Department of International Communications and Culture

FRE 307 - French Through the Media


3 credit hours                                                 Marie Ponterio                                                              

Fall 2011                                                          

FRE 307                                                          Office: Main 225 C

MWF: 1:50 - 2:40
Van Hoesen B229                                           Office hrs in VH B229: MWF 11:10– 11:30 PM

                                                                                                                   MWF 12:20– 12:40 PM
                                                                                                                   MWF 1:30 - 1:50 PM    

                                                                                            in Main 225C: WF 9:00 – 10:00 AM

                                                                                                                                               +  by appt.                           





French 307 is a conversation and composition course designed for students who have previously taken at least 4 years of French in high school or have earned college credit for Fr 202.  We will study changes in French society and contemporary France using a variety of materials such as movies, songs, magazines, and the Web as the basis for class activities. We will develop your ability to speak, read and write in French by using the language to communicate with each other.  For example, we will do skits, group activities, simulations, etc. in a warm, friendly atmosphere.  Since in using this approach to learning French we will be speaking about yourselves and the French speaking world, we hope you will find the course challenging, stimulating and fun.

It will be essential that you PREPARE lessons at home before coming to class so that we will be able to spend more class time straightening out any problems and especially doing more interesting activities using what you have learned.

Students may be required to do exercises and hand in materials for assessment, failure to do so may result in a grade of incomplete for the course.

No textbook are required but students are encouraged to purchase at least one CD.  See list of French/French Canadian singers.

Students should also have a good French-English dictionary and a three ring binder.




              Tests                                      30%

              Journal & compositions         20%

              Daily Participation                 15%

              5 presentations/skits               25%
              HW                                        10%               


A scale of 0-100 will be used as follow:  A+  97 - 100

                                                                 A   93 - 96

                                                                 A-  90 - 92

                                                                 B+  87 - 89
                                                                 B   83 - 86 etc...



FRE 307 and the Conceptual Framework:


This course, as is the case of all our offerings in the ICC Department, is rooted in the ideals of liberal learning.  The underlying ideal of all our classes, whether they be literature, culture, or language-based, is that all three of these elements are interwoven.  The specific knowledge and perspectives that will be acquired in this class reflect SUNY Cortland's commitment to instilling in our students an acumen for themes and issues pertaining to Global Understanding (knowledge of the interconnectedness of the natural and human experience through exposure to the political, social, economic and religious differences of the target language's literature and civilization) and Social Justice (comparison and contrast of issues of social justice, equality, and democracy between our society and those of the target language).



Taking a French Language course involves "experiencing" a certain amount of discussion and learning in the classroom.  For this reason attendance at class meetings and full participation are essential.  Students simply cannot miss a week or so of French classes and then "make it up" on their own.  Therefore, if you have more than 3 unexcused absences by the end of the semester your participation grade will be lowered by 5/100 for each additional absence.  (Only serious illnesses and problems at home, religious holidays and sports competitions are considered excused absences.  A doctor's note will be required.)  It is to your advantage to inform me BEFORE any class which you must miss.  Contact ICC or my office.  Work missed whether from an excused or unexcused absence must still be completed, and it is the STUDENT’S responsibility to see that this is done quickly.  CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF!!!

Lab work is required.  The multimedia language lab is located in OM 223.



All major tests will be announced.  ABSENCE FROM TESTS WILL BE EXCUSED ONLY IN THE PRESENCE OF WRITTEN PROOF OF A VALID REASON FOR YOUR ABSENCE.  UNEXCUSED ABSENCE CAN RESULT IN FAILURE IN THE COURSE. Notify me ahead of time when you know you must miss a test and make appropriate arrangements.

If you are a student with a disability and wish to request accommodations, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services located in B-40 Van Hoesen Hall or call (607) 753 - 2066 for an appointment.  Information regarding your disability will be treated in a confidential manner.  Because many accommodations require early planning, requests for accommodations should be made as early as possible.


Homework and Compositions:

Due dates for course assignments will be announced in class with the assignment.  You are responsible for EVERYTHING done in class or assigned as homework.  If you miss anything for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to find out what it is and to make it up.  You should expect to do ALL assignments on time in order to profit from your work.  Late homework might not be accepted for grading and failure to complete a major assignment might result in a failure in the course.  Assignments that are late, incomplete or poorly prepared will be graded accordingly.




Because a very important course goal in French 307 is the development of speaking and listening skills, a large part of your grade will be based on your achievement in these areas.  Oral participation in class will serve as the basis for evaluation of these goals.  You should practice in the classroom and in pairs outside of class.  Take an active role in interviews and other small-group conversational activities.  If you work on these goals regularly, you should find that your listening and speaking proficiency develops fairly rapidly and you will be able to use the French you have learned in "real-world" situations outside the classroom.


*Your  journal:

Using a variety of materials from the French written press, the Web (also in French!) etc., write 1 paragraph (= 1/2 page) every week about the following topics summarizing the content.  This is not a diary! You cannot use the texts done in this class (or others) or the ones used for your presentations.

- a French movie (different from the one in your presentation)

- a French actor/actress

- a TV program on the Web like TF1 or on TV5 (channel # 62  in lab or on campus)     
- current events from an online French newspaper that week (ie: Le Monde & FR 3) or TV

   channel TV5 + TF1
- a song in French from your CD or from the Web (different from the one in your presentation)
- articles in French on French society from a magazine


Copy this checklist on the first page of your journal as a reminder and check categories off each week.

Your grade will be based on the quality of your writing and on your effort at exploring the Web and other materials. ALWAYS INCLUDE COPIES OF ARTICLES AND SONGS AND INDICATE THE SOURCE OF THE MATERIAL YOU READ AND/OR WRITE WEB ADDRESS. IN THE CASE OF A MAGAZINE ARTICLE, BE SURE TO GIVE THE DATE AS WELL. Use your own words and do not forget to use quotation marks for quotes. 


le 3 septembre:

-          Le Retour de Martin Guerre: film du réalisateur D. Vigne avec Gérard Depardieu  dont l'action se passe au début du 16ème siècle.  C'est  l'histoire d'un ancien soldat qui revient dans son village et qui ......etc.


-     L’article de l’Express du 18 septembre 2007 intitulé « Les Français sont-ils heureux ? »

       par X explique que …….. etc.


Write on the given topic a well organized composition with an introduction and a conclusion. It should typed on  a word processor since you will have to rewrite it. It should be about 2 pages long, double spaced.
When writing about a newspaper article, write a summary of the article and then in a separate paragraph, express your opinion about the major ideas expressed in the article. NEVER USE "JE PENSE QUE/JE CROIS QUE ETC." The summary of the article should reflect the organization of the article, the same order.   Also don’t forget to indicate the source and to give a xerox copy of your article.

Your grade will be based on your writing (accuracy, complexity of sentences, richness of vocab. & organization) and on the content (complexity of ideas).  Bonus points will be added to grade for the rewrites.


Presentations & skits:


*1st presentation:

_You and your partner present a song to the class.  Briefly talk about the singer and his/her career and present ideas in the song.  Try to get the class to participate. Bring tape/CD and give script to students OR you and your partner (the same as above) play the role of two movie critics and you tell the audience whether or not they should go see a (French) movie and why.  Be sure to talk also about the decor, the costumes, the photography etc. (See list of movies in the library and local video stores)

*2nd presentation:

_ You and your partner pretend to be anchors on French TV. Based on French news seen on TF1 on the Web, you do a broadcast in class.  Rewrite the actual news in simpler terms to talk about domestic events, politics, disasters, accidents, etc.  Be sure to give students difficult vocab. and cultural notes about political figures, their parties etc. to help class understand the context + use visual clues


* Skits: with two or three classmates, write a script. Rehearse and perform in class. MEMORIZE YOUR LINES & USE YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR/COSTUMES/PROPS AND BE FUNNY.
 *The presentations and skits should not last more than 10 minutes and be about 2 pages long (typed + double spaced) except for the last skit that should be 4 pages long.

Using the same criteria as for your compositions, your grade will be based on your oral skills (individual grade) and the script of your presentation (the group receives one grade).


29 août.           Introduction   
31                    Le langage familier &
HW: les onomatopées

4 sept.              Activités sur le langage familier (suite)


5                      Fête du travail

7                      La télé: lire sur le Web (page des réponses): la Vie culturelle: le paragraphe sur la télé  & faire la feuille d’exercices.

+ lire la chanson de Jean-Jacques Goldman: La Vie par procuration & faire la feuille d’exercices.


9                      La télé: lire BD (bande dessinée):1 et 2 + lire la chanson de Patricia Kass: Elle
                        voulait jouer cabaret
& faire la feuille d’exercices sur la chanson.


12                    La télé: lire BD 3 et 4 & faire la feuille d’exercices sur BD 3 ou BD 4 au choix

                        + lire une société médiatisée et les dangers de la télé.          


14                    Le cinéma: lire sur le Web (page des réponses): la Vie culturelle: intro + le paragraphe sur le cinéma & faire la feuille d’exercices sur le cinéma + écoutez les vidéos des jeunes français à la fin et répondre aux questions & lire les effets spéciaux et le théâtre

                        Lire BD : Soir de Paris et la chanson: la dernière séance


16                    La presse: lire sur le Web (page des réponses): la Vie culturelle: le paragraphe sur

                         la presse et la radio & faire la feuille d’exercices + lire faits divers 

19                    La société: lire sur le Web (page des réponses): les changements dans la société:

sections sur la famille et les femmes  & faire la feuille d’exercices & présentation*: groupe 1: critique de film /chanson


21                    Film: Le Grand Chemin (à voir avant la classe) & faire la feuille d’exercices.



23                    L'humour: Coluche et Raymond Devos & lire: l'humour des Français


26                    TEST I


28                    La musique: lire sur le Web (page des réponses): la Vie culturelle: le paragraphe

                        sur la musique & faire la feuille d’exercices + xerox: lire les chansons &     

                        présentations*: groupe 2: journal télévisé et 3: critique de film /chanson


30                    Film: Entre nous (Coup de foudre) à voir avant la classe & faire la feuille
& apportez vos journaux.* (Include two paragraphs about a
            TF1 short documentary– choose a link from « Pour en savoir plus » at the
             end of my web site : one from La Vie Culturelle and one from les

                        changements dans la société)



3 oct.               Lire les chansons: Les Amoureux des bancs publics de G. Brassens + On ne

                        change pas de Céline Dion & faire la feuille d’exercices sur une des deux

                        chansons au choix + présentation*:  groupe 4: journal télévisé


5                      Film: La Vie est un long fleuve tranquille (à voir avant la classe) - discussion &

                        faire la feuille d’exercices

                        & Comp. I*: Le Grand Chemin et Paradise (ex: comment l’histoire est-elle

                        identique/différente? Les différences reflètent-elles des différences culturelles? Si

                        oui, lesquelles etc. Analysez les différences) ou Comment la société américaine

                        a - t-elle changé depuis (since) les années 50? REVIEW IMP VS. PC.


7                      Xerox: les valeurs des jeunes & chanson : Boulette de Diam’s & faire la feuille

                        Vidéo en classe: la campagne anti-alcool et les préservatifs à l’école


10                     Film: Sans Toit ni loi (Vagabond) (à voir avant la classe) & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices – discussion


12                    Vidéo: chanson Ma liberté de penser de Florent Pagny & faire la feuille

                         d’exercices & présentations*: groupe 5: critique de film/chanson et 6 :   

                         journal télévisé

14                    Bonnes vacances!


17                    Lire chansons: Ceux qui n'ont rien de Patricia Kaas et Dialogue de Maxime Le

                        Forestier + BD: 1968 & faire la feuille d’exercices sur une des deux chansons au choix


19                    Film: Cousin-Cousine & faire la feuille d’exercices – discussion


21                    *Sketchs: publicités: campagne anti-alcool ou prévention contre le Sida (AIDS)


24                    Lire: Marié: définitions et dessins humoristiques + chanson : Jeune demoiselle de

                        Diam’s + chanson: Mon Mec à moi de Patricia Kaas & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices sur une de ces deux chansons

26                    Film: Romuald et Juliette  (à voir avant la classe)
& faire la feuille

                        d’exercices - discussion & apportez vos journaux.* (Include one paragraph

                        about a TF1 short documentary– choose a link from « Pour en savoir plus »

                        at the end of my web site : La Vie familiale.)


28                    TEST II


31                    Lire chanson: Prendre un enfant par la main de Yves Duteil & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices & présentation*: groupe 7 : journal télévisé


2 nov.              Film: Trois Hommes et un couffin  (à voir avant la classe) & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices - discussion & comp II*: Choisissez un article du magazine l’Express. Résumez les idées importantes et analysez-les dans un paragraphe séparé.


4                      Lire : les arguments & Présentations*: groupes 1: journal télévisé et 2: critique
                         de film /chanson


7                      *Sketchs: une dispute entre un couple/2 amis sur un sujet controversé (au choix)


9                      Film: La Cage aux folles (à voir avant la classe) & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices – discussion


11                    Débat + chansons: Ziggy + Une Femme avec une femme & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices sur une des deux chansons au choix & lire: Double vie 


14                    Présentations*: groupes 3: journal télévisé et 4: critique de film /chanson &        apportez vos journaux.* (Include one paragraph about a
            TF1 short documentary– choose a link from « Pour en savoir plus » at the
             end of my web site :
Les changements dans la société)



16                    Film: Gazon Maudit (French Twist - à voir avant la classe) & faire la feuille

                        d’exercices – discussion


18                    Présentations*: groupe 5: journal télévisé et 6: critique de film /chanson,
                        7: critique de film /chanson


21                    Film: Le Placard & faire la feuille d’exercices - discussion

23 - 25             Bonnes vacances


28                    Révision et synthèse (comparaison de tous les films) & comp. III*: au choix:
                        comparaison des films: La Cage aux folles et Gazon Maudit
ou La Cage aux
                        folles et le Placard
ou La Cage aux folles et Birdcage  ou Trois Hommes et un

                        couffin et Three Men  and a Baby (ex: comment l’histoire est-elle
                        identique/différente? Les différences reflètent-elles des différences culturelles 
                        entre la France et les US?  Si oui, lesquelles etc. Analysez les


30                    Film : Mais qu'est-ce qu'on a fait au Bon Dieu?  & faire la feuille d’exercices – discussion


2 déc.              TEST III (certaines questions seront sur la comparaison des films vus ce



5                      *Sketchs: imaginez une scène d'un film d'amour/d'action/de science fiction/d'une

                         comédie/d'un drame en vous inspirant des thèmes de tous les films discutés en


7                      *Sketchs: suite

9                      *Sketchs: suite & HW on the Web: read and list 4 facts about Christmas in

                         France you found interesting from the section on Christmas on my Web

                         page (answer page):  les Fêtes et les traditions @

                Use your own words & évaluations &

                         fête de noël J


NO FINAL EXAM!!!  Joyeux Noël et bonnes vacances!


Please read at home this excerpt from chapter 340 of the College Handbook on the SUNY Cortland website under Student Life               


A violation of academic integrity as an instance of academic dishonesty can occur in many ways. At SUNY Cortland, instances of academic dishonesty are:

1. Plagiarism

Students are expected to submit and present work that is their own with proper documentation and acknowledgment when the work of others is consulted and used. Plagiarism can be intentional by deliberately presenting the work of others as one's own, or inadvertent by accidentally omitting or erroneously citing sources. Examples of plagiarism that can occur in research papers, lab reports, written reports, oral presentations as well as other assignments are:

A. Failure to use quotation marks: sources quoted directly must be shown with quotation marks in the body of the project and with the appropriate citation in the references, notes or footnotes

B. Undocumented paraphrasing: sources "put into one's own words" must have the source cited properly in the body of the project and in references, notes or footnotes

C. Creating false documentation: purposefully presenting wrong information in references or citations or manufacturing false information used in references, notes and footnotes

2. Cheating on examinations

A. Looking and/or copying from another student's paper during an examination or in-class assignment

B. Allowing another student to look or copy from one's work during an examination or in-class assignment

C. Possessing crib sheets, answer sheets and other information during an examination or in-class assignment not authorized by the instructor

D. Writing an answer to an in-class examination or assignment and submitting it as written in class

E. Taking an examination for another student

F. Allowing or arranging for a second party to take an examination or other in-class assignment

G. Allowing one's own work to be copied and submitted by another student

H. Altering or falsifying examination or assignment results after they have been evaluated by the instructor and returned

3. Other infractions

A. Possessing papers, assignments, examinations, reports, lab reports or other assignments that have not formally been released by the instructor

B. Purchasing a paper or assignment from an online source, paper mill, another student, or other source and submitting it, wholly or in part, as one's own work

C. Possessing another student's work without permission

D. Writing or creating a research paper, written report, lab report or other work for another student

E. Submitting the same work for two different classes without the approval by both faculty members teaching both classes

F. Falsifying College documents

G. Presenting false documents or forged documents

H. Destroying, vandalizing, altering and/or removing library materials without authorization

I. Falsifying data

J. Altering or falsifying another student's data, laboratory work, research, assignments or written materials