The Catholic University of America

Department of Modern Languages and Literatures

Fall 2007


French 203: Themes in Francophone Literature and Culture

3 credit hours


11:10-12:00 MWF, Pangborn 204



Dr. Peter Shoemaker

Associate Professor of French

210 McMahon Hall                            


Office Hours: MW, 2:00-3:00



Course Description:


French 203 provides a transition between the language requirement (101-104) and advanced courses (300+). We will focus on consolidating previously learned language skills through discussions of texts, films, and contemporary events, debates, writing workshops, and grammar review.



Instructional Methods:


This course implements a communicative approach to language teaching, including:

1) discussions of texts, films, contemporary events

2) class debates, games

3) group and pair activities

4) multimedia/internet resources

5) in-class and out-of class writing and listening comprehension

6) review of basic grammar and introduction of some advanced grammatical concepts

7) written exercises




Required Texts (at University Bookstore):


Furry and Jarausch. Bonne Continuation.

Furry and Jarausch. Bonne Continuation: Cahier d'Exercices.

            Bonne Continuation CD.

            +a good dictionary (such as the Harper-Collins-Robert)




French 203 and 204 are the bridge between CUA's language requirement (101-104) and advanced courses (300+). In these courses, we seek to develop high intermiate proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills.


Goals for Student Learning:


By the end of 204, you should be able to:

1) listen to interviews, short lectures, and news items/reports, picking up on the main ideas

2) engage in conversation on a variety of topics, with the ability to narrate (tell stories) and describe at some length

3) read medium-length, authentic texts in French

4) write cohesive summaries and résumés without making frequent basic errors


Course Requirements


Midterm and Final Exam:


These are cumulative and have been definitively scheduled for Monday, October 15 and Wednesday, December 12, 10:30-12:30, respectively


Vocab Quizzes: on the vocabulary for each chapter.


Oral Work:


This includes 3 debates, 1 oral interview, scheduled for the week of October 9-12, and an oral exposé (on a subject of your choice).




Compositions are graded on creativity, style, and grammatical/idiomatic accuracy.  For each composition, you will hand in two drafts.  Each will be graded and the final grade will be the average of the two. 


Listening Comprehension Exercises:


These exercises, designed to improve your understanding of spoken French, are to be completed at home with the CD that accompanies the textbook.  We will practice in class.




Unless otherwise specified, write out all of the exercises/questions corresponding to the assigned pages in both the workbook and the textbook. 'Þ"Questions de compéhension"' indicates that you should complete all the exercises on the relevant page up to and including the "Questions de compréhension."  The workbook exercises should be written in the workbook; all others should be written on a separate piece of paper.  Homework will be checked/collected periodically.


Expectations and Policies:


Academic honesty:Academic honesty is expected of all CUA students. Faculty are required to initiate the imposition of sanctions when they find violations of academic honesty, such as plagiarism, improper use of a student’s own work, cheating, and fabrication. 


The following sanctions are presented in the University procedures related to Student Academic Dishonesty (from


“The presumed sanction for undergraduate students for academic dishonesty will be failure for the course. There may be circumstances, however, where, perhaps because of an undergraduate student’s past record, a more serious sanction, such as suspension or expulsion, would be appropriate. In the context of graduate studies, the expectations for academic honesty are greater, and therefore the presumed sanction for dishonesty is likely to be more severe, e.g., expulsion. ...In the more unusual case, mitigating circumstances may exist that would warrant a lesser sanction than the presumed sanction.”


Please review the complete texts of the University policy and procedures regarding Student Academic Dishonesty, including requirements for appeals, at and








Writing in a Foreign Language with Integrity:


It is important to understand that when learning to compose in a foreign language, the same principles of academic honesty apply as when composing in English.  When you either intentionally or inadvertently use someone else’s writing or ideas without giving due credit, you have committed plagiarism.


Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is a serious offense.  Failure for the course is the normal sanction.  Repeat offenders are subject to expulsion from the University.


Academic dishonesty and plagiarism can take many forms when composing in a foreign language, including:


Ø    “Borrowing” ideas from other sources (books, articles, Internet, radio, TV, etc.) without giving due credit.

Ø    Using passages from these sources without enclosing them in quotation marks.

Ø    Having someone else, including a tutor, compose or correct an assignment for you.  A tutor can give you general guidance but should not rewrite an assignment.

Ø    Using electronic translators.


AWARENESS  IS  KEY.  An important rule to keep in mind is that if one thinks something might be plagiarism, it likely is.  If you have any questions, please consult with your instructor.


Remember that to write effectively in another language, you must familiarize yourself with both the formal structures and the vocabulary of the language as well as with the more familiar, or colloquial, aspects.  It is a process that requires considerable experimentation, drafting, and revision.  Writing in a foreign language is a craft and, as with any craft, improvement can only happen through practice.





In a course such as this, which stresses effective oral communication, regular and prompt attendance is necessarily MANDATORY and will be reflected in your final grade.


·      0-3 absences, no penalty (but may affect classwork grade).

·      above 3 absences, your final grade will drop 2 points per absence and the classwork/homework/quiz grades will also affected.  As a rule of thumb, it is numerically impossible to receive a C- after 13 (3+10) absences.


Though I appreciate knowing why you are absent, your explanation or doctor's notice does not allow the policy to be waived.  The 3-absence limit includes both excused absences for reasons of school-sponsored activities and any other absences due to illness, family emergencies, oversleeping, jobs, etc.  Exceptional cases of prolonged absences (more than one week beyond the initial 3 non-penalized absences) will be reviewed on an individual basis.  In such cases, you must provide an explanatory letter from the Dean of Student and make arrangement to make up any missed work.


Attendance also means being prepared for class.  If you miss a class, you are responsible for the material covered and must be prepared to participate effectively (ready to take quizzes, ready with homework assignments, etc.) in class the day you return.





Your instructor will try to respond to email queries within 24 hours during the working week. However, email should NOT be used to ask a question that another student can answer for you or that you can find on the course website (e.g., "I missed the last class: what did we cover?" or "What is the reading for the next class?"). An email list will be distributed in class.


Cell Phones:


Ringing cell-phones are disrespectful and distracting.  Please turn them off and put them away BEFORE class begins.  If your cell-phone rings during class or lab, you will be asked to leave and counted as absent.


Accommodations for Students with Disabilities:

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact Disability Support Services (at 202 319-5211, room 207 Pryzbyla Center) to coordinate reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. To read about the services and policies, please visit the website:  




Your Final Grade will be Calculated as Follows:


final exam (20%)

4 compositions (450-600 words) (4x5=20%)

3 debates (3x4=12%)

1 oral exposé (12%)

midterm (10%)

homework (10%)

4 listening comprehension assignments (4x2=8%)

4 vocab quizzes (4x2=8%)



Letter grades will be awarded according to the following scale:













What your grade means:


A         Exceptional work: goes well beyond the expectations of the course

B         Superior work: meets all expectations; exceeds expectations in some areas

C         Satisfactory work: indicates a basic understanding of the course material

D         Less than satisfactory work, barely passing

F          Failure


University Grades


The University grading system is available at:

(for undergraduates)


(for graduate students).


Reports of grades in courses are available at the end of each term on .















Tentative Schedule


T=Bonne Continuation (textbook)

C=Bonne Continuation, Cahier d'exercices (workbook)



Before Class

In Class

lundi 27 août

Acheter Bonne Continuation

Présentation du cours

mercredi 29 août

En route: T: 2-13 & C: 1-2


En route

Un Américain arrive à Paris

Le présent


vendredi 31 septembre

En route: T:13:15

Vocabulaire: T: 16-19 & C: 7-11

apportez votre dictionnaire en classe

Beaux Arts/Vocabulaire

Exercices de dictionnaire


lundi 3 septembre



mercredi 5 septembre

 Étudier pour le quiz

La Cathédrale: C: 15-16 & T: 21-24 (Þ"Questions de compéhension")

Le Passé: T: 52-54, C: 35-36


La Cathédrale

Le Passé

vendredi 7 septembre

Le Passé: C: 37

Pour raconter: C: 13-14

Résumé (à rendre en classe): T: 25-26

Le Passé

Rendre résumé


lundi 10 septembre

Une lettre: C: 17 & T: 27-30 (Þ"Questions de compréhension" + "A l'écrit" #2) (+écouter CD)

Les adjectifs: T: 54-56 & C: 39-40

Une lettre

Les adjectifs

mercredi 12 septembre

Pour faire le portrait: C: 23 & T: 31-33 (Þ"Questions de compréhesion") (+écouter CD)

Exercice d'écoute I: Des musées à Paris: C: 29-33 (avec CD)

Le participe présent: T: 56-57 & C: 41


Pour faire le portrait

Le participe présent

vendredi 14 septembre

Calligrammes: C: 21 & T: 35-38 (y compris "A l'écrit")

Préparer le débat


DÉBAT I: "L'Etat devrait-il subventionner les arts?"

lundi 17 septembre

Le Portrait: C: 23 & T: 38-44) (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

La voix passive: T: 57-58 & C: 43

Devoir: T: 58-59 & C: 45

Le Portrait

La voix passive, Devoir

mercredi 19 septembre

Camille Claudel: C: 25 & T: 45-49 (sauf "A l'écrit")

Venir en classe avec un sujet de composition

Camille Claudel

Atelier composition


vendredi 21 septembre

Composition I

Vocabulaire: T: 60-63 & C 47-52


Héritages culturels/Vocabulaire

lundi 24 septembre

Étudier pour le quiz

Le paysan et le diable: C: 53 & T: 65-67 (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

Comparaisons/futur: T: 102-104 & C: 69-72


Le paysan et le diable


mercredi 26 septembre

La Belle et la bête: C: 55-56 & T: 69-76 (Þ"Réflechissez et discutez")

conditionnel/phrases "si": T: 104-106 & C: 73

La Belle et la bête

conditionnel/phrases "si"


FILM: "La Belle et la bête"


vendredi 28 septembre

La Belle et la bête: T: 76-83

conditionnel/phrases "si": C: 75-76

La Belle et la bête/FILM

conditionnel/phrases "si"

lundi 1 octobre

Dis-moi, lune d'argent: C: 57 & T 85-88 (Þ"Réflechissez et discutez" +à l'écrit #2) (+écouter CD)

Exercice d'écoute II: La tour jusqu'à la lune: C: 63-65 (avec CD)


Dis-moi, lune d'argent


mercredi 3 octobre

La première nuit: C: 59 & T: 90-97 (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

Les questions: T: 106-107 & C: 77-78

La première nuit

Les questions

vendredi 5 octobre

Raconte-moi: C: 61 & T: 99-101 (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

Préparer le débat


DÉBAT II: "Le gouvernement doit-il intervenir contre la violence et le sexe à la télé?"


lundi 8 octobre



mardi 9 octobre

Venir avec un brouillon de votre composition

atelier composition


mercredi 10 octobre



vendredi 12 octobre

Étudier pour le Midterm


lundi 15 octobre

Vocabulaire: T: 108-111 & C 79-84

Composition II


Amitiés et Amours/Vocabulaire

mercredi 17 octobre

Étudier pour le quiz

Éloge de l'amitié: C: 85 & T: 113-117) (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

Pronoms: T: 146-149 & C: 99-100


Éloge de l'amitié


vendredi 19 octobre

Ma grand-mère toute-puissante: C: 87 & T:119-130 (Þ"Réfléchissez et discutez")

Ma grand-mère toute-puissante

lundi 22 octobre

"A l'écrit #3": T: 130

Les articles: T:149-151 & C: 101

Ma grand-mère toute-puissante


mercredi 24 octobre

Colloque sentimental: C: 89 & T: 132-134 (Þ"Réfléchissez et discutez") (+écouter CD)

Exercice d'écoute III: Mes grands-parents C:95-96 (avec CD)


Colloque sentimental

vendredi 26 octobre

L'amour au Val-Fourré: C: 89-90 & T:135-139 (Þ"Réfléchissez et discutez")

Le subjonctif: T: 151-155 & C: 103 (ex. D)

L'amour au Val-Fourré

Le subjonctif

lundi 29 octobre

préparer le débat

Mère Awa: C: 91E & T: 141-142 (Þ"Réfléchissez et discutez")

Le subjonctif: C: 103-104

Débat III: "L'évolution des attitudes des jeunes est-elle positive?";

Le subjonctif

mercredi 31 novembre

La femme du pionnier: C: 91F & T: 143-145 (Þ"Réfléchissez et discutez")

Les adverbes: T: 155-157 & C: 105

La femme du pionnier

Les adverbes


FILM: La Grande illusion


vendredi 2 novembre


Discussion du film

Atelier composition

lundi 5 novembre

Composition III


mercredi 7 novembre

Passé dans le Présent/ Vocabulaire: T: 158-161 & C: 107-110

La langue de chez nous: C: 111 & T: 163-164

Passé dans le Présent/Vocabulaire

La langue de chez nous

vendredi 9 novembre

Étudier pour le quiz

Jeanne d'Arc: C: 113-114 & T: 165-172 (sauf "Jouez les scènes")

Faire causatif: T: 214 & 129-131


Jeanne d'Arc

Faire causatif


lundi 12 novembre

Jehanne d'Arc: C: 115 & T:173-175

Exercice d'écoute IV: L'histoire et le poids du passé: C: 123-126 (avec CD)


Jehanne d'Arc


mercredi 14 novembre

La Fuite de la main habile: C: 117 & T: 177-184 (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

Les pronoms relatifs: T: 215-217 & C 133

La Fuite de la main habile


vendredi 16 novembre

Les pronoms relatifs: C: 134

Les démonstratifs: T: 217-219 & C: 135

La Fuite de la main habile

Les pronoms relatifs

lundi 19 novembre

Sans papiers: C: 117-118 & T: 186-190 (Þ"Questions de compréhension")

Style indirect: T: 219-221 & C: 137-138

Sans papiers

Style indirect

21-25 novembre



lundi 26 novembre

Cinq semaines en ballon: C: 119 & T: 193-201 (+questions, p. 207)

Cinq semaines en ballon


mercredi 28 novembre

Cinq semaines en ballon: T: 201-207 (+À l'écrit #2)

Cinq semaines en ballon


vendredi 30 décembre

Le tour du monde en ballon: C: 121 & T: 209-212

Le tour du monde en ballon


lundi 3 décembre



merdredi 5 décembre



vendredi 7 décembre

Composition IV



mercredi, 12 décembre


10h30–12:30 FINAL EXAM


The final exam must be given on the day and time assigned by the Registrar. Final examinations, if required, must be administered in the final examination period.  Please plan accordingly for travel, work or appointments