Course Syllabus

Français 101
Printemps 2016
MWF 8h00 et 9h00
Professeur Anneliese Pollock Renck
Tél: 570-577-1677
Bureau: 170 Coleman
Heures de permanence: Lundi (Monday) 10h00-12h00 et Jeudi (Thursday) 11h00-12h00

Teaching Assistant: Mary Elizabeth Colton
Teaching Assistant Office hours:

Course Description: The first-year French program (French 101-102) is designed to help students develop the ability to communicate in spoken and written French. Over the course of the first year, you will develop proficiency in the four basic communicative skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing in French, and also gain basic cultural competence in French and Francophone cultures of the world.

Course Objectives: By the end of the first year, you will have been presented

  • The basics of French grammar (French and Francophone Studies Program Learning Outcome 1)
  • A solid, basic working vocabulary (LO 1)
  • Information on French and Francophone culture (LO 3)

You should be able to

  • Speak in French on familiar topics and express your basic day-to-day needs in a French-speaking country (LO 1; LO 3)
  • Read, understand, and discuss texts on a familiar topic (LO 1; LO 4)
  • Write on familiar topics in simple, correct French (LO 1; LO 4)
  • Understand basic spoken French on familiar topics, using context to determine the meaning (LO 1)
  • Reflect upon basic cultural differences in a variety of French and Francophone contexts (LO 3)

Required texts:

  • Wong, Weber-Fève, Ousselin, Vanpatten, Liaisons, enhanced first edition (2013/2015) ISBN 978-1-30512609-1
  • iLrn™: Heinle Learning Center (electronic version) ISBN 978-1-111-82926-1 or 978-1-111-82925-4

Grading: Your final course grade will be computed according to the following percentages

Writing Assignments (3) : 10%
Content Checks and Participation : 10%
iLrn Homework : 10%
Chapter Quizzes : 30%
Final Exam : 25%
Video Project : 10%
Cultural Journal: 5%

Writing Assignments: I will assign short writing assignments of one to two pages. These compositions allow you to practice your French writing skills in a personalized, more creative format. They will also serve as preparation for segments of your video project. When writing, keep in mind the basics of good writing that you have learned in your other writing courses. You need a main idea and a solid organizational structure with an introduction, middle, and conclusion. Each paragraph should have only one idea, which you develop. Before writing, you may want to outline your ideas. After writing your composition, double-check it for grammar and spelling. Because revision is a vital component of the writing process, you will often receive two grades on a composition, one for a first draft and one for a final, more polished version of the paper after the professor, your teaching assistant, and (only when authorized by your professor) your peers have provided you with feedback and suggested emendations.

Daily Content Checks and Class Participation: Each day, you will be given a written or oral assignment, group activity or exercise that will require you to demonstrate mastery of the previous day’s lessons or readings. These are not meant to be difficult but merely to verify that you have studied the assigned content and practiced it on your own through iLrn assignments, textbook reading, partner work, or memorization of key vocabulary. Learning a language is a cumulative process. If you miss even one day, or did not understand one lesson, you can quickly fall dramatically behind. These content checks are also a way to practice the skills you are learning through writing. When you write something down, you are often more likely to remember it later on, and to know how to use it in a real-life situation. Try not to think of each of these exercises as intimidating or stressful. Some will be very easy; some will be more difficult. Because there are so many content checks (one per day), no one exercise will significantly affect your grade. However, a trend of failing these activities will certainly have a negative impact on your overall performance in the course and, more importantly, will be reflective of your overall comprehension and mastery of the French language. On rare occasions, a content check will not be given during a class period, and I will simply evaluate your participation during that day’s course. Grading on this assignment is as follows: check plus (100%); check (85%); check minus (70%); N/C (not completed, 0%).

Chapter Quizzes and Final Exam: Because your ability to express yourself is so dependent on your knowledge of vocabulary, grammatical structures and cultural knowledge, a quiz will be administered at the end of each chapter in the textbook. These examens are not meant to be overly difficult. You should do well if you have been actively studying the material and practicing it at home. In the case of illnesses, missed quizzes may be made up within one week of the day the quiz was administered in class. In the case of all other circumstances (athletic events, family obligations), you must notify me at least one week in advance of the scheduled quiz date in order to make alternate arrangements.

The final will be comprehensive and take place on the university-assigned final exam date. For this course, the final exam will be held on Tuesday May 10th from 8-11a.m. (for the 8a.m. section) and on Wednesday May 4th from 11:45-2:45 (for the 9a.m. section). If you anticipate a conflict, speak with me as early as possible. Unless requested by a Dean and arranged with me at least two weeks in advance of the final, you are required to take the final exam during the regularly scheduled exam period.

The Video Project: Throughout the semester, you will be working with a partner to create a short (3-5 minutes) video. Goals for this project are threefold. First, the project will introduce you to the basic digital skills involved in making a video using the proper equipment and video editing software. This will prepare you for further courses here at Bucknell, whether in French or in another discipline. Second, the project will force you and your partner focus in on your French pronunciation by, quite literally, watching it grow and improve over the course of the semester. Third and finally, the production of this video will provide you with a concrete and lasting souvenir (literally, French for “memory”) of the foreign language skills you will have learned by the end of the semester.

Attendance: In order to master a foreign language, it is imperative to constantly practice—to speak it, write it, and read it every day. For this reason, regular attendance and active class participation are absolutely crucial for all scheduled classes. This class meets four times per week. Your professor will conduct the class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8a.m. or at 11a.m. On Tuesdays, the teaching assistant will lead the Recitation with activities and revisions of the material covered. You will need to double-check your registration to see if you are enrolled in the Tuesday Recitation from 11-11:52 or from 4-4:52. Because you are fully independent and capable adults, you will not be penalized solely on the basis of missed classes. Do note, however, that your grade will greatly suffer in a variety of ways if you do not attend class: you will receive 0% on the daily content checks; you will receive poor grades on the oral exams, because you will not have been practicing your speaking skills in class; you will not be allowed to make up any missed exams without an acceptable excuse (illness or family emergency); because I do not accept compositions or other assignments via email, your grade for these will be reduced after you turn them in late.

Homework: According to University policy, students should spend a total of 12 hours per week on each course. In the case of French 101, that means you will spend four hours in class each week, and should expect to spend eight hours at home per week. I will assign a good amount of homework assignments online through iLrn in addition to activities from the textbook or other sources. This is not meant to be busy work, but to give you guided activities through which you may practice the day’s lessons. Although in-class vocabulary and grammar explanations will be offered, it is your own responsibility to go over the new vocabulary and grammar explanations before coming to class and to constantly review all the material covered in class by doing the assigned readings, iLrn activities, and textbook exercises. The iLrn activities will be assigned electronically, and it is your responsibility to check iLrn at least every two days, as I will not remind you to do each activity before the scheduled due date. There is no “make-up” homework: if you don’t do the homework before coming to class each day, you will not be prepared to participate in class and will also likely fail the day’s content check. It is therefore very important to do all of your assignments on time, and as accurately as possible.

The Cultural Journal: On the last day of class, you will be required to turn in a “Cultural Journal” that includes at least eight short writing assignments on topics of your choice in English. I will not give you any formal guidance for this, except to say that

  • each of these eight writing assignments should be at least one page long (double spaced), and should deal with something to do with French or francophone language, culture, history, or politics
  • at least three of these assignments should be linked to an event on campus sponsored by the French and Francophone Studies Program

Some examples of things that would count might be:

  • a write-up about a French movie you watched
  • a “research paper” on a French or francophone city you have visited or would like to visit
  • a “research paper” about a French or francophone relative
  • a write-up about an event you attended sponsored by the French and Francophone Studies Program
  • a review of a French restaurant you ate at, a meal you ate, or a dish you prepared

While I leave it up to you to choose what to write about and how, I will offer suggestions throughout the course of the semester.

A note on late assignments: I do not accept compositions via email, no exceptions. If you are unable to turn in a composition on time, for whatever reason, I will accept it late. However, I will automatically reduce your grade by a letter grade for each day that the composition is late. A composition that would normally have received an A, for example, would receive an A- if turned in a day late, a B+ turned in two days late, etc.

A note on email: In today’s technological environment, it is much easier to send off a quick email from our iPhones than it is to stop by a professor’s office. I know. But this approach deprives you of one of the fundamental advantages of a Bucknell education: a sustained and privileged contact with your professors. It also fundamentally de-values my time by assuming that I am available 24/7 to respond to these emails. With these two things in mind, I am instituting the following policy this semester: I will only respond to emails requesting a meeting with me. This policy will force you to come to my office hours, or to schedule a meeting with me, for even the simplest of questions. But this is how things used to be done, and for good reason: because attending my office hours, or meeting with me one-on-one, allows us to get to know each other a little better, and what often started out with a simple question about the homework can grow into a more meaningful interaction. What about emergencies, you ask? This policy creates a side benefit for you: if you have an emergency situation, the last thing you want to be doing is emailing your professor about it anyway, so you may now focus on the situation at hand, and schedule a meeting with me after you have dealt with your emergency situation. I will not penalize you for this approach, but rather, I believe we will both benefit from the ability to discuss what you have missed and how to proceed in the course after you have had time to regroup from whatever events have transpired in your life.

A note on English in the classroom: Only French will be spoken in class. This is not to be overly strict, or to make things more difficult, but because learning a language takes time speaking and listening in the actual language. You have a total of four hours each week in which to do this. Four hours is not a lot; in fact, it is far from enough. Every minute you spend speaking in English is a minute you lost from those four hours of speaking practice you should be taking full advantage of each week. Try to approach each class period as a time for you to practice speaking and listening. If you don’t understand something we’re going over in class, that’s okay, because you can read the book or see me or your teaching assistant (after class, during office hours, or send me an email to set up an appointment) to seek further clarification.

Academic Responsibility: Bucknell University defines its standards for academic honesty as follows: “students are responsible to the academic community for the preparation and presentation of work representing their own individual efforts. Acceptance of this responsibility is essential to the educational process and must be considered as an expression of mutual trust, the foundation upon which creative scholarship rests. Students are directed to use great care when preparing all written work and to acknowledge fully the source of all ideas and language other than their own.” As your professor, I will fully uphold the above standard of academic honesty and the institutional process that deals with violations of these principles at Bucknell. Please note that the use of English-French translation software (i.e., Google Translate) will be treated as a form of academic cheating. Also, it will be considered a form of cheating in this class if a third party (a relative, a friend in another French class) whose level of language ability is higher than yours corrects your written work or translates it from English into French. If I find that you have used translation software in formal assignments (compositions primarily), I will report you to your dean, who will schedule a hearing with the Academic Misconduct Board. The result of these proceedings may be expulsion from the course. Should you have any doubts, questions or concerns related to academic responsibility, please come speak to me. This way, we can avoid any misunderstanding. For more information, visit

A Note on Email: I respond to emails within 24 hours. Thus, if you have an urgent or time-sensitive question, please see me during my office hours.

Special Accommodations: If you have a documented disability and need accommodations or have questions, please contact Heather Fowler, Director of the Office of Accessibility Resources at 570-577-1188 or Bucknell is committed to providing a working and learning environment that reasonably accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. For more information, visit Do understand that I put this statement in my syllabus to alert you of the procedures to be followed here at Bucknell, and to protect your confidentiality. You are welcome to contact me as well to discuss what I can do to help facilitate your learning and experiences in my course.

Suggestions for learning a language: Language learning should be an enriching experience that offers positive career enhancement possibilities and personal interest development. One of the most essential ingredients to success is simply to relax in class and enjoy the interaction with your teacher and fellow students, whom you will get to know well. In participating in class, don’t worry so much about making mistakes – it’s part of the learning process –, but do try to use the structures presented and to make maximum use of the vocabulary at your disposal. Circumlocution is an important part of the process. If you think you don’t have the grammar and vocabulary available, try to use what you do know. Here are a few pointers for success:

  • Study the day’s lesson carefully and prepare the oral exercises before class.
  • Keep up on your daily work.
  • Keep a notebook in good order, with a section for quizzes, homework, labs, and compositions.
  • Review material periodically.
  • If you don’t understand something, see me right away, either after class, in my office hours, or by appointment.

Bonne Chance!


French and Francophone Studies Program Learning Outcomes (LO)

Majors in our program will be able to:

  1. Speak, read, write, and understand French at an “Advanced-Low” level as defined by the proficiency criteria of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
  2. Demonstrate familiarity with the major Francophone writers from the Middle Ages through the Twenty-First Century, and with major trends in Francophone literatures and cultures.
  3. Demonstrate cultural competency in French-Francophone civilizations, including familiarity with attitudes, lifestyles, conceptions of society, social and political structures from historical, anthropological, and symbolic perspectives.
  4. Demonstrate competency in written and oral communication through the production of persuasive texts and presentations supported by structured arguments using appropriate forms of textual, cultural and visual analysis and evidence. Such texts and oral presentations will respect disciplinary norms for evidence and citation.
  5. Demonstrate research competency in French-Francophone literature and culture, including familiarity with major journals, critical approaches, academic research and methodology, current news from the target countries, bibliographical and other sources related to coursework, contemporary cultural sources, and interactive communicative sites.
  6. Demonstrate the ability to synthesize learning from within and outside French and Francophone studies in order to develop a global view of the discipline and how the knowledge and skills it promotes can be applied beyond Bucknell.