“Prof. Ewing does an excellent job at using creative ways to teach French. The hands-on activities, skits, story writing, and games make learning a foreign language fun.”
–a French 1010 student
“This class is great for class discussion, applying the practical knowledge we have been learning every semester, and being self-motivated to study and learn outside of class with the wide variety of homework assignments.”
–a French 2040 student
“The Instructor was very patient. The nearly total immersion teaching style of this class was most effective. Enjoyed that the instructor included some linguistic history as well, and of course the singing was fun.”
–a French 1010 student
“Though this course was challenging, it was very enjoyable. The activities and exercises helped me learn the language in a very practical way. I enjoyed this class very much.”
–a French 1020 student
- France has the world’s 5th largest economy after the U.S., China, Japan, and Germany.
(As measured by Gross Domestic Product, 2012 statistics from the International Monetary Fund.)
- There are 29 countries that use French as an official language: 5 in Europe, 21 in Africa, 2 in North America, and 1 in Oceania. In three additional countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) French is used extensively and spoken by a majority of the population, but does not have official status.
- There are approximately 250 million French-speakers around the world.
- French is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
- French nouns (people, places, things, concepts) are all “gendered.” That is to say, they are all either masculine or feminine!
- The city of Québec in Canada was founded in 1608, 12 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth! Québec is Canada’s 2nd largest French-speaking city after Montréal.
- France receives more international travelers than any other country in the world (83 million visitors a year, which is more than the country’s population!)
- France has three départements in the Americas: Martinique, Guadeloupe (islands in the Caribbean), and Guyane (on the South American continent, Guyane is the size of South Carolina, or about 1/3 the size of Wyoming). Like our “states,” French départements have their own capitals but send representatives to the central government in Paris and have the same currency, school system, and healthcare as all other départements. In this way, Martinique, Guadeloupe and Guyane are much like Hawaii and Alaska for France!
- 28.3% of English words come from French! (according to a computerised survey of about 80,000 words in the old Shorter Oxford Dictionary, 3rd ed., published in Ordered Profusion by Thomas Finkenstaedt and Dieter Wolff).
- France is shaped like a hexagon.
- The Eiffel Tower was built as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World’s Fair.
- The Louvre in Paris is the world’s most visited museum and contains priceless works of art like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. It began its
existence as a fortress about 900 years ago and visitors can still see the old castle ramparts in the museum’s basement.