• FREN 1003, 5 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Lydia Belatèche
  • Faculty Coordinator Assistant: Janel Toussaint
  • Sponsoring U of M Department: French & Italian
  • Fulfills U of M Requirement(s): Meets U of M degree credit requirements, such as departmental major, minor, or elective requirements
  • Teacher Applications: Check the Applicant Handbook for details.

U of M Catalog Description

Development of reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills in the context of cultural themes related to the Francophone world.

Class size limit: 24

Sample Syllabus

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in FREN 1003 must be juniors or seniors in high school and have already completed at least three—ideally four—years of high school French or have equivalent proficiency or instructor approval. Qualified ninth and tenth graders may apply to enroll with instructor approval.

Instructor Qualifications

Instructors apply and are selected by faculty in accordance with the U of M policy governing Academic Appointments with Teaching Functions. Once approved, an instructor is appointed as a Teaching Specialist 9754 (University Job Title and Code) in the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Instructor qualifications are determined by the sponsoring University department.

View the Instructor Applicant Handbook for course-specific qualifications and application steps. 


The following are student texts required for FREN 1003:

Terrell et al, Deux mondes: A Communicative Approach, 7th or 8th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2013. Student Edition: ISBN 978-0-07-338645-4. Instructor Edition: ISBN 978-0-07-741265-4.

Terrell et al, Cahier d'Exercices to accompany Deux mondes, 7th or 8th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2013. ISBN: 978-0-07-741270-8

Optional: Connect online workbook and lab manual (can replace printed Cahier d'Exercices)

FREN 1003 uses chapters 11−14 plus portions of preceding chapters to review selected grammar topics.

The course also includes an additional longer reading as follows:

  • Excerpts of Condé, Le Coeur à rire et à pleurer (provided by the Department)
  • St. Exupéry, Le Petit Prince; Harcourt (Price in 2021: $11.99 on Amazon.com)

During the 2023−24 academic year, there are 7 CIS French teachers participating in a pilot program for CIS French 1003. This pilot program uses the textbook En Avant! (3rd edition) and workbook (digital through "Connect" or paper copy). The reading consists of excerpts from the novel Le coeur à rire et à pleurer by Maryse Condé. Students use Canvas as their Learning Management System (LMS). Beginning in the fall of 2024, all teachers new to the program should order the textbook En Avant!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments? 
CIS teachers work from a common syllabus developed by the U of M second-year language coordinator. Therefore, core assignments should be the same for CIS teachers as for instructors at the University. However, teachers commonly add assignments and activities of their own choosing that relate to the themes and goals of the course. In addition, teachers adapt the U of M syllabus to their particular school calendar. All CIS teachers work with the following types of assignments: grammar exercises from the textbook and the workbook; reading comprehension questions (textbook reading and additional reading); compositions (two drafts each); and preparation for oral exams (Conversations Evaluées).

Who creates the exams?
CIS teachers are provided with a complete set of exams. Each chapter has one exam, which generally includes the following sections: listening comprehension, vocabulary, structures, preassigned reading/culture, new reading, composition. Additional short quizzes are also included.

Is there a training and mentoring system for new CIS French teachers?
Both the faculty coordinator and assistant serve as mentors for the CIS French teachers. A fellow CIS teacher may also be assigned as an individual mentor. An active listserv helps all French teachers mentor each other. Two CIS French websites give teachers access to program materials and other resources contributed by participating teachers. In addition to this, new teachers benefit from workshops which focus on both course content and University processes, and attend an orientation to College in the Schools that will familiarize them with the support available through CIS as well as prepare them for administrative tasks such as registering students and posting grades.

High school class schedules vary: can a teacher in the block system teach U of M French?
All courses offered through CIS have the same minimum number of contact hours as the on-campus sections. However, aside from this minimum requirement (70−75 contact hours), the course is offered in varying formats according to each school’s needs. Several participating schools are on a block schedule. Though the standard model is to offer FREN 1003 and 1004 consecutively in one school year, many schools have chosen to do 1003 only through one school year. Where possible, these schools offer 1004 the following year.

What happens at typical teacher workshops?
Typical activities at CIS workshops include familiarization with new course materials; reviewing and/or developing student assessment tools; sharing instructional materials; discussing particular content, pedagogy, or assessment of the University course; listening to guest speaker presentations on cultural and pedagogical topics; and receiving updates on CIS program policies and practices. 

What happens at typical student field days?
Student field days provide an opportunity for CIS students to meet their peers, practice skills they have learned in class, and explore the Twin Cities campus. The following are typical elements of a French field day agenda:

  • Students meet in small groups with community members who are using French in their professions, or attend a presentation and Q&A with a native French speaker about their personal history and their experience of different cultures.
  • Coffee and croissant break with instructors and students from the University and other high schools, which includes a conversation activity in French
  • Class visits—space permitting—in beginning, intermediate, and advanced French courses

What other recommendations or comments can you offer to prospective CIS French teachers?
High school students taking FREN 1003 and 1004 can immediately begin advanced coursework in French if they begin their college careers at the U of M, as well as at many other colleges and universities. To get a minor in French at the U, a student only needs six more courses in French after FREN 1004.

High Schools Offering This Course

  • Apple Valley High School
  • Buffalo High School
  • Como Park Senior High School (Saint Paul)
  • Eagan High School
  • Eastview High School (Apple Valley)
  • Eden Prairie High School
  • Forest Lake Area High School
  • Hastings High School
  • Hopkins High School (Minnetonka)
  • Mahtomedi High School
  • North Branch Area High School
  • North High School (North Saint Paul)
  • Prior Lake High School (Savage)
  • Richfield High School
  • Rosemount High School
  • South High School (Minneapolis)
  • St. Thomas Academy (Medota Heights)
  • Stillwater Area High School
  • Tartan High School (Oakdale)
  • Twin Cities Academy High School (Saint Paul)
  • Two Rivers High School (Mendota Heights)
  • Waconia High School
  • White Bear Lake Area High School