

French Advanced-Level Proficiency Certificate

French & Italian
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate credit certificate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 6 to 8
  • This certificate requires an intensive French-language immersion experience. See certificate requirements for the options to fulfill this requirement. This certificate requires students to achieve a minimum score on two exams. At the beginning of the program, students must achieve a passing score on the French LPE. At the end, they must achieve at least an advanced low rating on all four skills of the ACTFL French language examination (speaking, listening, reading, writing). Merely fulfilling the other program requirements is not sufficient for students to obtain the certificate.
  • Degree: French Advanced Level Proficiency Certificate
This certificate is designed for students interested in achieving advanced-level proficiency in French and having their skills formally recognized. People who have advanced-level proficiency in French possess the speaking, reading, writing and listening skills sufficient to satisfy the requirements of everyday situations at home and at work. They also generally understand and are understood by native speakers of French. For an extended definition of advanced-level proficiency, please visit the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages website: www.actfl.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/ACTFLProficiencyGuidelines2012_FINAL.pdf The Certificate of Advanced-Level Proficiency is open to all University of Minnesota undergraduate students, especially those who seek higher levels of French proficiency in order to become more competitive for graduate or professional programs, careers with domestic French-speaking populations, or international careers.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
General Requirements
All students in baccalaureate degree programs are required to complete general University and college requirements including writing and liberal education courses. For more information about University-wide requirements, see the liberal education requirements. Required courses for the major, minor or certificate in which a student receives a D grade (with or without plus or minus) do not count toward the major, minor or certificate (including transfer courses).
Program Requirements
Any major or minor offered by the Department of French and Italian may be combined with the French Advanced-Level Proficiency Certificate.
French LPE
Pass the French Language Proficiency Exam (LPE). This exam is typically taken after 4 semesters of college-level study, or the equivalent. For more information, please visit http://langtest.umn.edu/lpe.
Composition, Communication, and Content-Based Coursework
Take FREN 3016 or its equivalent abroad, and one content-based course, or two content-based courses. A content-based course is defined as one that is either taught almost exclusively in French, or for which the discussion section is delivered in French, and is content-based and focused on an academic discipline. Courses taken abroad will count if they are taught in French and have a minimum of 10 pages of written work in French with at least one assignment of at least 5 pages in length.
Take exactly 2 course(s) totaling 6 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
FREN 3016 or equivalent
Take 0 - 1 course(s) from the following:
· FREN 3016 - Advanced French Composition and Communication (3.0 cr)
· MONT 3016 - Advanced French Composition and Communication (3.0 cr)
· course equivalent to FREN 3016 taken abroad
· Pre-approved content based courses
Any FREN 31xx, 32xx, 33xx, 34xx, 35xx, 36xx or 38xx may count as a pre-approved content-based course, provided they meet the writing requirements indicated above. FREN 3101W, required for all majors and minors, meets the content-based course requirement, but students not completing the major/minor may opt for a course in linguistics [35xx] or culture [36xx]."
Take 1 - 2 course(s) from the following:
· FREN 3101W - Methods in French and Francophone Studies [LITR, WI] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3111 - Medieval Stories (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3115 - Saints and Soldiers of Medieval France [CIV] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3140 - Topics in Medieval and Renaissance Literature (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3240 - Topics in Ancien Regime Literature (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3260 - Dramas of Culture: 20th-Century French and Francophone Theater (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3310 - Literature of Revolution and Upheaval (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3333 - The Idea of Paris: Writing and Viewing the City [GP] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3340 - Topics in Modern French Literature (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3350 - Topics in Literature (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3410 - Topics in Quebecois Literature (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3431 - Gender and Sexuality in Francophone Literature and Cinema (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3451 - North African Cinema (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3471 - Topics in Francophone African Literature and Cultures [GP] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3479 - Francophone Writers of the African Diaspora (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3500 - Linguistic Analysis of French (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3521 - History of the French Language (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3531 - Sociolinguistics of French [GP] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3541 - Oral Discourse of French (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3571 - Old French in Action: Medieval French Language through Songs, Tales, and Plays (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3611 - Speaking of Love in Medieval France: Stories, Songs, and Letters [LITR, GP] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3612 - Reading Libertinism [AH, CIV] (3.0 cr)
· FREN 3650 - Topics in French/Francophone Cultures (3.0 cr)
· other pre-approved content-based course
French-language Immersion
Participate in an intensive French-language immersion experience. There are three options for completing this requirement. Because Option 3 involves less contact with French speakers than Options 1 and 2, students should only take Option 3 if it is the only one available to them.
Option 1
Participate in an academic study-abroad experience of at least six weeks, that includes at least one course taught in French
or Option 2
Complete a pre-approved immersion experience. This could include a service-learning experience or internship, or the completion of the Community Engagement Scholars Program, with a focus on opportunities to engage with native French speakers.
or Option 3
Complete two full semesters of weekly language exchange with a native speaker through the CLA Language Center’s TandemPlus program including 15 hours devoted to conversation in French. This experience must be documented through TandemPlus.
Self-assessment Instrument
Take the self-assessment and use this information to gauge your own proficiency level. It is strongly recommended that you do not attempt the ACTFL exam until the self-assessment results indicate that you may have achieved advanced-level proficiency.
Critical Reflection Essay
Submit a short essay (of 450-600 words) written in English that; (1) reflects on your French self-assessment results; (2) describes your current level of French language proficiency; (3) demonstrates how you have used your language and cultural understanding skills at the University and beyond through completion of some or all of the “Additional Recommended Experiences” listed below.
Achieve Advanced-Low or Higher on the ACTFL
When your self-assessment results indicate that you may be at advanced-level proficiency, you may take the ACTFL Advanced-level Exam. In order to complete your certificate, you must achieve a rating of Advanced-Low or higher in all 4 sections: speaking, writing, listening and reading. The cost for 4 sections of the ACTFL is $200. However, if you participate in the PACE Project you will be able to take the reading, listening and speaking exams at no cost and pay only for the writing exam.
Additional Recommended Experiences to Increase French-Language Proficiency
- Study abroad in a French-speaking country for at least a semester (this is highly recommended) - Additional upper-division coursework taught in French (see the Certificate website) - Service learning, volunteer work, or internship in a French-speaking context for at least a semester - Participation in TandemPlus - Spend an average of 15-20 hours per week outside of class actively using your French (reading, writing, speaking, listening)
 
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FREN 3016 - Advanced French Composition and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02275 - Fren 3016/Mont 3016
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Taught entirely in French. In this class, you will continue the work you began in FREN 3015, keeping your eyes on the goal of advanced proficiency. You will continue to focus on grammar in context, reading challenging texts in the original language. You will write short compositions that include various genres: a summary of an online article of your own choosing, an argumentative essay, and a film or literary analysis. You will perfect your use of the correction software Antidote as you move toward advanced proficiency in writing. In class, you will participate in group work to boost your oral comprehension skills and in writing workshops to boost your writing skills. Listening activities include several films, a song, and videos related to readings. Written exercises include translation, grammar, and vocabulary building. This course explores identity in the French and Francophone world through the themes of youth, travel, immigration, and colonisation. Literary readings include excerpts from the 18th century (Voltaire and Louis Sébastien Mercier), the 20th century (Ying Chen and Driss Chraïbi), and the 21st century (Tahar Ben Jelloun, Abdellah Taïa, and Mina Oualdlhadj). Newspaper articles include the sociologist Edgar Morin (published in Le Monde) and the columnist Réda Allali (published in the Moroccan newspaper Tel Quel). But French 3016 adds new genres of writing as well. We will read selections from crime novels (René Frégni and Michel de Roy), a graphic novel (Marjane Satrapi), and science-fiction (Pierre Boulle). This course is a good stepping-stone for an advanced course in French and Francophone film as we read about and view samples of Algerian, Canadian, and French films. Prerequisite: FREN 3015.
MONT 3016 - Advanced French Composition and Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 6.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02275
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Study abroad course.
FREN 3101W - Methods in French and Francophone Studies (LITR, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Taught entirely in French. In this course, you will delve deeply into original stories, lyrics, plays, and films in French, from around the world and across time. What verbal and visual codes carry meaning in a given culture? How do cultures create a space for the subject or the self? As you discuss these questions, you will become a faster and more independent reader, gain sensitivity to the sonorities and rhythms of the French language and the nuances of sense it makes possible, and learn to perceive implicit meaning in texts. Theoretical readings and lessons in developing thesis statements and organizing arguments will enhance your ability to understand and create complex arguments in French. Each individual section of this course addresses these questions with a different selection of readings and films grouped around a specific theme, so please consult the Class Info page to find out more! nonfiction texts, cultural artifacts, and audio/visual media pertaining to France and Francophone communities across the centuries. prereq: 3016 or equiv
FREN 3111 - Medieval Stories
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Reading/discussion of major forms of medieval tale (comic, bawdy, moralizing, fantasy, historical) in modern French translation. Explores their relationship to development of French culture, especially urbanization, class relations, marriage, role of Church. prereq: 3101
FREN 3115 - Saints and Soldiers of Medieval France (CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Representations of saints/soldiers in literature 1050-1250. All texts read in modern French translation. Discussion of social function of literature. Relation between church/secular powers, ethics/politics, violence/sacred. prereq: 3101W
FREN 3140 - Topics in Medieval and Renaissance Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Different aspects of French literature/culture of medieval/Renaissance periods (11th-16th century). Content varies depending on instructor. Literary, historical, or social problem. Period, author, genre, or topic of interest. Readings may be literary, critical, cultural, historical, political, etc. Specific content posted in department and in Course Guide. prereq: 3101
FREN 3240 - Topics in Ancien Regime Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Different aspects of French literature/culture from early modern period (17th/18th centuries). Content varies depending on instructor. Literary, historical, or social problems. Period, author, genre or topic of interest. Readings may be literary, critical, cultural, historical, political, etc. Specific content posted in department/Course Guide. prereq: 3101
FREN 3260 - Dramas of Culture: 20th-Century French and Francophone Theater
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00997 - Fren 3260/Th 3261
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Key movements, dramatists, and contexts of 20th-century French and Francophone theater. Areas of study include naturalist and symbolist legacies as well as existentialist, avant-garde, and contemporary performance and drama. prereq: 3101
FREN 3310 - Literature of Revolution and Upheaval
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
A study of revolutionary movements in France seen through novels placed in historical context. Content may vary, but course will deal with radical historical, cultural and literary changes in France primarily in the modern period. prereq: 3101
FREN 3333 - The Idea of Paris: Writing and Viewing the City (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02030
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Meanings that Paris acquired in modern French cultural imagination, particularly as protean metaphor, myth or allegory for effects of urban, national, global modernity. Literature, painting, photography, film, architecture, urban theory from Enlightenment to present. prereq: 3101W
FREN 3340 - Topics in Modern French Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Prerequisites: 3101
Typically offered: Periodic Spring
Modern French literature/culture, defining modern period as that of post-Revolution France. Content varies depending on instructor. Literary, historical, or social problem. Period, author, genre, or topic of interest. Specific content posted in department/in Course Guide. prereq: 3101
FREN 3350 - Topics in Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Focuses on a problem, period, author, or topic of interest. Specific content posted in department and listed in Course Guide. prereq: 3101
FREN 3410 - Topics in Quebecois Literature
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Study writing produced in Quebec as a literature of its own, not simply as a part of Canadian literature. Literature will be studied in relation to other North American literatures and to Francophone literature produced elsewhere in the world. prereq: 3101
FREN 3431 - Gender and Sexuality in Francophone Literature and Cinema
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
This course will introduce students to colonial and postcolonial representations of gender and sexuality in Francophone contexts. Through literary and cinematic works from the Caribbean, Maghreb, West Africa, and Quebec, we will examine constructions and deconstructions of gender roles and sexual norms in relation to other identity categories such as race, class, nation and religion. We will consider topics such as exotic portrayals of the other, repressive and rebellious eroticism, and ambivalent or unruly affirmations of identity. Taught in French. prereq: 3101W. All courses counted toward a major/minor must be taken on an A-F basis.
FREN 3451 - North African Cinema
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Cinemas of the Maghreb, the northern African nations of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Themes may include North African cities/communities; gender, class and ethnicity; and impact of globalization in migratory patterns. Films. Readings in philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, and cultural critique. prereq: 3101
FREN 3471 - Topics in Francophone African Literature and Cultures (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Issues relevant to cultures/societies of francophone Sub-Saharan Africa as reflected in literature, film, and cultural critique. prereq: 3101W
FREN 3479 - Francophone Writers of the African Diaspora
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Literature from Francophone North Africa, Africa, the Caribbean of the colonial and/or post-colonial eras, examined in its historical, cultural, or ideological contexts. Reading selections may include texts by immigrant or exiled writers in France. prereq: 3101
FREN 3500 - Linguistic Analysis of French
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Prerequisites: 3015
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Introduction to scientific study of French language. Concepts/terminology to describe nature/functioning of sounds, words, sentences/meaning, and variation. Taught in French. prereq: 3015
FREN 3521 - History of the French Language
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Origins/development of French language from Latin to contemporary French. Selected texts. Present stage/development. prereq: 3015, [3500 or Ling 3001 or instr consent]
FREN 3531 - Sociolinguistics of French (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00528 - Fren 3531/5531
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Explores variation in the use of French associated with factors such as medium (oral/written), style (formal/informal), region, social and economic groups. Prerequisite: FREN 3015 or equivalent; strongly recommended: FREN 3500 or LING 3001.
FREN 3541 - Oral Discourse of French
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Contemporary French discourse. Spontaneous, multi-speaker discourse. Readings. Syntactic analysis. Phonological/lexical particularities. Macro level analyses. Discourse analysis/conversation analysis. prereq: 3015, [3500 or Ling 3001 or instr consent]
FREN 3571 - Old French in Action: Medieval French Language through Songs, Tales, and Plays
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02425 - Fren 3571/Fren 5571
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
This course introduces students to Old French grammar, vocabulary, and phonetics through language exercises and the reading and performance of original texts. Along the way, students will learn about the genres of medieval French literature, how these texts originally circulated, and how artists today work from medieval manuscripts to create new performances. Coursework will alternate between language lessons, oral and written exercises, the reading, translation, and discussion of Old French texts, and recitation and interpretive performance. This course is designed for undergraduates and will be based entirely on material available in modern editions or online in print-like format. It will also make use of audio recordings. Graduate students, honors undergraduates, and other high-achieving juniors and seniors should register for French 5571, which covers the same material and also how to read and edit texts from medieval manuscripts. prereq: 3016. Class is conducted in modern French. No prior experience of the medieval language is expected.
FREN 3611 - Speaking of Love in Medieval France: Stories, Songs, and Letters (LITR, GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01960 - Fren 3611/Fren 3711
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
How did people talk about love in the Middle Ages? What songs did they sing about it? What stories did they tell? How did it define the self? In this course, we will study troubadour songs, short tales, romances, and letters composed in twelfth-century France and Anglo-Norman England. We will examine their historical context: the patronage of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her family, the broader context of medieval court life, and the erudite circles that formed during the rise of the Parisian schools. Because what people say is determined by the language, motifs, and forms that they have available to them, we will discuss the transmission of ideas about love and the interpretation of exemplary figures (Tristan and Iseut, Lancelot and Guinevere). We will also consider the literary form of these texts in relation to their meaning. But at the heart of our inquiry will be the notion of the self. How did "speaking of love" allow medieval writers to cultivate their own subjectivity or individuality? Texts will include troubadour songs, the Lais of Marie de France, the romances of Tristan and Iseut by Thomas of England and Béroul, Chrétien de Troyes's Arthurian romances, and the letters of Abelard and Heloise. We will also study a film about Eleanor of Aquitaine and her family (The Lion in Winter, 1968) and a contemporary opera about a troubadour and his lady, Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de loin (2000). FREN 3611 and 3711 meet together. Both FREN 3611 and 3711 are taught in English. Reading and writing assignments for FREN 3611 are in modern French. FREN 3611 may count towards the major or minor in French Studies. Reading and writing assignments for FREN 3711 are in English. FREN 3711 does not count towards the major or minor in French Studies. prereq: FREN 3015
FREN 3612 - Reading Libertinism (AH, CIV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02037 - Fren 3612/Fren3712
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Underground, subversive, philosophical countercultures that push society to limits. Why society has underground, how it shapes understanding of individual responsibility. Shifting notions of acceptable/moral behavior. Philosophizing/imagining in creating society/values. prereq: 3015, 3101 strongly recommended
FREN 3650 - Topics in French/Francophone Cultures
Credits: 3.0 [max 9.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
French/francophone cultures in various historical, social, political, geographical contexts. prereq: 3015