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French 3650

Culture of France

Is there a basis of truth in the French stereotypes. What do we know about the 60 million people living in France, and more important how can we relate what students learn in their French courses (language and literature) to the realities of modern France? Many students participate in exchange programs with France and not always solely to complete their French programs: they should be aware of the why, what, where etc.. of life in France in order to fully enjoy their experience. How can we understand modern Canada if we are not aware of the long history between France and England? How can we enjoy some of the worldýs literary masterpieces without having some background on the country where the author was born? How can we understand common French idioms if we donýt know anything about France and its people?

Course Content

This third year French course focuses on the country where the French language originated. Students who have a solid knowledge of the French language and some literature should enjoy this courses which tends to answer many of the "whys". The term is roughly divided into areas of interest: history (to help understand the evolution of the French language and the regional diversity), geography (to explain the diversity of the regions), culture and society, political and administrative structure (to help understand the place and influence of France in the global environment and the European Community). The use of the Internet is essential to the gathering of recent data. The use of videos (films and documentaries) serves as a tool for the audio/oral component of the course. Students are encouraged to investigate their own areas of interest even if they are not officially in the objectives of the course and not studied in class.


15 credit hours in French at the 2000 level or permission of the Head of the Department.


Course content on WebCT, videos on reserve in the Library. Students must have regular access to the web.


(May be subject to change depending on the instructor): tests (factual questions, short answers) 20%; individual oral presentation in class 20%; television and radio journal 30% (submitted twice during the term for 15% each time); written exam (essay or commentary to show a good knowledge and broad understanding of France and French culture) 30%.


Offered approximately once very two academic years.

After 3650

Students who have completed 3650 may wish to take additional culture courses at the 3000- or 4000-level (3651, 3653, 4400, 4410, 4420, 4651-4659).