French Major

Program Requirements & Opportunities

  • Courses

    Course Requirements

  • Other Details

    Placement tests

    As an incoming student interested in French, you will be asked to take an online placement test prior to your PASSPORT orientation session. If you are considering a French major, you will talk to a faculty advisor during orientation who can help you with placement in the correct French class. Once you are in a French class, if you find it too difficult or too easy, speak with your advisor, or another professor in the French department about changing classes to the appropriate level.

    Competency examinations

    All French majors are required to take the competency exam administered by the French Department.

    To take the competency examination in the fall, register with Prof. J. Vos-Camy, in October. To take the competency examination in the fall semester, students must register with Professor Otto Selles. To take the exam in the spring, students must register with Professor J. Vos-Camy, in February. The date of the spring exam is announced in the fall.

    Tips to succeed in the competency exam

    1. Review. For review, the French 302 text is recommended.
    2. Read. One of the best ways to review is to read a variety of materials: magazines, newspapers, plays, novels, etc. This will improve vocabulary, as well as reinforce grammatical skills.
    3. Write. A useful way to maintain writing skills is to keep a journal. One should begin practicing writing short paragraphs and essays several weeks prior to the exam.
    4. Speak and listen. Find and utilize opportunities afforded on campus for conversation and listening comprehension. Activities such as French Chapel, French Table, and the French Film series offer the opportunity to refresh and maintain listening and speaking skills. French language programming is also available through TV5 on Calvin's cable channel 15.


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