French 101

Storefront windowCOURSE DESCRIPTION: French 1, Elementary French (5 units). Transfer: UC, CSU.

This course stresses the fundamentals of pronunciation, grammar, practical vocabulary, useful phrases and the ability to understand, read, write and speak simple French. Basic information is included on the geography, customs, culture and literature of Francophone World. At least two hours of laboratory a week is required.

PREREQUISITES: No previous knowledge of French is required. We start from scratch since the course is designed for persons who have never studied French before; but we do move at college level intensity or what could be called a very dedicated beginner's peace.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: To prepare students for further language study and to foster an interest in travel, work and studies to the French culture. Immediate goals:

  1. To expose students to generous amount of conversation and vocabulary for their passive acquisition on order to facilitate the understanding of French spoken at a normal rate.
  2. To provide opportunities to use and practice French so that much of the students' passive knowledge can become active.
  3. To present basic principles of pronunciation and grammar so as to encourage continual improvement in the ability to communicate in French.
  4. To give students abundant practice in reading and writing French.
  5. To acquaint students with various aspects of the French culture / francophone culture and to encourage them to investigate and share the class those of particular interest to them.


  1. CONTACTS Langue et culture francaise, Jean-Paul Valette, Rebecca M. Valette, Houghton Mifflin Company.
  2. CONTACTS Workbook/Lab Manual.
  3. Recommended: English Grammar for Students of French

Number 1 and 2 may be purchased at the bookstore of Cerritos College. Number 3 may be purchased on line

COURSE CONTENT: Unit1 through Unit 5 (inclusive).

CLASS PREPARATION: Part of your preparation time at home should be spent studying your class notes and the vocabulary and activities introduced in the most recent class meeting. You should also dedicate some time to reviewing previous material. Specific homework assignments will be given for each class meeting. They will include reading and studying pages from the texts, writing and correcting exercises from the text and the workbook, learning vocabulary, previewing activities to be done in the next class and preparing and practicing reading selections, dialogues and narrations for presentation.

Always bring your notebook, the text, and the student activity book.

Students will have access to a text-specific web site dedicated to CONTACTS that includes

  • Self-tests (ACE) for vocabulary and grammar that provide immediate feedback, allowing students to monitor their own progress.
  • Informative links to other sites that allow students to deepen their knowledge of topics introduced in the Notes culturelles.
  • Web-search activities that require students to search for answers on the Web to questions related to the unit topic. They have also be emailed to the professor. 

LABORATORY: Listening to the tapes that accompany the CONTACTS a very important part of the course, in fact, you must listen to the tapes in order to complete the ACTIVITIES in this workbook.

The language laboratory is located on the second floor of the library. Hours will be announced at our lab orientation.

We wish to emphasize that the French Department at CERRITOS COLLEGE is an integrated program reinforcing and enhancing the communicative skills and cultural and linguistic awareness.

Overall, through the French 101 program students will gain access to a mastery of French and an understanding of French and francophone cultures that will enable them, not only to become citizens of the world in a more vital way, but to understand themselves, their native language, and their own history more completely.