In this class you will have several different kinds of homework to do before the next class. Whatever you do, don't get behind!! because it will be very difficult to catch up! Generally speaking, each day you will do a bit of each of the following:
- Watch the movie we will be discussing in class. Our teaching assistant will be screening the movies; if the scheduled time is not convenient for you, it is your responsibility to see the movie before the day we first discuss it in class. Only two of the movies are streamable on Netflix (L'Auberge espagnole and Le placard); the rest are available as DVDs from Netflix (Monsieur Lazhar, Persépolis, Indochine, and Entre les murs). Some, but not all (and definitely not Indochine!), appear to exist in full-length format on Youtube. ALL OF THE MOVIES ARE ALSO ON RESERVE IN THE LIBRARY, so you have no excuse for not watching them!!!
- Study a grammar point and do the corresponding exercises in Séquences, the main textbook for this class. It is expected that you will do the exercises on your own, first, then, using another color ink (buy a few green or purple felt tip markers early in the semester!!), you will correct your own work. You will learn nothing if you just copy the answers from the answer key, so do your own work as best you can, then go over it. I expect that every single piece of work you turn in will show progress -- no one can do all of these exercises perfectly! Students who turn in homework that is pristine will be invited to my office to demonstrate their understanding of the grammatical concepts without the use of the textbook. I will grade any exercises with open-ended answers!
- Study one or two sections of a given chapter's vocabulary lists in preparation for a quiz at the beginning of the next class. Do not arrive late; if you miss the quiz, you will earn a grade of 0!
- Study the conjugations of four verbs listed on the course calendar. Be sure to study the correct tense of the verb, as indicated on the calendar!
Finally, you will also prepare 6 one- to two-page essays for this class, one per chapter. These should be typed and double-spaced. You should indicate the word count under your name at the top right corner of the essay. Essays should run between 200 and 300 words. They are due on the days indicated on the course calendar.
Working with a partner, you will prepare a final presentation based on the French-language film of your choice (pending my approval). Presentations will begin on December 1 and conclude on December 8. Each presentation should last between 20 and 25 minutes, with the time divided more or less equally among the partners. Please do involve the class in the discussion of your movie as much as you can! You can earn extra credit points during other people's presentations when you participate in their discussion, either by answering questions with more than monosyllabic answers, or by asking your own questions.
Your presentation should include all of the following:
- An introduction that says more than, "Nous avons travaillé sur le film..." -- find a great hook to draw your audience in, and be enthusiastic about your film!
- A brief plot summary of the film
- Brief introductions to the major characters in the film (one or two sentences each)
- One particularly striking film clip, 3-4 minutes (not the film trailer !!!), that you analyze in detail, involving the class in a discussion of what they have seen and guiding them to discover why this particular scene is important.
- Identification, analysis and interpretation of two or three especially important themes, illustrated by specific examples in the film. (This means you must do more than describe them -- we are looking for depth of thought here !!)
- A conclusion that says more than, "Voilà, nous avons fini, c'est tout." Dazzle us with your brilliant concluding ideas about why this film is so important!
You do not have to follow the order given above; points 4 and 5 might be reversed, for example. However, be sure all of these elements are present in your work; you will lose points if they are not. Insofar as possible, use the film vocabulary we have been cultivating all semester long to heighten the sophistication of your presentation. Articulation and clarity are important, as are pronunciation and grammar. Class participation is very, very important!
Consider the following cases, taken from a recent year's French class:
Student X had a test average of 94.75 (A), but only earned a 69.8 (D+) on homework and a 53.7 (F) for lab work. Student X consequently earned a B+ in the class.
Student Y had a test average of 94.375 (A), but did virtually no homework, earning only 4.5 (F) and a whopping 13.9 (F) for lab work. Student Y was also absent 7 times, earning a grade of 76 (C) for participation. Student Y consequently earned a C in the class!
Student Z had a test average of 75.5 (C), but earned 86.25 (B) for homework and 100 (A) for lab. Student Z consequently earned a grade of C+ for the class! That is, Student A's grade IMPROVED due to homework!
Or you could look at it like this The breakdown of final grades from this class were as follows:
- D: X
- C: XXX
- C+: XXX
- B-: XXX
- B+: XX
- A-: XXX
- A: XX
The two people who earned B+ in the class both had A averages on tests, but their grade dropped by two steps because they didn't do their homework.
Everyone who earned an A- or an A got at least 80 as a homework grade.
Of the 10 people who earned a grade below B, all but ONE of them received a grade under 74 for homework.
Hence it is eminently clear that it is ESSENTIAL that you do your French homework and lab work and come to class!