Sonoma State University -- French 101

First-Semester French

Réunions: le lundi et le mercredi de 10h à 11h50 dans la salle Stevenson 3028
Professeur: Christine Renaudin
Bureau: STEV3016D
Téléphone: 707.664 3159
Heures de permanence: le lundi et le mercredi de 13h à 14h ou sur rendez-vous

Course Home Page
Description du cours


Required Materials
General Description
Homework & Lab Work
Test Policies & Final Exams
Calculation of Grades
Rules of Courtesy
Disability Policy
Mission Statement


Horizons (Heinle & Heinle), third edition.
ON-LINE ACCESS TO THE Cahier d'activités écrites et orales (Heinle & Heinle/QUIA)
[Note: Your text should come packaged with a student "key" or pamphlet
which will contain your access code to the on-line workbook.]
French Dictionary (also bundled with your textbook)
NB: Access to the Web is essential for this course!



This course is intended as the first semester of an introduction to the French language and francophone culture, including the basic communication skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. If you have already studied French, you must obtain the instructor's approval in order to remain in the course.

The goal of first-year French is to develop your proficiency in French while providing you with a francophone context within which to use and practice what you are learning. Besides learning about France, we will also be exploring various areas of the world where French is spoken. Because total immersion in a language is the best way to learn that language, in class we will speak only French. Don't panic if you don't understand everything I say, or even half of what I say at first! I will do my best, with a combination of gestures and pictures and cognates, to communicate my main idea. It is normal to get frustrated or confused, and the best way to work through your frustration is simply to come to class ready to listen and to respond assiduously. Be open to new experiences! Take risks! Open your mouth as often as possible and speak, even if you aren't sure of the answer -- it's the best way to develop a kind of ease in class that fosters language learning. Play by the rules -- only French! Students who persist in trying to use English in class will incur serious penalties in the calculation of their class participation grade and may be asked to leave the class. And, of course, the more practice you get, the easier the two oral exams will be!



Over the course of the semester, we will cover chapters 0 to 5 in the textbook Horizons, spending about four class days on each chapter. There will be one test at the end of each chapter. The material from chapter five will be covered on the final exam, which is cumulative. Homework assignments will include studying vocabulary and grammar in your textbook before that material is covered in class, spending time doing exercises in the computer language lab, and turning in daily writing assignments based on the material covered. The assignments given on the course calendar (marked "A faire") will be done on-line and are either self-correcting, or will consist of a brief writing assignment which you will print and give to me in class. It is this brief daily assignment (marked "exercice compté" on the course calendar) that will count toward the homework grade for the class; the minutes you accrue in the language lab will count toward the grade for the lab course. I will accept two writing assignments late; after that, you will only receive half credit for any late work.

Please note that LAB WORK is MANDATORY, and you must register for it separately. In most language courses at SSU, you are required to clock into the language lab and complete all of your labwork there in order to receive credit for the one hour of lab. Because your textbook, Horizon, comes with CDs, it is not essential for you to do your homework in the lab. We are therefore going to try a new system: Your time on these exercises will be clocked by the QUIA software which offers us the cool lab exercises on-line. No more than 200 minutes per week will count toward the student's grand total lab time; if it takes you longer to complete that week's assignments, please do take the time to complete them, but know that attempts to make up large amounts of lab time at the end of the semester will not count! Moreover, I will close a given chapter account shortly after we have taken a test on that chapter. Lab work, which includes listening, speaking, reading and writing practice, is an essential component of any language course, and will prove incredibly beneficial to your language study, provided you complete the work carefully and thoroughly.

With lab work as well as with study time, the best way to learn a language is in small increments. We only meet two times per week, and we can only cover so much material in that time. The rest must be done at home, preferably a little bit each day, including, and especially days the class doesn't meet. For both the lab and the study time, try to set aside time daily to work on French -- from 30 to 60 minutes at a time. The course calendar is essentially a suggested study schedule for each week; adapt it to fit your needs, but whatever you do, be regular and consistent in your study habits.

For a more complete description of how to use the on-line manual, go to the homework page.



Participation--and, of course, attendance--is essential to language learning, and you will be receiving a daily participation grade (check plus, check, check minus) based on your presence, alertness and responsiveness in class. Presence and participation will count for 10% of your final grade, and you can get a general idea of your participation grade based on the percentage of time you are in class; the grade will go up or down from there depending on how active you are while in class, and how closely you respect the only French rule. (So, if you are present and active in French only during every class, you will automatically get an A for participation!) Moreover, you are responsible for any material missed because of an absence, whatever the reason. If you must be absent, make arrangements with another student to get the notes from class; if you have problems catching up, make an appointment to see one of the campus French tutors or to see me.



Policy on tests: there will be NO make-up tests. If you miss a test, you will receive a 0 for that test. However, note that when calculating your final grade, I will omit the worst test score. This does not mean that you should purposefully miss one test: take all of them, and do your best on all of them! There will also be two oral exams: one in the middle of the semester, and one at the end. I will not drop either oral exam score, nor will I drop the final exam when calculating your grade. I hereby reserve the right to assign a final grade of F to any student who does not pass the cumulative final written and oral exams.

The FINAL EXAM is scheduled for December 12, 2005, from 11h00 to 12h50.



Your final grade in the course will be calculated as follows:

  • Tests and midterm oral: 50%
  • Final exam and oral: 20%
  • Participation: 10%
  • Homework: 15%
  • Lab work: 5%

Notice that the great majority of your grade is based on test scores, but that you can easily drop a full grade or more by not keeping up with your participation and homework. The labwork portion of the grade is calculated as follows: under 1125 min = F; 1125-1219 min = D; 1220-1314 min = C ; 1315-1409 min = B; 1410-1500 min = A. Please note that here will be no extra credit for time spent in the lab above 1500 minutes. However, don't let this stop you for from working in your lab manual as often as you feel necessary! I can't stress enough how much regular work on French is essential to success in this course -- keep from falling behind and you're halfway to success!



Please turn off all cell phones when entering the classroom. Cell phone disruption will not be tolerated.

Students who talk repeatedly amongst themselves when course material is being explained will receive a warning.
If the behavior should persist, the student may be asked to leave the class.
Note that there will be ample time for conversation
in French during class activity periods.

Finally, keep in mind that I am available for help, both in my office and at home, via e-mail, at your convenience. Please don't hesitate to come and see me or e-mail me if you are having problems in the class or if you want study suggestions.



PLEASE NOTE: If you have a disability that requires accommodation in this class, you must notify the instructor before the end of the second week of class regarding the nature of the accommodation(s) you require. You must register with the campus office of Disabled Student Services, located in Stevenson Hall, room 1038, phone 664-2677. DSS will provide you with written confirmation of your verified disability and authorize recommended accommodations. This authorization must be presented to the instructor before any accommodations can made.


MISSION STATEMENT of the SSU French Program:

The French Program of Sonoma State University seeks to develop in its students the basic linguistic skills, analytical skills, and cultural and literary knowledge which will enable them to appreciate the uniqueness of other cultures and to function in francophone communities around the world. In all of its offerings, the French Program seeks to support the ideals of a general liberal arts education.

In order to facilitate students' integration of this course into their understanding of the greater goals of the French Program and the General Education Program at Sonoma State University, it should be noted that:

French 101, First-Semester French, meets the following French Program learning objectives:

  • ability to understand spoken French, read a variety of texts written in French, and communicate effectively in French orally and in writing;
  • appreciation and knowledge of the French culture;
  • appreciation and knowledge of the francophone world, cultures and literatures (including an understanding of the norms, values and beliefs of areas where the target language is used, as well as recognition of key social and cultural traditions;
  • ability to respond in culturally appropriate ways in a variety of common situations in the target cultures;
  • ability to use state-of-the-art technology to access realia in the target language;
  • knowledge of phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of the French language.
This course also meets the following GE Program learning objectives:
  • ability to think and read critically;
  • ability to communicate efficiently orally and in writing;
  • appreciation and knowledge of grammar and linguistic concepts;
  • ability to use state-of-the-art technology to access cultural documents and multimedia resources.
This course also exposes students to knowledge about values and ethical issues, including:
  • appreciation of diversity and difference;
  • awareness of language as a living product of culture and vice versa;
  • ability to apply the knowledge and skills learned to situations outside the academic setting.  

Page d'accueil du cours
Description du cours

Page mise à jour le 11 août 2005