We cover essential grammar and vocabulary that are especially useful for students preparing for the French graduate-level reading knowledge exam. Upon completion, you'll be able to translate French readings in many fields of study. Textbook required, available from various vendors.
While no prior knowledge of the language is required, familiarity with common grammar terminology in English is highly recommended. Basic to high-intermediate French speakers can use the course to review essential grammar, build vocabulary and increase accuracy in translation. The higher level French you have, the more you will gain from this course.
This course is open to all. You do not have to be a UW–Madison student to register. The graduate student fee is applicable to graduate students from any institution.
Note: You will not be able to view the course on your Canvas Dashboard or access the materials until the course start date.
How the course works
There are no video lectures or synchronous class meetings; the course material is text-based. On Wednesdays, new units will be posted. Most units are divided into two main parts: the study assignment (textbook) and the written assignment (selected translation practice). Several units also have quizzes and/or practice exercises for reinforcement. You will work at your own pace on the week's textbook assignments, quizzes and translations. These will be due on Monday of the following week. Your instructor will give you feedback before the new unit(s) are posted the following Wednesday.
This course will give you systematic approaches to analyzing French text and the tools with 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 Celia Brickman's A Short Course in Reading French, 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.
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
- Brickman, Celia. A Short Course in Reading French, 2012
- 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
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 these statements do not accurately describe you, please consider taking a face-to-face class.
Earn Continuing Education Hours
By participating in this class you will earn:
|University of Wisconsin Continuing Education Units||3|
$475; Graduate students $375
Aug. 30–Dec. 13
All participants must be registered by Sept. 6, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. CT
Register through: September 06, 2023
All times shown in central time.
- Cancel before the course opens: receive a full refund minus a $25 administrative fee.
- Cancel up to 4 business days after the course opens, receive an 80% refund minus a $25 administrative fee. No refunds after 4 business days.