French Teacher Education

Program Details

The major in French teacher education includes coursework in language, literature and culture, as well as professional education courses and student teaching. Students with prior study of a language or who are heritage speakers should complete a placement exam and are eligible for advanced placement credit after successfully completing one to two courses in the department. Minors are also available in French, German and Spanish.

The department is committed to promoting foreign languages both as a means of communication and as the prerequisite to cultural understanding. Classes with the prefix of FR are taught in French and promote students’ active use of the language in a culturally and communicatively meaningful context. Classes with the prefix FL are taught in English and allow students the opportunity to reflect critically on cultural practices and products of non-English-speaking countries and people prior to obtaining advanced proficiency in the target language.

Special Opportunities in French Teacher Education

In the WIU Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, students will be taught by experienced, dedicated professors and instructors from many different countries. Small class sizes allow for individual attention from teachers and a friendly classroom environment. In addition, the department provides free tutoring in the languages offered. The Foreign Language Computer Lab (Morgan Hall 303) is available for individual student use. The departmental DVD collection includes a variety of feature films in French that can be checked out by students and viewed in the lab.

Students may practice their language skills in any of the weekly conversation groups/coffee hours in French. In addition, faculty regularly sponsor film series and organize activities in cooperation with student language groups.

Study abroad is required for teacher education majors in order to improve linguistic and cultural expertise through an extended immersion experience. A wide variety of options are available, including departmental faculty-led programs as well as programs through partner universities in various countries. The Office of Study Abroad is an excellent resource for students who wish to identify an appropriate program. Students attending approved study-abroad programs earn academic credit applicable to their degree requirements. French teacher education majors can apply for scholarships to assist in covering the costs of study abroad.

Department Minors

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

Additional Resources

French language class

Professional education courses, including Foreign Language Methods, prepare students for student teaching

Possible French Teacher Education Career Paths

Learning languages promotes appreciation and respect for cultural diversity, can increase marketability to employers and graduate schools and opens the door to life-changing opportunities for study and work abroad. Students completing the French Teacher Education program develop pedagogical skills and proficiency in the language which lead to licensure to teach the language in Illinois at the K–12 level.

Courses in French prepare students to pass state content exams and to complete the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Students are required to achieve a rating of Advanced Low on the ACTFL Proficiency Scale as determined through the OPI. Professional education courses, including EDUC 439: Foreign Language Methods, prepare students for student teaching, completion of the required professional portfolio (EdTPA) and the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) Exam.

French & Foreign Languages Courses

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.


101 Introductory Seminar in World Languages and Cultures. (3) (General Education/Humanities) (Global Issues) Introduces the content and methods of foreign language scholarship. Centers on a particular topic or theme within the context of (a) non-Englishspeaking culture(s). Methods may include linguistics, cultural studies, film studies, literary studies, interdisciplinary approaches, and/or pedagogy.

151 Self-Instruction I. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Less commonly taught languages. Emphasis on spoken language. Memorize corpus and practice with native speaker. Oral examination. By permission of department chairperson.

350 Introduction to Contemporary Critical Theory. (3) (General Education/Multicultural Studies) This course, to be taught in English, will introduce students to critical theories that shape literary, artistic, and cultural studies as they apply to foreign languages. Prerequisites: ENG 180, 280; junior standing or consent of instructor.

480 (Cross-listed with WS 480) Sexuality in German and Austrian Culture. (3) Examines the representation of sexuality in film, literature, and nonfiction of German-speaking countries in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Not open to students with credit for WS 480. Prerequisite: QS 100 or junior standing.

490 Senior Capstone. (1) Students practice acting as educated resources in their primary foreign language and culture. Self-reflection and future goals are formulated in individual portfolios that serve as final assessment for the major. Students are required to take an oral proficiency interview. Prerequisites: senior standing or permission of the department chairperson.

499 Selected Topics in Foreign Languages and Literatures. (3) Seminar in topics related to foreign languages, literatures, and cultures. Taught in English. Prerequisites: junior standing or consent of the instructor.

(Language Skills Courses)

121 Elementary French I. (4) (General Education/ Humanities) Development of the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Not open to students who have had two years of high school French without permission of the department chairperson.

122 Elementary French II. (4) (General Education/ Humanities) Continuation of Elementary French I. Development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills along with cross-cultural insights and appreciation. Prerequisite: FR 121 or appropriate score on placement examination administered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

223 Intermediate French I. (3) (General Education/ Humanities) Continued development of the four basic language skills with increased emphasis on reading and culture. Class conducted in French. Prerequisite: FR 122 or appropriate score on placement examination administered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

224 Intermediate French II. (3) (General Education/ Humanities) Continuation of Intermediate French I. Prerequisite: FR 223 or appropriate score on placement examination administered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.

302 Commercial French. (3) An introduction to business practices in France, with emphasis on business vocabulary, written and oral communication, and the role of culture and cultural differences in business transactions. Reading and translation of commercial documents. Prerequisite: completion of FR 224 or equivalent.

325 French Conversation. (3) Intensive practice in oral expression and conversation. Prerequisite: FR 224 or equivalent.

326 French Composition. (3) Intensive practice in written expression and composition. Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) course. Prerequisites: FR 224 or equivalent; ENG 280.

401 Advanced French Grammar. (3) An intensive study of advanced French grammar with practice in its application. Prerequisite: FR 326 or equivalent.

(Literature and Civilization Courses)

327 Introduction to French Literature. (3) An introduction to critical reading and appreciation of French literature, surveying representative texts from major periods and genres. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: FR 224 or equivalent. IAI: H3 916.

328 Masterpieces of French Literature. (3) A study of selected masterworks representing major periods and genres of French literature. Conducted in French. Prerequisite: FR 224 or equivalent. IAI: H3 917.

404 French Civilization and Culture I. (3) An overview of cultural, social, political, and religious history of France from the Middle Ages to the French Revolution, with special readings and reports on individuals, events, and socio-cultural phenomena of the times. Conducted in French.

438 20th Century French Literature. (3) Selected works of Gide, Proust, Sartre, Camus, St. Exupéry, Anouilh, Colette, Sarraute, Duras, de Beauvoir, and others. Prerequisite: FR 327 or equivalent.

492 Individual Studies in French. (1–5, repeatable to 5) Prerequisites: advanced standing and consent of department chairperson.

499 Selected Topics in French Language and Literature. (3, repeatable for different topics to no maximum) Prerequisite: FR 327 and consent of the instructor.

Contact Information

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

Dr. Luciano C. Picanco, Chairperson
Location: Morgan Hall 332
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1558

Foreign Languages and Literatures Website

Foreign Languages and Literatures Directory

College of Arts & Sciences (CAS)

Dr. Susan Martinelli-Fernandez, Dean
CAS Email:
Location: Morgan Hall 114
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1828

CAS Website

Foreign Languages and Literatures Advising

Sharon Hunter
Morgan Hall 028
Phone: (309) 298-1846

Morgan Hall