Learning Goals

Learning a foreign language is an essential component of a liberal arts education, offering broad perspectives on other cultures and enhancing abilities in one’s own.

Fluency in the French language, along with knowledge of a wide range of literature and life in a variety of Francophone cultures, reached through a structured and flexible sequencing of courses from entry to seminar levels, are the goals of this curriculum for majors and non-majors alike. Since full immersion is the most effective way to achieve fluency, all the courses are taught exclusively in French.

Mount Holyoke French majors are competent global citizens who go on to a wide variety of careers.


Students who take courses in the French department become able to engage in substantive and active discussions with native speakers of French, ranging in complexity from everyday conversations to abstract intellectual discourse.


Students become acquainted with a broad range of written, visual, and digital texts, as well as social and cultural artifacts from all regions of the French-speaking world.


Students become able to produce written documents and oral or media presentations that are not only grammatically correct, coherent, and well-organized, but display genuine sophistication of thought and analysis.


Mount Holyoke French majors are able to conduct independent research, articulate their results in effective spoken and written French, take advantage of internship opportunities, and collaborate in a global environment.


Majors and non-majors who choose to go abroad become able to study alongside native speakers of French in courses within the regular academic curriculum of French and French-language universities. Mount Holyoke’s Montpellier program in the south of France accommodates students starting at the 201 intermediate level.