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World Languages and Cultures

College of Arts and Humanities

French

French is Central!

Everything you need to know about the French Program at Central Washington University!

Welcome to French Studies at CWU! 

We offer both a Major and a Minor in small student-centered classes. Our program offers French language classes and coursework on French and francophone cultures, arts, and society in both French and English. We collaborate with other departments to bring students courses on the literatures, musical traditions, histories, linguistics, and politics of the French-speaking world. 

Why Study French?     

Not sure which course to register in?      

The French Studies B.A. and the French Minor

French Resources at CWU

WHY STUDY FRENCH? 

A map created by the OIF showing official status of the French language throughout the world

 

A world language

More than 300 million people speak French on the five continents. The OIF, an international organization of French-speaking countries, comprises 88 member States and governments. French is the second most widely learned foreign language after English, and the fifth most widely spoken language in the world.

French is also the only language, alongside English, that is taught in every country in the world. France operates the biggest international network of cultural institutes, which run French-language courses for close to a million learners.

 

A language for the international job market

The ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. A knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world. As one of the world’s largest economies and a leading destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner. Hospitality and tourism (Accor), dairy products (Danone), tires and automotive (Michelin), aviation (Dassault Aviation), cosmetics (Sephora, L’Oréal), fashion (Vuitton, Chanel), champagne (Veuve Cliquot, Moët & Chandon), wine, chocolate, and other luxury food exports, are just some of the industries where France occupies a major share of the global market.

A 2019 chart showing the highest valued luxury brands in the globe; France leads in the global luxury brands market

 

The language of culture

French is the international language of cooking, fashion, theatre, the visual arts, comics, dance, and architecture. A knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature in the original French, as well as films and songs. French is the language of Victor Hugo, Molière, Léopold Sendar Senghor, Edith Piaf, Jean-Paul Sartre, MC Solaar, Alain Delon, Baloji, and Zinedine Zidane!

A still from Congolese-Belgian musician and video artist Baloji's film Zombies, a commentary on today's digital culture.

 

A language for travel

France is the world’s top tourist destination and attracts more than 87 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes it so much more enjoyable to visit Paris and all the regions of France, and offers insights into France’s culture and way of life. French also comes in handy when travelling to French-speaking parts of the world including Tahiti, Madagascar, Haiti, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Quebec, or the Seychelles, among many other places.

Attendees of the Fourteenth Summit of the World Francophone Organization in Kinshasa, 2012

 

A language for higher education

Speaking French opens up opportunities to study at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world.

This building houses the Institut de Français at CWU's exchange partner, l'Université d'Orléans

 

The other language of international relations

French is both a working language and an official language of the United Nations, the European Union, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.

A chart illustrating the various sub-organizations of the United Nations, all of which use French as a daily working language

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Not sure which course to register in?

If you have not studied any French previously, start with the first course in the first-year sequence French 151, offered in the Fall quarter. If you took French in high school or in another educational setting, you will need to take the French Placement Test. If you grew up exposed to the French language and are unsure which course would be right for you, contact the French Advisor and Program Coordinator to schedule an advising appointment.

First-Year French Sequence 

The first-year French sequence counts towards the Foreign Language Graduation Requirement: CWUP 5-90-050 (3H) Graduation Requirements. You are required to take the First-Year French Sequence if you have no previous knowledge of French. 

Fall quarter – FR 151: First-Year French I (5 cr.)

Winter quarter – FR 152: First-Year French II (5 cr.)

Spring quarter – FR 153: First-Year French III (5 cr.) 

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The French Studies B.A. and the French Minor

First and second-year French language courses are offered in sequence. You can take French Studies cultural studies electives at any time during your studies. All French language and culture courses offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures are open source and do not require textbook purchase.

B.A. in French Studies

Required Courses (32 credits)

French Cultural Studies (5 credits)

Select one from the following:

FR 200 – Introduction to French Culture (5 credits)

FR 201 – Appreciation of French Cuisine (5 credits)

WLC 311 – Popular Cultures of the World (5 credits)

Second-Year French (15 credits)

Fall quarter

FR 251 – Second-year French (5 credits)

Winter quarter

FR 252 – Second-year French (5 credits)

Spring quarter

FR 253 – Second-year French (5 credits)

French Civilization (5 credits)

Select one from the following:

FR 351 – French Civilization I: Institutions and Revolutions (5 credits)

FR 352 – French Civilization II: Communities, Beliefs, and Identities (5 credits)

The French-Speaking World (5 credits)

Select one from the following:

FR 361 – Francophone World I: Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean (5 credits)

FR 362 – Francophone World II: North America, Southeast Asia, Pacific Region (5 credits)

Culminating Experience (2 credits)

WLC 487 – Culminating Experience (2 credits)

Department-Approved Electives (22 credits)

Students may also complete the elective requirement with one semester of intensive French language study at our exchange partner the Institut de Français, l’Université d’Orléans.

Select 22 credits of coursework from the following:

FR 200 – Introduction to French Culture (5 credits)

FR 201 – Appreciation of French Cuisine (5 credits)

WLC 243 – Target Language Discussion Section (1 credit)

WLC 311 – Popular Cultures of the World (5 credits)

FR 351 – French Civilization I: Institutions and Revolutions (5 credits)

FR 352 – French Civilization II: Communities, Beliefs, and Identities (5 credits)

FR 361 – Francophone World I: Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean (5 credits)

FR 362 – Francophone World II: North America, Southeast Asia, Pacific Region (5 credits)

WLC 250 – Language and Power (5 credits)

WLC 341 – Spells of Enchantment: Re-interpreting the Fairy Tale (5 credits)

WLC 427 – Cross-Cultural Competence in a Globalized World (5 credits)

WL 483 – Sociolinguistics (4 credits)

French Minor

Required Courses (15 credits)

Second-Year French (15 credits)

Fall quarter

FR 251 – Second-year French (5 credits)

Winter quarter

FR 252 – Second-year French (5 credits)

Spring quarter

FR 253 – Second-year French (5 credits)

Department-Approved Electives (12 credits)

Students may also complete 10 credits of the elective requirement in the July one-month intensive French language study and home stay at our exchange partner the Institut de Français, l’Université d’Orléans. 

Select 12 credits of coursework from the following:

FR 200 – Introduction to French Culture (5 credits)

FR 201 – Appreciation of French Cuisine (5 credits)

WLC 243 – Target Language Discussion Section (1 credit)

WLC 311 – Popular Cultures of the World (5 credits)

FR 351 – French Civilization I: Institutions and Revolutions (5 credits)

FR 352 – French Civilization II: Communities, Beliefs, and Identities (5 credits)

FR 361 – Francophone World I: Africa, Caribbean, Indian Ocean (5 credits)

FR 362 – Francophone World II: North America, Southeast Asia, Pacific Region (5 credits)

WLC 250 – Language and Power (5 credits)

WLC 341 – Spells of Enchantment: Re-interpreting the Fairy Tale (5 credits)

WLC 427 – Cross-Cultural Competence in a Globalized World (5 credits)

WL 483 – Sociolinguistics (4 credits)

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French Resources at CWU

French Resource Center

The French Resource Center is staffed with advanced language students from our program. The Resource Center is open several days a week and provides free tutoring, help with homework, conversation practice and much more! Now available virtually on Zoom. Contact the French Advisor for more information. 


French Club

The French Club is a student-led organization that meets every week and organizes a variety of French-centric extra-curricular activities, and fun events on campus. In past years French Club events have included crêpe tastings, cooking lessons, homework group, French movie nights, field trips, and more! To join your French peer community on campus, contact the French Advisor for more information.  

Dr. Johnson discussing regional identity and cuisine at a French Food Tasting 


Study Abroad Opportunities

Our students have many opportunities to study in the French-speaking world. Go for a year, a semester, a short summer session, or spring break! 

Most of our students opt for our exchange partner the Institut de Français, l’Université d’Orléans, which offers year-long, semester-long, and one-month summer intensive French language study programs. French Studies students can also study in Cannes, Grenoble, Paris, Caen, Lyon, Pau, Brussels, Dakar, Yaoundé, and Quebec City, among other places, through our affiliated providers AIFS, API, USAC, ISEP, and SIT.

Study Abroad Scholarships from CWU are available. Find more information on study abroad at the Office of International Studies and Programs. Contact the French Advisor for more information. 

French Minor, Caroline Potts, and French Major, Carmen Taylor-Uding heading to their French class at the Institut de Français, l'Université d'Orléans 

 

Check out this 2019 promotional video for summer intensive French at l'Université d'Orléans 

 

Questions? Want to declare a Major or a Minor? Contactez-nous!

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