French Basic Language Program

  • French is the second largest foreign language program at USC with over 300 students enrolled in basic language classes (French 1,2,3) each semester.  These classes take place in a dynamic, French-only environment designed to be encouraging, enlightening, and fun.

    For further information, see individual class descriptions below or contact Prof. Atiyeh Showrai, Director French Language Program at showrai@usc.edu.

    For students who enjoy French studies, we encourage you to continue beyond basic language courses. The Department of French and Italian offers many opportunities for further study including courses in language, culture, film, literature, and business.

    Welcome to French!

  • French 120

     This course is designed for students who have studied no French or have placed into this level though the USC placement exam. The course meets for four hours per week and is taught entirely in French. The course has a fully integrated multimedia program (electronic workbook with audio, video, chapter exercises, and activities plus a related website with pronunciation and grammar practice).

    The focus of the course is on building real-life communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in a fun and dynamic environment.   You will learn to ask basic questions, tell time, give directions, greet other people, and describe family, friends, interests, activities, and everyday life.  The study of France and other Francophone cultures is also integrated into the language learning.   Extra optional help sessions are available several times weekly for students to practice French in the friendly, comfortable Language Center.  This is a great class for beginners.

    For the upcoming Semester Schedule of Classes, Click:
    French I (FREN 120)

  • French 150

    This second-semester elementary course is for students who have taken French 120 at USC or have placed into this level through the USC placement exam.  The class meets four hours per week and is taught entirely in French. The course has a fully integrated multimedia program (electronic workbook with audio, video, chapter exercises and activities plus a related website with pronunciation and grammar practice).Fromagerie

    The focus of the course is on building real-life communicative skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing in a fun, dynamic environment.  The course covers such topics as food, travel, health, modern technology, and integrates information about Quebec, West Africa, and other Francophone cultures.Students actively interact with each other in pairs or small groups.  In this course you will learn to narrate in the present, past, future, to use direct and indirect object pronouns, order a meal, read a recipe, and plan a trip.  Extra optional help sessions are available several times weekly for students to practice French in the friendly, comfortable Language Center.

    For the upcoming Semester Schedule of Classes, Click: French II (FREN 150)

  • French 220

    Senegal 1

    Fren-220 is a third-semester intermediate French course that develops students' linguistic proficiency in all four skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) while emphasizing cultural competency and connections to other disciplines.  Lessons are conducted entirely in French and students are encouraged to participate fully.  If needed, questions or discussions in English take place during office hours, or before and after class.

    Quebec The text, Imaginez – cours de français intermédiaire, develops students’ oral and written proficiency as well as their cultural competency through the study of short films, audio and videoexcerpts, literary excerpts and short readings from France and the francophone world. Class discussions focus on cultural and social issues, and draw frommaterials in the films, activities in the text, as well as from students’ personal experiences and opinions. Students working individually, in pairs or in small groups, engage in meaningful activities that are communicative, contextualized, and function-based.

    The latter part of the semester is devoted to a study of Albert Camus’ novel, L’Etranger.  The novel is read and analyzed in French, and it provides a rich context for the discussion of France’s colonial history, existentialist philosophy, the justice system and an introduction to literary analysis and close-reading techniques that develop critical thinking skills.

    For the upcoming Semester Schedule of Classes, Click: French III (FREN 220)

  • French Language Placement Examination

    Students who have studied French in high school or at another institution prior to attending USC are required to take a placement test that is administered by the Language Center (Third Floor, Taper Hall), Click here for the Schedule of Placement Exams. Credit is given only for course work taken above the level of proficiency determined by the examination. Students may retest every six months, results are valid for one calendar year. Students with no record of previous instruction in French are not required to take the placement examination and should enroll in first semester French (FREN 120).