Explore the French Education Major

This 31-credit major, combined with courses in the education department, can certify you to teach French in the elementary and secondary setting.

Course Requirements 2014-2015

(31 semester hours)

  • FREN-301 Advanced Conversation
  • FREN-302 Advanced Grammar
  • FREN-351 Survey of French Literature
  • One from:
    • IDIS-356 Introduction to Elementary World Language Pedagogy
    • IDIS-357 Introduction to Secondary World Language Pedagogy
  • IDIS-359 Seminar in Secondary World Lang Pedagogy
  • One elective chosen from:
    • STFR-315 Advanced Stylistics & Phonetics
    • STFR-316 Advanced Language Study in France II
    • STFR-330 Contemporary France
    • FREN-361 Francophone Literature and Culture in Quebec
    • FREN-362 Francophone Literature and Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Diaspora
    • FREN-363 Francophone Literature and Culture in North Africa
    • FREN-372 French Linguistics
    • FREN-373 French for International Business
    • FREN-374 Women and Gender in French Literature and Culture
    • FREN-375 French Cinema
    • STFR-381 Special Topics in French
    • FREN-394 Medieval and Early Modern French Literature
    • FREN-395 French Literature Before and After the French Revolution
    • FREN-396 Contemporary French Literature and Thought
    • FREN-W60 French Interim
    • FREN-W80 French Interim
  • All French education majors must complete the study in France program (15 hours):
  • STFR-315 Advanced Stylistics & Phonetics
  • STFR-316 Advanced Language Study in France II
  • STFR-330 Contemporary France
  • STFR-381 Special Topics in French
  • One from:
    • FREN-361 Francophone Literature and Culture in Quebec
    • FREN-362 Francophone Literature and Culture in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Diaspora
    • FREN-363 Francophone Literature and Culture in North Africa

Note: Students intending to qualify for secondary endorsement must take IDIS 357 before student teaching.

Note: Students intending to qualify for the K-12 endorsement must take the secondary major and will spend part of the student teaching semester in an elementary setting and part in a secondary setting. They must also take both French 356 and 357 before student teaching.

In addition to the skills test administered by the State of Michigan (MTTC), all French education majors and minors (both secondary and elementary) are required to take the French Department written competency exam and an oral proficiency interview at least one semester prior to student teaching.

The Calvin College French Department requires a passing score of 80% for the competency examination for education majors and minors.

According to the standards of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), the proficiency requirements are as follows:

  • Proof by written examination of a minimum proficiency level in writing, listening, and reading skills of ADVANCED LOW (ACTFL scale). Education minors who expect to student teach in another subject field must also complete this requirement prior to certification

  • Proof by oral examination (Oral Proficiency Interview, OPI) of a minimum oral proficiency level of ADVANCED LOW (ACTFL scale) for students enrolled 2007-2008 and after

  • INTERMEDIATE HIGH (ACTFL scale) for students enrolled before 2007-2008

Education minors who expect to student teach in another subject field must also complete this requirement prior to certification. Once students pass the written part of the exam, they must contact the department assistant to book an OPI with the external testing agency, Language Testing International. The OPI needs to be booked at least a month in advance and should take place by mid-October. The interview is conducted over the phone in a Calvin College office with a French professor acting as a proctor. Currently, the OPI costs $134. The French Department pays.

In the event that a student does not achieve the required ACTFL proficiency levels, s/he will not be recommended for a teaching internship. The department will give suggestions for improvement and a schedule for retaking the exams.

Students are reminded that achieving oral competence is not simply a matter of sitting in class. Students are expected to be proactive in finding meaningful ways to improve their skills in proficiency. To obtain the Advanced Low level of proficiency in particular, the majority of students will need to spend an extended period of time in a francophone country. Students contemplating a French Education degree should know that during the teaching internship they will be required not only to teach French but also to conduct a major part of the class in French. Consequently, students aspiring to student teach in French would do well to do all they can to acquire the linguistic competence necessary to manage a classroom in the target language.