French at Alma College
Beginning and Intermediate French emphasize the acquisition of
language skills within the cultural frameworks of France and
Francophone regions of Africa and North America.
These courses prepare students for upper-level topics in:
• Current issues
• Art history
All courses are designed to help students become fully engaged in their learning. For example, students enrolled in French Civilization II perform research on French Revolutionary figures, adopt their personas, and then challenge each other in debates called the “The Beheaded Return.”
Film students are asked to explore not only cultural themes in French film but also to identify how directors convey this information through camera use, lighting, color, and other artistic devices.
Courses that investigate the influence of French colonialism through the mid-20th century also ask students to identify and examine the reach of imperialist powers today.
Highlights and Distinctions of the French Program
Double-majors and overseas study: Many French majors and minors pursue coursework or double majors in Political Science, Business, Economics, and Communication. Since the Department of Modern Languages requires majors to spend a semester of study abroad, several study abroad programs in France and Senegal match the broad interests of Alma's French language students.
Off-campus May terms: Faculty in Modern Languages offer a variety of off-campus courses in May, when students may take one course intensively. Recent courses for French students include courses in Paris and Quebec, Canada.
Student Fulbright Scholars: Due to the powerful combination of French with Political Science, Biology and History, three recently graduated French majors and minors have received Fulbright scholarships to study after graduation in Jamaica, Benin, and Belgium.
Instructional Assistants of French: Every year we invite a graduate student from France or another Francophone nation to campus. These young instructors teach classes, preside over the French language tables, and they host cultural activities on a regular basis.
Student Employment: Limited employment opportunities exist for students of French. Two or three Student Assistant Teachers, usually upper-level students trained in our methodology, are hired each semester to work intensively in directed study with Beginning French students. Assistant teachers also make themselves available for tutoring. These positions are excellent not only for students who seek teacher certification but for all students who seek leadership roles on campus.