AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Paris (Catholic University of Paris, ILCF), France
Fall Semester 2010 and Spring Semester 2011
Course Descriptions


Courses offered by the ILCF-Institut de Langue et de Culture Française 2010

French Courses, Oral

French 101     Beginner French (2 credits)
French 102     Elementary French I (2 credits)

The Elementary Oral French classes aim to teach students to understand simple phrases that they will encounter in daily life. They learn to answer basic questions and to ask for information on familiar subjects, learning simple polite phrases useful in everyday life. At the higher levels, they will discuss their habits, daily activities and personal experience and be able to give, with justification, an opinion of it.

Classes use a mix of role play, listening exercises and pronunciation work with particular focus on intonation. Students are regularly required to give regular short presentations in French. The Elementary classes focus on themes such as the family, work and leisure environments.

French 201     Intermediate French I (2 credits)

At this level students learn to grasp the meaning of detailed information communicated via news reports, interviews or dispatches. They are able to follow conversations and understand short presentations. Students aim to be able to communicate with ease about familiar subjects even those not frequently encountered and to relate events to others using the correct temporal context. They learn to express feelings and opinions and to justify them to others in discussion. They are able to say how they feel about abstract or cultural subjects such as films, books and music.

Study is based on video and audio recordings, press articles and group discussion. Students will research social themes such as travel, cinema and family life.

French 301     Advanced French (3 credits)
French 401     Superior French I (3 credits)

Students at this level work at following conferences, speeches and reports of complex content and structure. They will understand recordings relating to professional, social and university life. They will be able to interact naturally and with spontaneity when conversing with native speakers, being able to express the subtleties of their feelings and thoughts. In debates and discussions students aim to make convincing and structured arguments.

Students prepare 15 minute presentations (without notes), participate in classroom debates and make short oral summaries of radio bulletins and/or newspaper articles.

French Courses, Written

French 111     Beginner French (2 credits)
French 112     Elementary French (2 credits)

This course introduces students to simple written French. Students examine short, authentic texts (postcards, e-mails, articles) and learn to write similar texts of their own. Through study of the present and simple past tenses, as well as adjectives, adverbs and prepositions, students aim to master the key elements of the written language.

French 212     Intermediate French (2 credits)

At this level students read and analyze a variety of texts from the press and/or literature and work on particular linguistic features. Classes focus on syntax, vocabulary enrichment and more complex structures such as the subjunctive.

French 312     Advanced French (3 credits)
French 412     Mastery French (3 credits)

Students learn to give detailed descriptions, to recount events that occurred in the past and to express opinions, composing texts that respond to material they have studied. Complex sentences are analyzed, written exercises "in the manner of" are re-written.

French Courses, Phonetics

French 121     Beginner French (2 credits)
French 122     Elementary French (2 credits)

The phonetics classes aim to help students with pronunciation and intonation. At this level classes work on the acquisition of sounds, relating the heard sound to its written equivalent and correcting individual mispronunciations. Students learn the phonetic alphabet.

French 222     Intermediate French (2 credits)

At this level, phonetics classes develop the student’s awareness of his/her pronunciation and increase the fluency of speech. Students work on transcribing phonetically-written texts.

French 322     Advanced French (3 credits)

Students read aloud to perfect their intonation and fluency. Review of all exercises in a more detailed and complex way.

Courses in English (Fall/Spring):
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts 301 (3 credits)
Course Title: Modern and Contemporary Art in France in the 20th century
Course Description:
Taking a chronological look at 20th century art, from Impressionism to the emergence of Installation Art, this course identifies the main artistic trends that marked the century and examines their significance to the history of art as a whole. During visits to important museums (the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Center and the Musée d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, for example), students will be able to appreciate for themselves the stylistic features discussed and learn to place them in a historical and social context.
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts 307 (3 credits)
Course Title: Fashion in France
Course Description:
Links between fashion and artistical, cultural, social, political contexts across French history are explored. The lasting dominance of Paris in the world of fashion is examined. Students will be able to appreciate how fashion and accessories have been used to express all types of identities. Students visit different exhibitions, museums and the Yves Saint-Laurent Foundation. Students pay entrance fees.
Course Code and Credits: Economics/Political Science 309 (3 credits)
Course Title: Politics and the Economy in France and Europe Today
Course Description:
The French Republic is a complex web of institutions and administrative bodies that can seem quite impregnable to the outsider. Through examination of the French Revolution and analysis of the values it upheld, students are able to untangle the French political system and achieve a better understanding of the workings of the state. Through study of the trade unions, the media, and the education system and in comparing these apparatus to those of other European countries, students learn to place France as a distinct socio/political entity on the European and indeed global map.
Course Code and Credits: History/Economics/Political Science 305 (3 credits)
Course Title: The European Union Today
Course Description:
France has a long history as a key European player and has been a member of the EU from the outset. Since World War II, the European Union has developed and changed considerably establishing its own currency, parliament and administrative institutions. This course looks at the historical, political and economic aspects of European integration since 1945 and acquaints students with the decision-making processes that enable the EU to function. Classes examine the key issues that Europe currently faces on the world stage, studying concerns such as National Identity, Immigration, Ecology and Demographics.
Course Code and Credits: Philosophy 380 (3 credits)
Course Title: Survey of French Philosophy through 17th-20th Centuries
Course Description:
The course is conceived as a survey. It will therefore provide an insight into the major authors of the modern and contemporary French period from Descartes to René Girard. The second objective of the course is to help the students to enlarge their philosophical understanding on topics as diverse as: knowledge and human mind, society and law, rationalism and metaphysics, relationship with others, violence and sacrifice. Students must purchase textbooks for approximately €50.

Courses in French (Fall/Spring):
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts/French 310 (3 credits)
Course Title: Art et architecture en France du Moyen-Age au Siècle des Lumières (Art and Architecture in France from the Middle Ages to the Century of Light)
Course Description:
Examining various key periods in the architectural history of France, this course is split into four distinct parts: The Middle Ages, the 16th century (the Châteaux of the Loire Valley), the 17th century and the 18th century. Focusing on specific monuments in and around Paris, such as the Sainte Chapelle, Chartres cathedral and the Louvre for example, students gain a greater understanding of the city’s most notable buildings, learning to read architectural features and place monuments in their historical context. (This course is spread over 2 semesters).
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts/French 311 (3 credits)
Course Title: Aventures de l'art en France au XXè siècle (Artistic Adventures in France in the 20th Century)
Course Description:
In this course, students discover the leading artistic movements of 20th century France. Moving from Art Nouveau to the Post Modernism of the 1980’s, students view each movement in relation to the literature, music and fashions of the period. They will also draw parallels with contemporary artistic trends elsewhere in the world, considering the development of artistic thought on a global plane. (This course is spread over 2 semesters).
Course Code and Credits: Cultural Studies/French 312 (3 credits)
Course Title: Culture et gastronomie françaises (French Culture and Gastronomy)
Course Description:
Renowned throughout the world, French cuisine is an art unto itself. This course explores the emergence and preservation of French culinary traditions, considering their history from the Middle Ages to the present day and highlighting the importance of gastronomy in French culture. Protocol and etiquette are discussed, as students examine how influences such the Royal Court or changes in fashion affect what people eat, how food is prepared and how it is presented. Students look in detail at regional specialties as well as produce of world repute such as bread, chocolate and wine. Classes include visits a cooking school, a bakery and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Course Code and Credits: Literature/French 313 (3 credits)
Course Title: Littérature française contemporaine (Contemporary French Literature)
Course Description:
This class looks at literature as a means of thinking about the modern world and our own place in it. Students study the works of leading figures of 20th French literature, including Marcel Proust, Albert Camus, Françoise Sagan and Marguerite Yourcenar. (This course is spread over 2 semesters).
Course Code and Credits: Media Studies/French 314 (3 credits)
Course Title: Les médias en France (The French Media)
Course Description:
Through close study of the written press, television and radio, students obtain a sound grasp of the media landscape of modern day France and consider how it differs to that of their home country. Learning to critically evaluate communications and analyze their content, students achieve a greater understanding of contemporary French society and the issues it faces, whilst gaining a vocabulary that they can use to compose short news items of their own.
Course Code and Credits: History/French 315 (3 credits)
Course Title: Histoire de la France et des Français au XXè siècle (1880-1962) (History of France and the French in the 20th Century)
Course Description:
The last 100 years in France have been marked by some of the most important events in its history, including two world wars, occupation, and decolonization. This course aims to give students a greater perspective on the present day, through examination of the social, political and economic challenges that each of these important events represented. (This course is spread over 2 semesters).

Courses taught by other colleges and institutions in Paris

The University of London Institute in Paris

Académie de Port Royal

Schola Cantorum

Students may take one or two courses at these institutions. Except in special circumstances, a minimum of 10 is needed for a course. Students receive transcripts or certificates authenticating work completed.

These institutions vary in accreditation status. The University of London Institute in Paris is a joint institute of both the University of London and the Université de Paris and, therefore, enjoys university status. The Académie de Port Royal is an art school not of university status in France. Students wishing to transfer credit for Port Royal courses should check with their home institutions. The Schola Cantorum is a private music school in Paris. Students wishing to transfer credit for Port Royal courses should check with home institutions whether transfer credit is allowed from private educational institutions.

The University of London Institute in Paris (Courses in English)
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts 300 fall/spring (3 credits)
Course Title: French Painting
Course Description:
The French Impressionist movement, its origins, major exponents and derivative tendencies in modern art. It meets 30 hours (60 minute classes). Students pay some museum entrance fees. Enrolment is limited.
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts 306 spring only (3 credits)
Course Title: Readings in French Cinema
Course Description:
Survey of French cinema from the poetic realism of the 1930s to the present. Although the course is taught in English, a good oral comprehension of French is required as film showings are in French. It meets 35 hours (60-minute classes). Enrolment is limited.

Académie de Port Royal (in French)
Course Code and Credits: Fine Arts 321 fall/spring (1-4 credits)
Course Title: Art in Studio (Painting, sketching, drawing)
Course Description:
The amount of credit granted depends on the work produced and hours spent at the Académie. Two sessions of 3 hours or three sessions of 2 hours per week. Taught in French. Students must pay a supplement in Paris of approximately 700 euros per semester.

Schola Cantorum (in French)
Course Code and Credits: Music 307 fall/spring (1-4 credits)
Course Title: Instrument Study
Course Description:
May be taken only with consent of the Resident Director. Placement is by examination, except for beginners. Instruction in French is at the student’s expense. Credit granted depends on the work produced and hours spent at the Schola. Instruments (except piano) are not provided.

Special Courses

Non-credit courses
Course Code and Credits: Non-credit (-)
Course Title: French Cuisine
Course Description:
This course gives the students the chance to get first hand experience of French cooking, both in the kitchen and around the table, enjoying the fruits of their labours together at the end of each session. Taught by an experienced chef and passionate cook, students will learn how to blend the saucesand select the fresh products that have made French cuisinean art of worldwide claim. The course is taught in English and receipts are provided. Fee of approximately 220 euros is payable on arrival. Held only if a minimum of 6 students enroll.
Course Code and Credits: Non-credit (-)
Course Title: Wine Appreciation
Course Description:
This course introduces students to the art of wine-making, covering its history and the development of France's extensive wine laws and teaching some of the key techniques used in the appreciation and analysis of fine wines. Students are provided with bilingual manual to accompany them in their studies and will consider how regional foods and wines have become an integral part of French culture. The course is taught in English. Fee of approximately 120 euros is payable on arrival. A minimum enrolment of 12 students is required for this course.