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French 2601

Reading Skills

« On parlait depuis quelque temps d’un ancien oracle qui annonçait qu’après un certain nombre de rois, il arriverait dans leur pays des hommes extraordinaires, tels qu’on n’en avait jamais vu, qui envahiraient leur royaume et détruiraient leur religion. »

« Les Amautas, philosophes de cette nation, enseignaient à la jeunesse les découvertes qu’on avait faites dans les sciences. »

In the first excerpt from Françoise de Graffigny’s Lettres d’une Péruvienne, the words il arriverait seem clear enough. But is this action real or imaginary? Is it situated in the past or in the future? On the other hand, in the second excerpt, the word "Amautas" is probably completely unknown to you, but did you notice that the author defines it for you?

The aim of French 2601 is to help students acquire the knowledge, skills and strategies that will enable them to read without difficulty various types of texts in French. It can be considered a "language" course focusing on one of the four basic language skills (speaking, aural comprehension, writing, and, in this case, reading). The course can also be considered an elementary introduction to the literature of Quebec, Acadia, France and other parts of the French-speaking world. Either French 2601 or 2602 is a prerequisite to third-year literature courses in French.

Course Content

The texts chosen for study in French 2601 are normally short passages of one to ten pages. Typically these are magazine articles, short stories, short extracts from plays, novels, non-fiction books, poems and songs. Some instructors also ask students to do independent reading from current magazines, the Internet, etc. A variety of techniques to facilitate the reading of these and any other text are discussed (for example, preparation, classification and contextualisation, vocabulary comprehension in context, analysis of how the text is organised, summary of main ideas, analysis of individual sentences and words to identify recurring patterns, developing recognition of grammatical forms frequently encountered in written French). Expansion of students' vocabulary to facilitate future reading is also emphasised.


French 1502 or equivalent standing (including the former French 1051)


Most instructors choose a recently published Canadian anthology of short readings in French.


The term mark, based on tests and/or written assignments, is usually given a weight of 40% to 60%, with the remaining 60% or 40% determined by a written final examination.


French 2601 is normally offered in the Fall Semester.

Along with 2601

Students registering for 2601 who are planning a major or minor in French should also consider registering for one of the following: French 2100 or 2101, 2300 , 2900 .

After 2601

Students who have completed French 2601 may register for French 2602 , 3500 , 3501 , 3502 , 3503 , 3504 .