"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." —Nelson Mandela
The study of languages has become essential to any global citizen’s education as the world becomes more and more internationally connected, and as individual nations become increasingly diverse. To be able to communicate effectively with people from different parts of the world is not only a lifelong skill that enhances an individual’s ability to think outside the boundaries of his or her native culture, but is also a practical skill that can be applied to any line of work. That being said, global citizenship does not end at language proficiency—our higher-level classes are designed to deepen a student’s familiarity with the culture in which the target language is embedded. By discussing different kinds of texts in the chosen language, students will both enhance their linguistic skills and develop a more refined consciousness of the culture’s traditions and idiosyncrasies. Our goal is to develop in our students a cultural competency that will allow them to enter the world aware of how they relate to and approach other cultures, so that they are prepared to use their knowledge and abilities in whatever field interests them.
Bienvenue! The French section invites you to join us in exploring the dynamic world of French, extending across more than 70 countries on five continents, and employed by more than 80 international organizations! Whether an absolute beginner or an advanced speaker, the French section at Skidmore offers a number of opportunities for students inside and outside of the classroom. The curriculum in French includes a broad selection of courses in language, culture, and literature. To practice your French outside of class, you may want to join the Student Government Association (SGA)-sponsored French Club, attend the section's monthly social events, or explore the French-speaking opportunities here in Saratoga Springs, or just north in Montreal!
You may also want to use your French to connect to other academic disciplines through the unique Language Across the Curriculum (LAC) program. LAC courses offer students the opportunity to use their French to read, research, and discuss their academic pursuits in personally meaningful ways.
• For students interested in studying abroad in Paris, we encourage you to view the Off-Campus Studies & Exchanges information concerning study abroad opportunities. See also Skidmore in Paris below.
• Housed within the French section, the CELAAN Review publishes scholarly articles on Maghrebian authors and artists, as well as French authors from the Maghreb.
The minor program consists of a minimum of five courses totaling not less than 18 credit hours. Those courses include: Writing in French and Introduction to French Literature, one course at the 300 level, and two electives beyond our Intermediate French course in areas of language, literature, or civilization. One course may be designated as a FL course, taught in English with a French focus. At least three courses must be taken at Skidmore.
Skidmore in Paris
Skidmore offers two program tracks in Paris: the Paris Fall Seminar and the Liberal Arts, Language, and Business program. The seminar, led by rotating Skidmore faculty members, is offered only in the fall semester. Liberal Arts, Language, and Business is a new program track that combines the course options previously available in the Advanced Studies and Arts and Business programs. It is available in the fall, spring, or on a full-year basis for students at all French language levels, beginner to advanced. (See www.skidmore.edu/ocse/paris/index.php.)
The French section offers a variety of courses in the language, literatures, and cultures of France and the Francophone world.
- Pastiche et Création: Creative Writing in French
- The Divided Eye: Studies in Surrealism
- Le récit de voyage français depuis le XVIIè siècle jusqu'à nos jours
- French Cinema: The Social Contract
- Writing about Travel: Creative Non-Fiction in French
- Au "Coeur" de la Modernité/At the "Heart" of Modernity: Representations of the heart in Early Modern France
- Francophone World Culture and Cinema
The true test of your newly acquired language skills is, of course, your ability to take them and use them outside the classroom. Most importantly, along with the vast majority of Skidmore students, consider taking a semester or a full year to study abroad. Through the Office of Off-Campus Studies & Exchanges, take advantage of the outstanding Skidmore in Paris–Liberal Arts, Language & Business program.
• Also, take advantage of any or all of the following French-related activities:
- Join the SGA-sponsored French Club.
- Attend any of the monthly French section social events, like the Soirée crêpes!
- Join other Capital Region French speakers for the monthly Saratoga Francofilm film series.
- Hop on the bus with some friends to Montreal, the largest French-speaking city in the Americas. It's only 2.5 hours away!
• Popular study abroad programs: The Paris Fall Seminar and the Liberal Arts, Language, and Business program (see above).
• Recent research projects/capstones: to come
• Recent internships: to come
Skidmore students who graduate with a major or a minor in foreign languages and literatures are equipped to pursue a wide variety of careers including education, business, government, law, and media-related professions. For more, see the following webpage.