Intermediate French II

  • FREN 1004, 5 credits
  • Faculty Coordinator: Betsy Kerr
  • 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; College of Liberal Arts Second Language Requirement
  • 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. Grammar review and elaboration.

Class size limit: 24

Sample Syllabus

Student Qualifications

Students enrolling in FREN 1004 must be juniors or seniors in high school and have completed FREN 1003 with a C- or better, or have 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 text is required for FREN 1004:

Siskin, Ouvertures: Cours intermediare de francais, 4th ed.; Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 

FREN 1004 will use selected parts of the text supplemented by numerous additional cultural activities for development of reading and listening skills. These are provided to teachers via the CIS French website for teachers.

The curriculum also includes reading of extensive excerpts from Kiffe kiffe demain, a short epistolary and autobiographical novel by Faïza Guène, a young Beur author. These excerpts, including vocabulary glosses and cultural annotations, are provided online for both teachers and students. Accompanying pedagogical materials are also provided.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do teachers have a choice in assignments? Are there required assignments?
CIS teachers work from a common syllabus. However, teachers commonly add assignments and activities of their own choosing that relate to the themes and goals of the course. In addition, teachers must of course 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 or of their own devising; listening and reading comprehension activities on cultural themes; compositions (two drafts each); and preparation for oral exams (Conversations Evaluées).

Who creates the exams?
Teachers are provided with a complete set of exams. Each chapter has two exams, the first one a shorter test focusing on vocabulary and grammar from the first half of the chapter, and including a brief composition relating to the chapter theme. In addition to testing the chapter vocabulary and grammar, the second exam includes listening and reading comprehension sections and a composition.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The Reading and Listening portions of the U of M Language Proficiency Exam (LPE) are administered at the end of FREN 1004, and these results account for 5% of the final course grade. Teachers are provided with the necessary materials to administer and score the exams. The targeted ACTFL levels on which these tests are based are Intermediate High for both Reading and Listening.

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. We have also established a listserv to help all French teachers mentor each other. A CIS French website gives 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 or 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 after FREN 1004.

High Schools Offering This Course

Buffalo High School
Burnsville High School
Eastview High School
Eden Prairie High School
Henry Sibley High School
Hopkins High School
Rosemount High School
St. Thomas Academy
White Bear Lake Area High School