French 202 in INGR-122 (MWF 11:15-12:20): Intermediate French

Prof: Mark Jensen
Office: ADMN-220
Phone: (253)535-7219
Web page:
Office hours: M 1:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m., W 1:45 p.m.-3:45 p.m., F 1:45 p.m.-2:45 p.m.


Required purchase:


Course goals

This course is a continuation of French 201, but because of a change of instructor and ongoing program revision, French 202 will not use the materials used in French 201 in Spring 2009. Apologies to those who have to buy new books!

All work in this class will be in French. Wish infrequent exceptions like this syllabus, all our communication will be in French. The classroom is a French-language zone where use of other languages is inappropriate except in exceptional circumstances.

The goals of French 202:

First, the course aims: 1) to help you master elements of grammar essential to effective communication in French; 2) to expand your vocabulary in French in a systematic fashion; 3) to develop your ability to speak and write effectively in authentic French; 4) to improve your French pronunciation; 5) to make you more aware of the generic and social dimensions of linguistic communication in French.

Second, French 202 seeks to help you: 1) to gain insights into the values of Francopohone cultures, especially French culture, with, as an organizing theme, a special emphasis in the class on the notion of justice; 2) to learn more about how French culture has influenced your own culture.

Third, this course aspires: 1) to enhance your ability to analyze and compare ideas and opinions, both your own and those of others; 2) through works of literature and discussion of them, to deepen your acquaintance with conventions of genre, the influence of history, and the progress of ideas, and how these have affected and shaped human experience; 3) to learn to challenge assumptions intellectually, reflect upon different perspectives, evaluate and explain different viewpoints on complex issues, and defend judgments. In addition, intensive work with the French language at this level will give you new perspectives on your own native language and stimulate your reflection on language itself.

In the fourteen weeks of this course, you will 1) work through the second half of a fairly rigorous presentation of French grammar text, written entirely in French, referring back to the first half of the text as needed; 2) read several works of French literature and study a film, using the language to engage not only with dimensions of French culture and civilization but also to acquaint the student with some rudimentary critical notions. In additon, the course also aims systematically to expand your vocabulary.

Activities in class will vary, usually according to the day of the week.

Mondays will usually be devoted to grammar study and practice. You'll be asked to study pages in grammar text in preparation for the class. A short written composition (or, on the following week, the revision of the previous week's composition) will be also be due in class.

Wednesdays will be devoted to further work on grammar, usually with additonal attention to pronunciation and group work, occasionally including performances, games, or class presentations.

Fridays will be usually be devoted to work with literary texts or with film.

Class schedule

Wed., Sept. 9 (11:50 a.m.) : Introductions. Discussion of course, study methods, and expectations for the course.

Fri., Sept. 11 : Before class: Read the first act of Le malentendu by Camus, and study the vocabulary and sentences in Fournier, I, §§ 4-7. Also review briefly chapters 1-6 in Barson. In class: Review, using Act I of Le malentendu. Bring Camus, Fournier, and Barson to class. Sign-up for a conversation session Sept. 14-25.

Mon., Sept. 14 : Barson, Chapter 7 grammar. Prepare the vocabulary in Fournier, II, §§ 6-10.

Wed., Sept. 16 : Barson, Chapter 7 group work. Fournier, III, §§ 4-6.

Fril, Sept. 18 : Camus Le malentendu, Act II. Fournier, IV, §§ 4-7.

Mon., Sept. 21 : Barson, Chapter 8 grammar. Fournier, V, §§ 3-4.

Wed., Sept. 23 : Barson, Chapter 8 group work. Fournier, VI, §§ 4-7.

Fri., Sept. 25 : Camus, Le malentendu, Act III. Fournier, VII, §§ 4-6.

Mon., Sept. 28 : Barson, Chapter 8 grammar. Fournier, VIII, §§ 3-5.

Wed., Sept. 30 : Barson, Chapter 8 group work. Fournier, IX, §§ 3-4.

Fri., Oct. 2 : Maupassant, « La peur » Fournier, X, §§ 3-5.

Mon., Oct. 5 : Barson, Chapter 9 grammar. Fournier, XI, §§ 3-5.

Wed., Oct. 7 : Barson, Chapter 9 group work. Fournier, XII, §§ 3-4.

Fri., Oct. 9 : Film in class: La nuit de Varennes (first half).

Mon., Oct. 12 : Barson, Chapter 9 grammar. Fournier, XIII, §§ 4-7.

Wed., Oct. 14 : Barson, Chapter 9 group work. Fournier, XIV, §§ 4-6.

Fri., Oct. 16 : Film in class: La nuit de Varennes (second half). Fournier, XV, §§ 4-6.

Mon., Oct. 19 : Midterm review.

Wed., Oct. 21 : MIDTERM EXAM.

Fri., Oct. 23 : Mid-Semester Break.

Mon., Oct. 26 : Barson, Chapter 10 grammar. Fournier, XVI, §§ 3-4.

Wed., Oct. 28 : Barson, Chapter 10 group work. Fournier, XVII, §§ 4-7.

Fri. Oct. 30 : Simenon, L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, Chapters 1-2. Fournier, XVIII, §§ 2-3.

Mon., Nov. 2 : Barson, Chapter 10 grammar. Fournier, XIX §§ 3-5.

Wed., Nov. 4 : Barson, Chapter 10 group work. Fournier, XX, §§ 3-5.

Fri., Nov. 6 : Simenon, L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, Chapters 3-4. Fournier, XXI, §§ 4-6.

Mon., Nov. 9 : Barson, Chapter 11 grammar. Fournier, XXII, §§ 3-4.

Wed., Nov. 11 : Barson, Chapter 11 group work. Fournier, XXIII, §§ 3-4.

Fri., Nov. 13 : Simenon, L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, Chapters 5-6. Fournier, XXIV §§ 3-4.

Mon., Nov. 16 : Barson, Chapter 11 grammar. Fournier, XXV, §§ 4-6.

Wed., Nov. 18 : Barson, Chapter 11 group work. Fournier, XXVI, §§ 5-8.

Fri., Nov. 20 : Simenon, L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, Chapters 7-8. Fournier, XXVII, §§ 3-4.

Mon., Nov. 23 : Barson, Chapter 12 grammar. Fournier, XXVIII, §§ 5-8.

Wed., Nov. 25 : Barson, Chapter 12 group work. Fournier, XXIX, §§ 4-7.


Mon., Nov. 30 : Barson, Chapter 12 grammar. Fournier, XXX, §§ 5-9.

Wed., Dec. 2 : Barson, Chapter 12 group work. Fournier, XXXI, §§ 5-10.

Fri., Dec. 4 : Simenon, L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, Chapter 9. Fournier, XXXII, §§ 5-8.

Mon., Dec. 7 : Grammar review. Fournier, XXXIII, §§ 6-11.

Wed., Dec. 9 : Group performances. Fournier, XXXIV, §§ 4-6.

Fri., Dec. 11 : Simenon, L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, Chapters 10-11. Fournier, XXXV, §§ 4-6.

Wed., Dec. 16 at 10:00 a.m. : Final exam.

QUIA homework schedule

Exercises should be done before class on the date indicated.

Recommended:  As you do exercises, use the Cuthbertson verb wheel to review verbs you've forgotten or with which you're not familiar.

NOTE: This is the first edition of Barson's book to be QUIA-ized, and there are mistakes in the corrections to the exercises. Anyone who correctly identifies an error and explains it grammatically in writing will get extra credit for each error found.

Mon., Sept. 14 : §§7-1.1-5

Wed., Sept. 16 : §§7-2.1-3

Fri., Sept. 18 : §§7-2.2-4

Mon., Sept. 21 : §§8-1.1-4

Wed., Sept. 23 : §§8-2.1-3

Fri., Sept. 25 : §§8-2.4-6

Mon., Oct. 5 : §§9-1.1-4

Wed., Oct. 7 : §§9-2.1-4

Fri., Oct. 9 : §§ 9-2.6

Mon., Oct. 12 : §§ 9-1.5-10

Wed., Oct. 14 : §§ 9-2.7-10

Mon., Oct. 26 : §§ 10-1.1-2

Wed., Oct. 28 : §§ 10-2.1-5

Mon., Nov. 2 : §§ 10-1.3-5

Wed., Nov. 4 : §§ 10-2.6-8

Mon., Nov. 9 : §§ 11-1.1-2

Wed., Nov. 11 : §§ 11-2.1-2

Mon., Nov. 16 : §§ 11-1.3-4

Wed., Nov. 18 : §§ 11-2.3-4

Mon., Nov. 23 : §§ 12-1.1-4

Wed., Nov. 25 : §§ 12-2.1-2

Mon., Nov. 30 : §§ 12-2.3

Wed., Dec. 2 : §§ 12-2.5-6

Schedule of compositions

Mon., Sept. 28 : Racontez l'histoire de quelqu'un qui s'est sacrifié soit par amour, soit par patriotisme, soit par ferveur religieuse. Utilisez des verbes pronominaux.

Mon., Oct. 12 : Vous êtes soupçonné(e), à tort, d'être un agent secret. Vous retrouvez un ami et vous lui racontez vos mésaventures, en essayant de le convaincre que vous n'êtes pas un(e) espion(ne). Utilisez des négations.

Mon., Nov. 2 : Décrivez le pays de vos rêves. Ce pays existe-t-il ? Utilisez une grande variété d'adjectifs.

Mon., Nov. 16 : Sous forme d'une lettre à un(e) nouvel(le) étudiant(e) de PLU, offrez quelques bons conseils basés sur votre expérience personnelle. Utilisez les tournures suivantes : (1) il faut que  (2) ne pensez pas que  (3) il est possible que  (4) c'est une bonne idée que  (5) je suis content(e) que  (6) il serait utile que  (7) il est probable que  (8) je suis certain(e) que  (9) j'espère que  (10) c'est dommage que.

Mon., Nov. 30 : Racontez un moment où vous avez agi avec courage. Employez autant de pronoms relatifs que possible.

Calculation of grades

Your grade will be determined as follows:

  • 20% Participation
  • 20% Workbook exercises (QUIA)
  • 10% Five compositions due Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Nov. 2, Nov. 16, and Nov. 30
  •   6% Six one-on-one conversations
  •   8% Twelve vocabulary pop quizzes, of which only the top eight scores count
  •   6% Group presentation
  • 10% Midterm exam
  • 20% Final exam

  • Comments on each of these components:

  • Class participation. Faithful attendance and active participation are essential to your success in learning and retaining French. Your attendance and participation, both in class and in individual meetings, will affect your grade. I will evaluate your participation as follows. Your presence and participation in class will be evaluated after every class. You will receive either 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 for each class. Zero means you were absent; 1 means either that you arrived noticeably late, or did not bring needed materials, or would or could not participate; 2 means that you were present but scarcely participated, or were not adequately prepared; 3 means that you participated minimally in class activities; and 4 means that you appeared to be well prepared and made what I deem to be adequate efforts at communicating in French. At the end of the course the average of these scores, and 20% of your grade will be determined by the result, on a conventional 4-point scale.
  • Workbook exercises. The workbook exercises will be submitted online via Quia. This is the first time I've used this system, so I'll be interested in your feedback about this way of submitting homework! You'll receive a course code from me and be asked to register online.
  • Compositions. On Mondays when we are not starting a new chapter in Barson, a composition of 200 to 250 words will be due. This should be handwritten, double-spaced or triple-spaced, with ample margins on all sides of the page. It will be handed back with partial corrections for revision, the revision will be due anytime before the next composition is due.
  • One-on-one conversations. In addition to visits during office hours when I'm available for consultation, you'll meet with me individually (or with another student, if you prefer) every two weeks in my office for a 30-minute conversation session. English should be avoided as much as possbile during these sessions. You should arrive on time or you may be marked down. The point of these meetings is to converse completely in French, and also to give closer individual attention to your pronunciation, not to deal with questions about grammar, homework, coursework, tests, etc. Your performance in these six one-on-one conversations will constitute 6% of your final grade. You'll be asked to sign up for a time for these meetings by signing a schedule sheet at the beginning of each two-week period. It's your responsibility to remember and to come on time. Rescheduling missed meetings may not be possible and cannot be deferred to a later two-week period; and missing these meetings will hurt your grade.
  • Vocabulary pop quizzes. Fournier's Le mot et l'idée is being integrated into French 201, 202, 301, and 302 as a way of systematically reviewing vocabulary. You should learn the meanings of the words in the sections indicated. You should also read the exemplary sentences for these sections. The sentences for each section constitute a mini-essay, or sometimes a story, vignette, or sketch. Tests will ask questions about the particulars of this essay or story as well as test your knowledge of vocabulary, so you should review earlier sentences as well. — Online dictionaries are unreliable. Students will want to purchase a good French-English or English-French dictionary of 750-1000 pages, like the Larousse Concise Dictionary: French-English/English-French, rev. ed. (2004). Smaller 300-500 page "pocket" dictionaries are not recommended for the purposes of this course. NOTE: In addition, the following dictionaries are not recommended: Cassell's French & English Dictionary (any edition); Larousse Student Dictionary: French-English/English-French/ Merriam-Webster's French-English Dictionary (any edition); Webster's French-English Dictionary; Webster's New World French Dictionary: French/English English/French. Larger 1200-2000 page dictionaries like the Larousse College Dictionary: French-English/English-French, the Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary or the Collins-Robert Unabridged French-English English-French Dictionary are appropriate for third- and fourth-year French courses, but for almost all students are too cumbersome and difficult to use in the second year. This is also true for dictionaries that are completely in French, with the exception of the Le Robert Micro 2008: Dictionnaire d'apprentissage de la langue française (2008) or its earlier editions, for example Le Robert Micro: Dictionnaire de la langue française, édition poche. — FURTHER NOTES: Fournier's Le mot et l'idée is not only a list of words but an interesting portrait of traditional French culture that reflects many of the prejudices of conventional bourgeois society of a generation ago. Like many other volumes of its vintage, it is designed not only to teach language but to reinforce the values of the prevailing power structure. — While working with vocabulary, try typing the French word you're studying into the Google images search page. The results are often instructive and/or amusing!
  • Group presentations. In the last half of the course, you'll be work others on a creative group presentation project based on Simenon's L'affaire Saint-Fiacre, to be performed or presented in class on Wed., Dec. 9.
  • Comprehensive tests. There will be a mid-term exam on Oct. 21 covering chapters 7-9 in Barson, the sections covered in Fournier I-XV, Camus's Le malentendu, a short story by Maupassant, and Scola's film La nuit de Varennes, which will determine 10% of your grade. A final exam on Dec. 16 will determine 20% of your final grade.

NOTE: PLU's expectation is that students will not cheat or plagiarize, and that they will not condone these behaviors or assist others who plagiarize. In work in a foreign language, this includes the use of machine (i.e. computer) translation. Academic misconduct jeopardizes the career of the individual student involved, and also undermines the scholastic achievements of all PLU students in the sense that it attacks the mission of this institution. It should go without saying that students are responsible for doing their own work, thereby insuring the integrity of their academic records. In addition, civil conversation is central to the university's academic enterprise and guided by faculty expertise. [The university] is committed to protecting the rights of community members to engage in dialogue and express ideas in an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination, and exploitation. This freedom of expression does not, however, entail the freedom to threaten, stalk, intimidate, harass, or abuse. Students are therefore expected to treat every individual with respect and civility. (Student Code of Conduct, p. 12) An additional note: If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible. If you have questions concerning the services available for students with disabilities at PLU, please contact the Office of Disability Support Services, x7206.


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