français 101
automne 2001

Professeur:  Judith Holland Sarnecki
Bureau:  411 Main Hall
Heures de bureau:  1h à 2h de líaprès-midi ou
Téléphone: X6687 ou 725-1430 à la maison
      Email: sarneckj ou

Course description and goals:
     French 101 begins that the first-year French cycle that will fulfill the collegeís language requirement.  We will meet 5 times per week with 70 minute classes on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and 60 minute classes on Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday and Thursday we will be joined by our French assistant, Vlad Dima, a senior French major.  Vlad will also be available to assist you in the Humanities Lab (first floor Main Hall) on Thursdays from 11-noon.   Our second assistant, Xavier Pleindoux, a violin student from France, will host the French table on Tuesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in Downer, Dining Room E (or Dining F if E is occupied).  I would ask you to visit the French Table at least three times this term.  Xavier lives in the language house and he may be contacted there for help with French pronunciation, if needed.  In addition, the French Department hires work/study students to tutor students who are having difficulty with the language, at no extra cost to you, so please ask me about this possibility if you feel you need a tutor.
     Our goal in this course will be to reach a novice level (on the ACTFL proficiency scale) in French.  Continuing with the first-year French sequence (101, 102, 200) should bring you to a low to mid intermediate level. We will place emphasis on the acquisition of all four language skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.  To this end, I will ask you to perform exercises in the Humanties Lab  and complete workbook exercises both in and outside of class.  Class time will be used primarily to practice language skills and learn new structures.  To increase listening skills, class will be conducted in French as much as possible.

Grading and Attendance:
     Since language acquisition requires much practice (just as mastery of a musical instrument does), you will receive a daily participation grade from 0-5 (the only way to earn a 0 is by an unexcused absence).  Therefore, regular attendance and enthusiastic participation is heavily weighed in calculating your final grade.  Excused absences mean a slip from the health center or a scheduled sporting event. Workbook and lab assignments will be graded in the same way. Since answers to workbook exercises may be found in the back of the book, I will ask you to self-correct your exercises using a different color ink. Please note that workbook assignments must be completed and then self-corrected in a different color ink to receive full credit. In addition, all work must be turned in on the day due in order to receive credit.  Other written assignments, oral projects, quizzes and exams will be graded on a point system.
     Grades will be tabulated in the following way:
          Oral participation   30%
          Written work and labs   25%
          Tests and quizzes   25%
          Mid-term and final   20%
    As you can see, I have weighed the daily work more heavily than tests and exams.  This means that if you attend class regularly and do homework on a daily basis, you will be much more likely to succeed in this class, and you will be much happier with your personal progress in French as well!
     I will calculate your grades on the following point scale:
                  A = 100-90%
                  B = 89 ­ 80%
                  C = 79 ­ 70%
                  D = 69 ­ 60%
                  F = 59% or below

    I like to tell students that language learning is like a snowball rolling downhill.  The information you pick up is cumulative (just like that snowball), so it becomes pretty big by the time it hits the bottom of the hill (or the end of the term).  You need to make sure that you wind up on top of that snowball at the end of ten weeks, not squashed underneath.

The instructorís role:
     I perceive my job as keeping you motivated and making sure you understand each and every lesson that we cover in class.  I promise to work just as hard as you do to help you acquire skills in French that will leave you feeling gratified that you decided to study this beautiful language.  I will work to keep the class lively and interesting.  I ask that you give me feedback and suggestions on a regular basis.  What can I do to make the class more enjoyable and worthwhile?  This is a question that I will be asking you often, and if I forget to ask, I hope you will remind me.  Learning about other peopleótheir language, their culture, their past and their presentóis an adventure.  Language learning teaches us that hard work and continual practice pays off. Acquiring knowledge of other cultures helps us not only to understand others; it helps us to understand our own culture and ourselves better as well.

French table:
     Three visits to the French table (great aural and oral practice!) are required.