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Aquiring French lieracy while at Grad School- advice from real Grads requested?

7 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi Folks,

I am entering a graduate program at Cornell which, to get into the PhD program in 2 years, will require me to have reading literacy of a second language, and French seems like a natural choice.

I grew up int he US, moved to Canada after completing my BA, and never took any formal language training at all. I can stumble along in spoken French when visiting Montreal, navigate the cityscape, pick out important phrases while driving so I don't crash in uni-lingual construction zones, etc.

I am guessing that my best bet is to start at the bottom: taking beginner-level courses at Cornell while working on my Graduate degree... and also hopefully spending several weeks in an intensive summer program next year in a French speaking area (could be Montreal, could be somewhere else).

Other than finding a native-speaking French girlfriend (which I assume is not likely in Ithaca NY), I'd appreciate it if anyone here on the form could give me any other ideas that might help.

Thank you very very much!

-----------------

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Posted (edited)

Most schools will offer something like "French for graduate students," which is basically a course (usually in the summer) that is geared toward helping you read French with the help of a lexicon. I know here in Boston pretty much all the schools offer these courses in German and French. Again, they are offered for folks in the humanities.

Edited by jdmhotness

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Posted

Most schools will offer something like "French for graduate students," which is basically a course (usually in the summer) that is geared toward helping you read French with the help of a lexicon. I know here in Boston pretty much all the schools offer these courses in German and French. Again, they are offered for folks in the humanities.

I have seen that in the course catalogue, but I thought you'd need some knowledge of the language before you had any chance of taking it and succeeding. I will make an inquiry today and see what Cornell replies with- THANX!

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Posted

I don't think you need to have prior knowledge. Actually, I have two friends that just started courses like this; one is doing German and the other is doing French. So you should be good.

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Posted

Hi Folks,

I am entering a graduate program at Cornell which, to get into the PhD program in 2 years, will require me to have reading literacy of a second language, and French seems like a natural choice.

I grew up int he US, moved to Canada after completing my BA, and never took any formal language training at all. I can stumble along in spoken French when visiting Montreal, navigate the cityscape, pick out important phrases while driving so I don't crash in uni-lingual construction zones, etc.

I am guessing that my best bet is to start at the bottom: taking beginner-level courses at Cornell while working on my Graduate degree... and also hopefully spending several weeks in an intensive summer program next year in a French speaking area (could be Montreal, could be somewhere else).

Other than finding a native-speaking French girlfriend (which I assume is not likely in Ithaca NY), I'd appreciate it if anyone here on the form could give me any other ideas that might help.

Thank you very very much!

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I would recommend Explore. It's a five-week immersion program in French (you even sign a only-French "contract"). If you're Canadian and are enrolled as a full-time student in a Canadian university (BA MA or PhD) you receive a bursary. If you're American, you'll have to pay $2000.

You can choose where to go. I honestly don't think Montreal is a good place to learn French because you cannot really talk to people, well, you can, but the moment they hear your English accent they'll stop talking to you in French and switch to English.

I recommend places like Jonquiere or Chicoutimi. They're small cities in North Quebec and people are uni-lingual. Also, you can choose to stay with a family, which gives you the full French experience.

For more info, you can visit this site:

Explore Program

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Posted (edited)

Princeton University offers summer language courses solely designed for literacy purposes and passing Graduate School language exams.

The program is well regarded and numerous universities will actually accept your grade from the course (assuming it's an A or B) in lieu of the actual exam.

EDIT: I know this is super late but for any future passerbys.

Edited by Balatro

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Posted

hi -

i am english but speak french and german - i need to improve my written skills. in France there is an online organisation called CNED which is a government adult training organisation. They include French for foreigners from levels A1 to B2. Its online and includes written adn telephone tutorials. I use skype and get 30 minutes per week one to one with a super tutor. I also submit written work which gets assessed. In addition I use an online site called buddy school - i have selected a teacher and as a one to one experience I read a short story from a book i found on amazon - its a bilingual book - i write a summary in french and get it marked and returned. Given that this is all online - location is not important although time zones for calls may be an issue. i can move at my own pace and adapt the courses to my own levels.

hope this helps

andrew

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