French Conversation and Composition

I.     Course Prefix/Number: FRE 205

       Course Name: French Conversation and Composition

       Credits: 3 (2 lecture; 2 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

FRE 202 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course reinforces oral and written communication skills through a variety of speaking and essay writing activities. Content includes topics drawn from contemporary life and culture.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To use spoken French in class discussions, debates, role playing activities.
  2. To develop skills in written expression by composing essays on the topics of class discussion.
  3. To support deepening awareness of the culture and customs of French- speaking people.
  4. To specify a vocabulary base for authentic use of language in realistic situations.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

WeekTopics Covered
1-2 Introduction to course policies and procedures.
School life: the French educational system, characteristics of student life, narrating one's experiences.
3 Immigration in France: interviews, autobiographical details, dealing with government formalities.
4-5 Retail shops: reading habits, interpreting opinion polls, descriptive writing, book reviews.
6 Gastronomy: historical view, food-related customs, food terminology, format for instructions, recipes.
7-8 Sports: analysis of informal speech characteristics, overview of sports in France, role play sketches.
9 Mid-term presentations.
10-11 Professions: colloquial expressions, interview techniques, preparing help-wanted ads.
12 Rural life: agriculture in the European context, extract from Pagnol's Jean de Florette, writing an informational report.
13-14 Health issues: specialized vocabulary, role play, persuasive writing.
15 Married life: mini-dramas, debates.
16 Technology: Minitel, appliances, computers, giving instructions, creative writing exercises.
17 Final presentations.

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Class work is organized around the communicative functions used in a variety of speaking and writing situations.  Students will engage in paired and small group activities, prepare oral reports, review and edit written work.  Listening activities in and out of class will involve students in the use of authentic audio and video materials.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course. 

Students are expected to come to class prepared for the day's activities; complete assigned exercises and submit them on the date specified in the syllabus.  Students are expected to spend two hours per week listening, viewing, and reading assigned audio-visual and authentic material and submit written or oral reports.  Students in this course are required to produce at least 15 pages of critical written assignments over the course of the semester.  These may be assigned in a variety of ways including essays, journals, response papers, lab or project reports, etc.

The mid-term and final exams will include speaking, listening, reading, and writing components.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton’s Schedule of Classes.

Suggested texts:

  • Et à Votre Avis . . .? by Rolin-Ianziti,  McCarthy, & Spencer; Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1991. 
  • Other intermediate-level conversation/composition texts may be substituted.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Equal weight will be given to oral and written skills in determining the final grade. Instructors will evaluate students on the basis of attendance, participation, compositions, individual presentations and quizzes.

XI.   Other Course Information

In this section, each instructor should specify policies on attendance, make-up exams, and late assignments.

Oakton has two Language Labs to support your language study. The Language Labs offer the perfect atmosphere for doing your lab homework, meeting with a language tutor, attending a conversation group, or working on a computer. You can find a variety of language specific resources and equipment: language reference books and other supplementary language materials, headphones with microphones, keyboard covers for typing in another language, and more. Language Lab personnel are always available to help students working individually. Visit one of the Language Labs today:

Des Plaines, Room 2446, 847.635.1612

Ray Hartstein (Skokie) Campus, Room C132, 847.635.1493

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.