The technology revolution has transformed the way we communicate around the world. People in the most remote parts of the globe can seem like close neighbors. Yet our language differences continue to be a barrier to communication, which makes the study of foreign languages more important than ever.
Elon’s Department of Foreign Languages offers a major in French, an international language spoken in approximately 50 countries and regions on five continents. The study of French is also ideal as a second major combined with many fields, especially business, international studies and communications. Students majoring in another discipline can also minor in French, which provides a distinct advantage for anyone interested in a career in the international arena.
Elon’s French program combines a broad-based liberal arts education with a focus on language study. The Department of Foreign Languages emphasizes the practical use of French, and classroom learning is enhanced by digital technology as well as by opportunities to study abroad. All classes in the major curriculum, including beginning levels, are taught in French. The Language Media Center offers support for all classes and opportunities to further enhance your language study.
As a French major, you will focus on developing your listening, speaking, reading and writing skills as you expand your knowledge of French and Francophone cultures in courses such as Written and Oral Expression, French and Francophone Literature, and French Civilization and Cinema, among other language, culture and literature courses.
“From Senegalese literature to Belgian films, my studies became not only a linguistic journey, but also an international experience. A semester in Paris and the continued support of the engaging and motivated faculty left me confident and excited about my future relations with the Francophone community.”
French majors are required to study abroad for at least one semester in a university-approved program where classes are taught in French. Elon offers students a chance to broaden their awareness of other cultures through study abroad programs in Paris and Nice. Students may also study in a number of French-speaking nations, including the French West Indies and Belgium.
Elon students may enhance their on-campus learning by participating in the Maison Française living-learning community, weekly conversation tables and ongoing cultural events offered by the French Club and the Department of Foreign Languages.
Exemplary students in the French program are eligible for induction into Pi Delta Phi, the national French Honor Society. French majors are also invited to participate in Elon’s annual Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF). Recent presentations covered research on language and nationality, French political caricatures, the French legacy in Morocco, Manet, Georges Sand and Moliere.
The Carlton building, home to the Department of Foreign Languages, features a modern language learning facility – the Language Media Center – housing the latest digital equipment. Carlton also offers an informal gathering space for enhanced faculty-student interaction.
One of the hallmarks of an Elon education is the close learning relationship between faculty and students. Because classes at Elon are small — the average class size is 22 with a 15-1 student-to-faculty ratio — individual attention from professors is the norm in all majors. Faculty members keep generous office hours and take a personal interest in each student’s progress. Elon’s French faculty blend professional experience and academic training with a love of teaching.
Dr. Jane Romer was nominated by an Elon honor student for the 2000 edition of Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers. She is a former president of the North Carolina chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French and was named French Teacher of the Year by the association.
Dr. Sophie Adamson specializes in contemporary French and Francophone literature, with an emphasis on works by novelist Tahar Ben Jelloun, whom she interviewed in Paris in 2006. Other research interests include the question of identity in contemporary France and the study of social criticism through humor in literature, media and film.
As a French major, you will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to continue your studies in graduate school or to enter a variety of fields, including teaching, language translation or business. And the attention you will receive from faculty extends beyond graduation. Elon professors have developed contacts with companies, organizations and academic institutions, and they will use those resources to help you find the right job or graduate program following graduation.
French majors have a variety of career options, including:
In addition, many French majors continue their studies at the graduate level, both domestically and abroad. One Elon graduate recently received a Rotary Scholarship for graduate study in Liege, Belgium.