Independent Learning: French

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Academic Administrative Team at DCS: Sarah Korpi, David Werther: il@dcs.wisc.edu

Student Services: 1-877-895-3276

Tech Support: 1-877-724-7883

Online Writing Lab: owl.wisconsin.edu

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French Courses

Bienvenue! Our distance learning programs in French offer you the flexibility and convenience of learning a language at “your pace, your place” from experienced, highly qualified, and caring instructors.

Whether you are looking for a beginning French course or advanced French Literature study, our distance education courses can fulfill your needs. Classes are available by correspondence or online. These include first-year, second-year, intermediate, and advanced French classes.

We are the only provider of advanced, college-credit, distance learning courses in French at your own pace.


First Year Level:

First Semester French (Online, 4 Credits)

Learn the official language of more than 30 countries, a primary or principal second language on each of the 5 major continents and an official language of the European Union.

Designed for the true beginner, this course starts with greetings and progresses step-by-step through the fundamentals of French pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar so that, by the end of the course, students can use French to describe their school activities, family, hobby and interests, favorite sport, dining, a trip, a holiday party. And, introduces cultural components of France and the Francophone world including information about the café culture, le bec, le carnaval, and the city of Paris.

Uses e-book and online materials, making this course more affordable than traditional courses with print textbooks. Students who go on to take Second Semester French will not need any additional course materials.

Second Semester French (Online, 4 Credits)

Expand your knowledge of the official language of more than 30 countries, a primary or principal second language on each of the 5 major continents and an official language of the European Union.

Continues the fundamentals of French pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar so that, by the end of the course, students can use French to describe their dream home, health, use of technology, favorite restaurant, an environmental issue and their future. And, introduces cultural components of France and the Francophone world, including information about French pharmacies and the national French healthcare system, the evolution of French towns and cities and the ecological movement in France.

Uses e-book and online materials, making this course more affordable than traditional courses with print textbooks.


Second Year Level:

Third Semester French (Online, 4 Credits)

Learn about cultural components of France and the Francophone world, including information about familial relationships, employment and healthcare.

Provides a thorough review of French grammar and facilitates confident communication at the Intermediate Low Proficiency level and a transition to communicating at the Intermediate Mid Proficiency level on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale.

Makes use of audio and visual material, a variety of readings for continued development of listening, speaking and writing skills. And, includes three Skype interviews with the instructor: a typical conversation or debate on a topic of interest, a true personal story, an informative and persuasive speech.

Uses e-book and online materials, making this course more affordable than traditional courses with print textbooks. Students who go on to take Fourth Semester French will not need any additional course materials.

Fourth Semester French (Online, 4 Credits)

Expand your knowledge of France and the Francophone world, including information about cuisine, media, cinema, lifestyles, vacation and travel.

Provides a thorough review of French grammar and makes use of audio and visual material, and a variety of readings for continued development of listening, speaking and writing skills.  Includes three Skype interviews with the instructor.

Uses e-book and online materials, making this course more affordable than traditional courses with print textbooks.


Intermediate / Third Year Level:

Intermediate French Language and Culture (Online, 3 Credits)

Take the next step in French language studies.

Designed specifically for students who have successfully completed the equivalent of two years of college French or four years of high school French.

Teaches written skills in French by using key vocabulary and expressions in compositions and reviewing essential grammatical skills. Also develops cultural knowledge of France through short literary and cultural selections.

Introduction to French Literary Analysis (Online, 4 Credits)

Learn the tips and tricks of solid close readings with a special emphasis on improving your French language skills.

Introduces the literary movements of the 17th and 18th centuries through in-depth study of works by La Fontaine, Racine, Moliere, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, Rousseau, and others.  Examines the stylistic/literary methods used by authors to convey meaning, and links their works with French culture, history, society and civilization.

Business French (Online, 3 Credits)

Navigate the business, infrastructure, economic and educational world in a French and francophone context at a proficient level.

Facilitates the development of specialized terminology for the French-speaking workplace and a working understanding of the French economy (including banking, insurance, the stock market and transportation). In the thirteen assignments (no comprehensive exam) students demonstrate their command of the French language skills needed to understand and communicate in writing about topics relating to professional activities.

Introduction a la Civilisation Francaise (Online, 3 Credits)

Investigate French history and culture: political and social events, constitutional developments, economic changes, religious conflicts, intellectual history and literary developments

Presents a comprehensive survey of French Civilzation from 70 BC to 1800 AD: the Gauls, the Romans, the Wars of Religion, the Renaissance and the French Revolution. Covers rulers such as Clovis, Charlemagne, Louis XIV, and Napoleon. Includes 11 assignments and 2 exams, with most of the course work completed in French.

Offers students the option of completing all course work in French.


Advanced / Fourth Year Level and Above:

Modern African Prose and Poetry in French (Online, 3 Credits)

Explore great works from the corpus of Francophone African literature, literature africaine d’expression francaise

Includes five units: 1) the compelling poetry of two founders of the negritude [black] movement: Aime Cesaire and Leopold Senghor; 2) Birago Diop’s recreations of traditional oral tales, Les Contes d’Amadou Koumba; 3)  two novels by second-generation twentieth-century African intellectuals:  Ousmane Sembene’s   Les Bouts de bois de Dieu and Cheikh Hamidou Kane’s L’Aventure ambigue; 4) Miriama Ba’s  novel, Une si longue Lettre, marking the emergence of the voice of women in Francophone African literature in the late 1970s; 5) poetry illustrative of new trends and voices in literature africaine d’expression francaise.


French Team

Sage Goellner

Lindsey Smith

Jackie Mauer

Sandrine Pell


Choose the right course: With a language, it is sometimes a challenge to determine which course is right for you. Please contact Sarah Korpi or David Werther for help in selecting your course. In some cases, we will ask you for a writing sample for correct placement.