Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures


The French program at CNU offers a variety of courses at all levels, from beginning French to advanced grammar. You can also take a broad selection of literature classes on notable French and Francophone texts from the Middle Ages to the modern era.

We offer courses in business French, phonetics, cinema, conversation and composition and our majors are exposed to various fields and disciplines through the study of French.

Sample Courses

(courses below are conducted in French)

This is an advanced course that focuses on the phonological differences between French and English. Through intensive practice, students learn to accurately pronounce all French phonemes (sounds) and rhythmic groups (the building blocks of French sentences). They also learn to translate phonetic transcriptions into written French and vice versa. Other aspects of spoken French that are challenging in nature for many non-native speakers will be emphasized as well.

This course is designed for students who wish to acquire concrete knowledge of French business terminology and practices. Students learn the specialized vocabulary, social customs and writing norms associated with various fields represented in the world of Francophone business. Students also develop a professional dossier (cover letter, CV), write formal business correspondence and memos, and learn how to succeed in an interview.

This course offers an overview of French language literature written outside of France (e.g., Francophone Africa, the French Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia, Québec). Students will study a broad range of texts straddling various genres (poetry, prose, drama and essay) in order to appreciate the dynamics of historical and current relationships between France and its former colonies. By emphasizing the creative process, students learn how Francophone literature addresses issues such as gender, race, identity, religion, culture and immigration in a postcolonial perspective.

This course offers insight into French and Francophone literature and culture by focusing on key literary, aesthetic and cultural trends from one specific time period (e.g., the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the 17th century, the Enlightenment, the 19th century, or 20th/21st first century). In addition to close readings of fiction and nonfiction from various time periods, genres and Francophone countries, students examine the dynamics of artistic and intellectual movements in the history of French literature.

Accessible Undergraduate Catalog

Beyond the Classroom

We strongly recommend both an academic and a professional experience abroad. There are many study abroad programs in the Francophone world. CNU students have studied in numerous cities in France, including Aix-en-Provence, Paris and Pau and also in Belgium, Switzerland and Quebec.

CNU has an agreement with the Institute for American Universities (IAU) in Aix-en-Provence. IAU offers a wide range of courses in French and English year round. CNU students receive a discount on tuition thanks to this agreement. Students get to stay with a host family while at IAU and benefit from numerous cultural events and excursions.

There are also many internship opportunities worldwide in Francophone countries, both in the private and public sectors. We have an agreement with the Lycee Ronsard in Vendome, France. Exceptional students complete a teaching practicum at the high school in the early summer each year and earn three credits. The high school normally provides lodging free of charge.

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