We believe that direct contact and experience with the French-speaking world in and beyond the classroom are inseparable from these goals and we encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities afforded them for study in French-speaking countries.
- Students, both majors and nonmajors, should use French actively in all courses throughout the sequence, and language skills will be assessed at all levels.
- Students should be able to study in different fields and disciplines using French.
- Students should have the opportunity to study in a French-language culture. Majors are expected to study abroad, preferably for a full year. A student’s academic program should include coursework at one of the country’s postsecondary academic institutions. We expect all students abroad to make a serious attempt to improve their linguistic and cultural skills.
- Majors should pursue a balanced and coherent program of study among language, literature, and culture, and between the historical and the contemporary.
- Majors should form some acquaintance with Francophone literatures and cultures.
- Majors should graduate with active competence in French.
- Senior work should involve independent research, reading, and reflection in the context of a senior seminar or independent project.
Upon completion of a French major at Middlebury College, students will have been assessed and will be able to do the following:
- Actively engage in conversations and discussions with native speakers of French, ranging in complexity from sophisticated everyday conversations to a basic familiarity with abstract intellectual discourse;
- Read and critically analyze authentic texts and materials from all areas of French and Francophone studies;
- Produce written documents of sufficient consistent and reasonable clarity to be readily intelligible to an educated outside reader;
- Do independent research, write analytical research papers, produce a written research project and/or thesis;
- Upon the completion of the basic language sequence plus two upper-200-level courses (chosen from 210, 221, or 230, or equivalent), attend and complete successfully courses within the regular academic curriculum of French universities (Paris, Bordeaux, Poitiers) via the C.V. Starr-Middlebury School in France or via preapproved non-Middlebury French or Francophone programs abroad.