French for Reading Knowledge

Open to all students who want to study French for reading knowledge and translation. We cover essential grammar and vocabulary to provide knowledge that is especially useful for students preparing for the French graduate-level reading knowledge exam. Upon completion, you will be able to translate French readings in many fields of study. The graduate student fee is applicable to graduate students from any institution.

This course is open to all. You do not have to be a UW-Madison student to register.

At a glance

What: French for Reading Knowledge

When: Jan 3-May 16

Where: Online

Cost: $380 | Graduate student fee, $280

Continuing education credit: 30 hours (3.0 CEUs)


Register Online
or register by phone at

For additional information, contact SAGE GOELLNER:

Is this course right for you?

If you answer "yes" to the following questions, you are a good candidate for our online French for Reading Knowledge course:

  • I am a skilled reader who is at ease with written instructions and lessons.
  • I am a self-directed learner, with the initiative to visit a course site regularly.
  • I am comfortable participating in a course in writing.
  • I can continue learning independently while waiting for feedback on assignments.
  • I am organized and able to meet deadlines.
  • I enjoy working on a computer.
  • I have 5 to 12 hours weekly that I can devote to this online course.

If many of your answers were not in the affirmative, please consider taking a face-to-face class.

Course Overview

It will give you systematic approaches to analyzing French text and will give you the tools on which you can expand your understanding. Using texts from various disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, you learn the fundamentals of French grammar, how to use a dictionary, and how to decipher the meaning of a text. You will learn how knowing certain grammar points, knowing how sentence structures work, and knowing essential vocabulary words will give you the keys to understanding French.

Using Sandberg’s popular textbook French for Reading Knowledge, the course will introduce scholars with no background in French to important grammatical concepts, reading strategies, and important vocabulary for scholarly reading.

With the aim of preserving the essence and integrity of the original text, you will become proficient at understanding, critically analyzing, and accurately translating from French to English.

No prior knowledge of French is required.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Read and understand, with the help of a dictionary, scholarly texts pertinent to their field of research.
  • Identify fundamental French grammatical structures and syntax.
  • Recognize essential French vocabulary words.
  • Increase confidence in translation abilities.

This course is offered as self-study with one-on-one work with instructor in 17 units, with helpful self-assessed quizzes and activities. Course materials are provided in Learn@UW course site; students will communicate with the instructor by email and submit their completed assignments for feedback via the course dropbox.

Required reading

  • Karl C. Sandberg, Eddison C Tatham. French for Reading. Prentice Hall, 1968
  • French/English dictionary

Recommended text and study aids

  • Morton, Jacqueline. English Grammar for Students of French. Olivia and Hill, 2002
  • A notebook for vocabulary lists
  • Flashcards