French is the native language of some 250 million people worldwide. Outside of France, it is spoken in Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Algeria, Central Africa, Egypt, Laos, and many other counties. It is the second official language of the United Nations and is used as the official language of many international organizations including UNESCO and WHO. For those aiming to become active in international organizations or wanting to become involved in volunteer work in Africa or Asia, often it is a knowledge of French rather than English that is of greater benefit. In the Department of French Studies, we aim to provide our students with an all-around competence in the basic language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing, while at the same time deepening their understanding of French literature, history, culture, and society. With France at the heart of a Europe that is expected to fulfill an increasingly important role both politically and economically on the world stage, the Department seeks to equip its students with the ability to express their own thoughts and ideas to the world community through an exploration of France from every perspective.
Features of the Department
- Class size is kept to a minimum in order to maximize the effectiveness of the language-learning process, and language courses are taught by both Japanese and native French instructors.
- Not only do students study French literature and linguistics, but also the culture and society of France, including its history and politics.
- Seminars within the Department are designed to encourage students to develop the ability to identify issues and to arrive at their own conclusions through the application of critical thought.
- Courses on writing research papers guide students in the art of developing a logical and reasoned argument in Japanese.
- Great importance is laid on the cultivation of a close relationship between instructor and student, something which is supported by a commitment to small class sizes for our seminars supplemented by a personal academic advisor system.