In the fall of 2019, our department launched the critical journal, Deinós. Scholarly criticism, both in text and in practice, brings together the capacity for interpretation and intuition, demanding from scholars the intellectual flexibility and adaptability called for by their object of analysis. Deinós is a space, precisely, to read, to write and to emphasize how beauty can be, sometimes, the beginning of terror.
Faculty strive to use classroom time in authentic, inventive ways that reinforce language skills and allow students to apply them. Here are some examples from our classes.
In the fall of 2019, our students in the French 279 – Monsters in Mayhem class created a blog that explored works they read throughout the semester.
In the spring of 2016 French students did a lot of exciting activities.
In French 204, a class that explores France region by region, students demonstrated their reading comprehension by drawing a picture of a forest associated with the Arthurian legends. Les Celtes-Draw your reading comprehension. Some students chose to create blogs and websites to organize and share their work as “travel guides” to a particular region. Later in the semester their final project was to write a travelogue imaginging they had actually visited some of the places they studied and then briefly present their trips to their peers. The day of the presentation we each prepared a French specialty to share in a potluck. French 204 present their trips to France.
In French 102 we spent a lot of time on culture this semester. Students integrated culture, vocabulary and grammar to creatively hypothesize the living experiences of people in two different francophone countries, France and Martinique. French 102 compare homes in the francophone world. At the end of the semester the students asked if they could do a hands on final project, instead of a traditional final exam, to showcase what they’d learned over the semester. They decided to plan, cook and serve a francophone breakfast. This project wove together numerous concepts including routines, food, lodgings, furnishings, the future and the past. They documented their use of French in each step with photos, videos and audio recordings. The day of our official final exam time we met at a student’s house to prepare and eat the results of their hard work. French 102 Petit-déjeuner francophone.
The fall of 2015 French 203 Intermediate students had the choice to do a traditional oral exam or to create a video. Here is the video one group created, “French Film Noir.” One of the students who created it described the experience this way: “It was really fun doing and really good practice for a lot of different reasons. Having to come up with ways to ask questions, knowing how to respond to people, coming up with a creative idea, etc.”
Languages, Literatures and Cultures
113 Colman Library
5050 E. State St.
Rockford, IL 61108
Sharon Meilahn Bartlett, Ph.D.