Frequently Asked Questions about the Language Programs


French FAQs - Sonoma State University

What class should I register for?
If you have studied French for three or four years in high school, you should sign up for French 201.  If you believe you have a very solid grasp of all major grammatical concepts (including the subjunctive and relative pronouns), please contact either Christine Renaudin (Stevenson 3016C) or Suzanne Toczyski (Stevenson 3016G) to verify your placement.  If you have taken the AP French exam, see below.

NOTE: At the Junior College, French 1 is the same as our French 101; French 2, our French 102; French 3, our French 201; French 4, our French 202.

Can I get university credit for any of my high school French?
If you took the AP French Language exam and scored a 3, credit is given for Fr 101, Fr 102, & FR 201 for a total of 12 units; if you scored 4 or 5, credit is given for FR 101, FR 102, FR 201 and FR 202 for a total of 16 units. If you took the AP French Literature exam and scored a 3, 4 or 5, credit is given for GE C2 FL 214 at 4 units, plus 2 elective units for a total of 6 units.

Do French classes count for GE credit?
Yes! French courses satisfy the requirements for the C3 General Education category. Remember that upper-division French classes count for GE credit only when students have successfully completed 60 units at Sonoma State and thus have junior-level status. French 314 (French Caribbean Literatures in English) counts for Area C2 and may be taken after a student has reached junior status for upper-division GE credit.

Which are the lower-division courses and which are the upper-division courses?
Lower division courses are numbered 100-299; upper-division courses are numbered 300-499. Note that French 202, Oral French, is a lower-division course which is required for the major.

Can I challenge a French class?
You may earn unit credit for some French classes (202 and above) by successfully completing the instructor's challenge exam. However, you may only challenge courses which are listed in the catalogue and which are offered during the semester you wish to challenge the class. Only students in residence may challenge a course. Your application for credit-by-challenge must be signed by the department chair. When you pass the exam, a CR will be recorded on your permanent record, but will not be posted to your record until 30 units have been earned in residence. No resident credit is earned, and the CR units do not affect the grade point average.

Which courses do I need for a minor in French?
The French minor presupposes 12 units or the equivalent of French 101, 102, 201. All or part of these may have been complete elsewhere. Students wishing to minor in French must also take:

 

FR 202
And
FR 300

 

and

FR 320 and FR 321
Or
FR 320 and FR 410
Or
FR 321 and FR 411

 

and

 

FR 415
Or
FR 475

Can I start in French 101 as a freshman and still do a French major?
Yes! In order to finish in four years, a student should do the first two years of French according to the schedule suggested in the University catalog. In the junior and senior years, students should take all upper division courses offered every semester so that they are not lacking at the end of their senior year. Study abroad is strongly encouraged!
All French courses except FL 214 and FR 314 are offered in French only. FL 214 and French 314 do not count for the major, but they do count for C2 GE credit.

Are all French classes offered every semester?
No! So plan carefully. In general, we follow the following rotation: (see next page)

Semester A– Fall

FR101 - Beginning French
FR201 - Third-Semester French
FR300 -Introduction to Literary
Analysis & Critical Writing
FR320 -France Yesterday

Semester B - Spring

FR102 - Second-Semester French
FR202 -Oral French
FR410 - French Literature
FR475 – Senior Seminar

Semester C - Fall

FR101 - Beginning French
FR201 - Third-Semester French
FR300 -Introduction to Literary
Analysis & Critical Writing
FR321 -France Today

Semester D - Spring

FR102 - Second-Semester French
FR202 - Oral French
FR411 - French Literature
FR415 – Special Topics in French Culture: Paris!

Can I take Business French at Sonoma State University?
No, Business French is not currently offered at SSU. However, we now offer a French Language Certificate for Wine Businessthrough the French Program. Contact Suzanne Toczyski if you are interested.

I'm interested in French, but I don't speak French. How can I meet other people interested in French?
Consider taking FL 214 (Foreign Literature in English) when it is offered by instructors from the French program: Christine Renaudin or Suzanne Toczyski. Watch the SSU Course Schedule to see when these are offered. FL classes may be cross-listed with English and count for C2 GE credit. You might also consider taking FR 314, French Literatures of the Caribbean in English. Or, join members of the SSU French Club and other local francophiles at the French Table or French Film Series. See Suzanne Toczyski for details.

If I want to study abroad, what are my options?
Sonoma State University offers established Study Abroad opportunities in France (Paris and Aix-en-Provence) and in Montréal, Québec. Most of these programs are full-year programs run by the California State University International Programs office. San Diego State University also offers a spring-semester program in Paris. Anyone wishing to study abroad should begin by speaking with the Center for International Education in International Hall.

Where can I learn more about opportunities for using my French in the Bay Area?
Suzanne Toczyski, one of the French faculty at Sonoma State, publishes a weekly Francophile List which gives ample information on conversation groups, theater, cinema, art exhibits, local French classes, etc. in the Bay Area. To subscribe to this list, e-mail her at suzanne.toczyski@sonoma.edu or visit the list on-line at http://www.sonoma.edu/users/t/toczyski/BAFLHomepage.shtml

Whom should I contact if I have other questions?
Contact Christine Renaudin (christine.renaudin@sonoma.edu, 664-3159) or Suzanne Toczyski (suzanne.toczyski@sonoma.edu, 664-4177) with any other questions.
Website: http://www.sonoma.edu/modlang/french


German FAQs - Sonoma State University

What class should I register for?
As a general rule of thumb, one year of language in high school is roughly equivalent to one semester of college language study. So, if you've studied German for one year in high school, you should sign up for German 102.
Can I get university credit for any of my high school German?
If a student scores a 3 on the German AP Exam, the student earns credit for GER 101 (4 units), GER 102 (4 units), and GER 210 (4 units) for a total of 12 units.
If a student scores a 4 or 5 on the German AP Exam, the student earns credit for GER 101 (4 units), GER 102 (4 units), GER 200 (4 units), and GER 210 (4 units) for a total of 16 units.
Contact Michaela Grobbel (Michaela.grobbel@sonoma.edu) if you have any questions about your placement.
Do German classes count for GE credit?
Yes! Intermediate (200 level) German courses count for General Education credit if you took German in high school. German 101 and 102 apply to the C3 General Education category as long as you used a different language to satisfy your CSU language entrance requirement.
If I want to study abroad, what are my options?
Sonoma State University offers established Study Abroad opportunities in German-speaking counties. Most of these programs are full-year programs run by the California State University International Programs office. Anyone wishing to study abroad should begin by speaking with International Services.
Where can I get to know other people who are interested in German?
Join us for our weekly "Kaffeestunde" or informal lunch hour in Charlie Brown's Café. Please check our webpage or flyers outside 3016 Stevenson for the specific day and meeting times. This is a great opportunity to practice and keep up your German skills even if you do not take German. Keep your eyes open for activities and events organized by the German Club "Gemütlichkeit." For example, you may be interested in the German Film Series on campus. Watch for flyers and other announcements on the club's bulletin board outside the Department. Feel free to talk to the German instructor for more information.
Can I complete a German minor or major program at SSU?
German courses offered at SSU may be counted towards a minor in German. Other minor requirements may be completed abroad, or at another American university. For information about a Special Studies major in German Cultural Studies please contact Dr. Michaela Grobbel directly.
Whom should I contact if I have other questions?

Contact Prof. Michaela Grobbel (grobbel@sonoma.edu, 707-664.2637) with any other questions. Website: http://www.sonoma.edu/modlang/german.


Spanish FAQs - Sonoma State University

What class should I register for?
If you had any Spanish in high school, you probably do not belong in Spanish 101. The general tendency is that each year of language in high school is equal to one semester at the University; i.e. if you took two years in high school, you are ready for Spanish 201.

NOTE: At Santa Rosa Junior College, Spanish 1 is the same as our Spanish 101, Spanish 2, our Spanish 102; Spanish 3, our Spanish 201; Spanish 4, our Spanish 202.

What is the Spanish Program Credit and Placement policy for the AP Spanish Language Exam?
Score of 1 or 2: No credit or placement. Take SSU placement test and/or meet with an advisor
Score of 3: Credit for 101, 102, 201 (12 units);  Placement in SPAN 202
Score of 4: Credit for 101, 102, 201, 202 (16 units);  Placement in SPAN 300
Score of 5: Credit for 101, 102, 201, 202, 300 (20 units);  Placement in SPAN 301

What is the Spanish Program Credit and Placement policy for the AP Spanish Literature Exam?
Score of 1 or 2: No credit or placement. Meet with an advisor for an evaluation.
Score of 3 or higher: Credit for SPAN 305

How can I be sure that I am registering for the class which most accurately measures my level of proficiency?
It is a good idea to get a Spanish placement evaluation with a Spanish advisor to help you identify the level where you will be the most comfortable. Please make an appointment by email. NOTE: If you place into a higher-level Spanish course, you move ahead faster so that you can do a major or minor (which are all upper-division classes, i.e. they are at the 300-level).

What is the difference between lower-division and upper-division classes?
The courses numbered from 100-299 are lower division; courses numbered from 300-499 are upper-division.

Do Spanish classes count for GE?
Yes! Spanish classes satisfy requirements for the C3 General Education category. However, if Spanish was the language you studied in high school, only a Spanish class at the 200-level will count in the C3 area of G.E. Any Spanish classes taken in the 100-level would go to electives only.

Which classes should I take first in the major or minor?
For major or minor, students should always enroll in Spanish 300 first, as soon as 202 (or equivalent) is completed. If more than two classes can be taken, then Spanish 301, 304, and/or 305 are recommended depending on the semester. These classes will help with grammar, writing, and reading comprehension before taking such classes as Spanish 306, Spanish 307 and the 400 level classes. NOTE: No 400-level classes should be attempted before completing most of the 300-level classes.

How does one sign up for Independent Study?
Independent Study (Spanish 495) or Internship class (Spanish 499) are individually prepared, depending on the student's interests and needs. This option is open only during the senior year. Students should consult their Spanish advisor one year or one semester ahead to plan for such a class, which can count 3 or 4 units.

Whom should I contact if I have other questions?
Contact, Jeffrey Reeder at 664-4268 (jeffrey.reeder@sonoma.edu), Robert Train at 664-2014 (robert.train@sonoma.edu), Parissa Tadrissi at 664-3163 (parissa.tadrissi@sonoma.edu), or Emily Clark at 664-2436 (emily.clark@sonoma.edu).

Website: http://www.sonoma.edu/modlang/spanish