Learning Goals in French and Francophone Studies


Skills of language and cultural interpretation are essential in our era of increasing globalization as well as the pluralistic environment of Europe and North America. Francophone culture has maintained a coherent intellectual tradition from the Middle Ages to the present. Speakers of French in the Caribbean, Sub-Saharan and North Africa and Quebec extend the influence of the French language and its cultures. To achieve advanced competence in the French language many students spend all or part of their Junior year in a French-speaking country.

Core Skills

  • advanced proficiency in oral, reading, and written French, can be tested according to ACTFL guidelines;
  • ability to analyze, evaluate and interpret works in words (e.g., literature, films, newspapers, critical articles, essays, etc.) and in other media (painting, music, songs, etc);
  • ability to explain how cultural differences help determine political, economic and social institutions.


  • understand the principal historical events and foundational cultural tenets (including notions drawn from politics, literature, sociology, philosophy, etc.) that shape France and the Francophone world;
  • understanding how creative works in French reflect the past and present and announce future developments and influence world culture;
  • understanding of the instrumental role that language (written and oral production of all types) plays in the formation of cultures, histories, and identities of the French and Francophone world;
  • appreciation of the cultural and linguistic diversity in France and the Francophone world.

Social Justice

The world today requires intercultural knowledge, experience, and judgment. Students who are literate in more than one language develop self-critical perspectives that also advance communication skills in their native language and culture. French and Francophone Studies prepares students to understand events on several continents, thus reflecting the multiracial and multicultural realities of the global world. After graduation, our majors and minors enter a wide variety of fields, such as law, journalism, human rights, the arts, and of course education.