This class explores practical themes connected to the French way of life, involving the student’s capability to understand oral and written messages in everyday situations, but also to express his or her opinions about more abstract themes. Five competencies will be enhanced: grammar, listening comprehension, reading, vocabulary and intercultural communication, so as to assimilate easily in a French speaking setting. The course will privilege communication skills.
Research has demonstrated that study abroad can enhance every aspect of language ability. One of the most important general findings of this research is, however, that study abroad is most beneficial for the development of abilities related to social interaction. Students who go abroad are able to learn how to produce language in a variety of situations, such as the making of requests, the use of compliments and apologies, and they also may develop skills to interpret such interactions within the local cultural context… In short, and logically, study abroad has been show to enhance the aspects of communicative competence that are most difficult to foster in classroom settings (IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, p. 6).
Students who enter this course will already be capable of achieving the outcomes of the Emerging Competent Abroad level as defined by the IES Abroad Map for Language and Intercultural Communication. Students who take this level should already be familiar with certain complex structures and linguistic functions that will be covered.
Students who enter this level are able to accomplish nearly all everyday needs required to live in a new culture. In this course, students will begin to develop independence and autonomy so that, when communication does break down, they have some tools at their disposal to resolve these challenges independently. Students should welcome and seek correction and guidance from their instructors, hosts, and others in the community as they progress. They will also begin to recognize their own and their peers’ errors. By the end of this course, students will begin to converse at a rate of speed approaching normal conversation. They will be creative, spontaneous, and self-reliant as they solve problems, interpret texts, negotiate, and express their opinions, likes, and dislikes in the culture. Although students will still make errors and experience communication breakdowns, they are sometimes able to resolve these on their own. Students will understand some colloquial expressions and slang, and are starting to understand a wider variety of native speakers
from different backgrounds. By the end of this level, students will be capable of achieving the learning outcomes outlined below.