Introduction to French Literature

I.     Course Prefix/Number: FRE 210

       Course Name: Introduction to French Literature

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

FRE 202 or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course involves reading of selected masterpieces. Content includes various literary periods, introduction to poetry and explication de texte, oral readings stressing pronunciation and diction, and speaking and writing based on works read.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. Acquire a knowledge of French literature.
  2. Measure reading abilities by being exposed more to concepts that facts.
  3. Measure oral proficiency by discussing the reading assignments orally.
  4. Measure writing abilities by being exposed to literary texts.
  5. Verify the understanding of the French culture.

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

The outline below represents authors included in the recommended text book. Any chosen anthology will include selections from the Middle Ages to the present.
Week Topics
1 Introduction to course objectives and policies.
Introduction to the Middle Ages. Selection: Marie de France
2 Middle Ages: La Farce du cuvier, Charles d'Orléans
Introduction to the 16th Century
3 16th Century: Rabelais, Labé, Du Bellay, Ronsard, Montaigne
4 Introduction to the 17th Century. La Rochefoucauld, Mme de Sévigné, La Fontaine, Molière
5 17th Century: La Fayette. Introduction to the 18th Century. Montesquieu, Voltaire
6 18th Century: Mme d'Epinay, Rousseau, Beaumarchais
7 Mid-term exam. Introduction to the 19th Century.
8 19th Century: Hugo, Lamartine, Verlaine, Rimbaud
9 19th Century: Baudelaire, Flaubert, Maupassant
10 19th Century: Sand, Rostand.
11 Introduction to the 20th Century. Apollinaire, Prévert
12 20th Century: Camus, Sartre, Beauvoir
13 20th Century: Ionesco, Anouilh
14 20th Century: Cardinal, Le Clézio
15 20th Century: Duras
16 Presentation of Final Papers

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Classes will consist of background lectures, class discussions, and occasional in‑class written analysis of readings.  Recordings and films will supplement discussions where available.  All activities will be conducted in French.

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.

Moments littéraires, by Bette G. Hirsch & Chantal P. Thompson
A French/English dictionary of your choice.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

The following components comprise the final grade (percentages are suggested): Attendance, preparation and participation in class discussions ‑ 15%; six short compositions ‑ 35%; journal - 10%; final, two‑three page paper ‑ 10%; mid‑term exam ‑ 15%; final exam ‑ 15%.

XI.   Other Course Information

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.