French, the official language of the European courts in earlier times, is spoken today in almost all the continents of the world – Europe, North and West Africa, the Caribbean, North and South America and Asia. French is still one of the two official languages of the United Nations and its ancillary organizations. Studying the French language truly makes one a citizen of the world.
Manhattanville College encourages the study of the French language. French course offerings aim to develop the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking within the classroom and outside the classroom through co-curricular activities. Students can major or minor in French, or just take French to improve or brush up on their language skills. Students can choose from courses in the language, literature and culture of France and the French-speaking world. They can make themselves particularly marketable by combining their study of French with other disciplines such as Art History, Communication and Media, Film Studies, History, International Management, International Studies and Music.
A major in French helps prepare students for a career in a number of professions including higher education, translation, interpretation, law, international relations, the Foreign Service, non-profit organizations, international organizations and banking and finance.
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The French Department currently has an exchange program with the University Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, located in Montpellier, France. Interested students should consult as early as possible with the Coordinator for French and with the Study Abroad advisor.
Student Learning Goals for French Majors
1. Students must demonstrate the ability to read, write, listen, and speak at the advanced level according to American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Proficiency Guidelines.
2. Students must develop conversational skills in everyday and specialized contexts and integrate the development of advanced conversational language skills with literature and culture.
3. Students must be able to write interpretive and expository essays, and/or develop creative work related to the French-speaking world and its history, recognizing key periods, genres, modes and techniques in the literature of the French-speaking world.
4. Students must describe, contextualize, and interpret French texts, films, and cultural and historical documents in written and oral reports developing critical thinking skills by establishing connections between literary works and/or films and their cultural/historical traditions.
5. Students must be able to write interpretive and expository essays on literary texts, films and their aesthetic, cultural and historical contexts, as well as interpret and explain the texts of one major literary movement, historical period in French cinema, or cultural period.
6. Students must demonstrate information literacy skills with the Internet and other multimedia in French.