French is the official language of almost 30 countries. The Francophone world differs from both Japan and the US, and in addition to the French language, the Department of French Literature enables students to study the culture, art and history of French-speaking regions, and the sensibility that infuses them. It is our hope that students of the Department will find that their encounters with a rich language for the expression of culture and thought and novel approaches to art and film throw open the doors to individual forms of creativity informed by a vibrant sensibility.
The study of the French language and the exploration of French culture and history mean, first and foremost, that a new world will be spread before you. Open the door to a new language and a fascinating culture.
Almost all students entering the Department of French Literature are new to the study of the French language. Students might think of French as difficult, but can be reassured by the fact that the curriculum starts everyone at the same level, and offers a gradual and steady learning experience from the basics onwards. Mastery of the language is aided by an interest in French literature, art and thought.
French tuition in the first year of the course commences with grammar, conversation, and reading. We believe that it is important for classes to be taught by native speakers at the beginning to allow students’ ears to accustom themselves to French pronunciation.
For students who wish to further increase their grasp of the language, our subjects include classes in which they are able to work toward a variety of language certification tests, classes that prepare them for foreign study, and classes in which they engage in close reading of French news articles. Our students are able to select from a rich range of French-language subjects.
In order to deepen our students’ appreciation of literary works, the Department of French Literature surveys the past and present French cultural landscape from a diverse range of perspectives, including art, music, film, thought, history, social problems, and fashion, fostering the development of original ideas and modes of expression.
From the third year, students begin to study the areas in which they have the greatest interest, with subject groupings in three streams providing guideposts. Engaging in discussions in small-group seminars, students identify original themes and work toward the completion of their graduation paper.
The Department of French Literature offers students the opportunity to make more direct contact with French culture through a variety of special classes and events, including film screenings, performances by French-speaking musicians resident in Japan, lectures by French researchers, and study meetings focusing on the appreciation of wine.
The Department of French Literature actively supports the goals of students who wish to experience foreign study during their four-year course. Our system enables students to choose from study at language schools in Paris or Dijon, the Institut d’etudes politiques d’Aix-en-Provence, or the University of Rennes, for periods of one month, six months, or one year. The Department recognizes credits taken at these institutions, enabling students to gain an experience of a different culture without delaying their graduation.
In the first year, four to five French language classes per week introduce students to the language that will form the foundation of their studies. Students broadly survey Francophone culture, from France itself to Europe, and further, to Africa and the Caribbean.
In addition to enabling them to further advance their grasp of the French language through a language curriculum featuring four classes per week, classes in the second year also present students with the opportunity to further investigate and offer presentations on topics of personal interest to them. Preparatory seminar-style classes are also offered to prepare students for specialized research beginning in the third year.
In the third year, all students participate in seminars. Engaging in discussions in seminars while pursuing their own research topics enables students to hone the powers of personal expression and persuasion that will be essential when they leave the university environment.
In their fourth year, students conduct research toward the completion of their graduate thesis, in consultation with their seminar supervisors. A wide range of thesis topics are available.
We have a program for study of French language at the Catholic University of Paris for about a month during summer vacation. This study program starts with foreign study preparation courses taken in the autumn semester of the first year and the spring semester of the second year, after which you go overseas to study during summer vacation in the second year.
In the case of a six-month period of foreign study at the Catholic University of Paris during the autumn semester of the second or third year, a system for transferring credits is in place. Therefore graduation in four years is possible. Extended foreign study for a period of one year is also possible. This university has partnership agreements with the Political Studies Institute of Aix-en-Provence and with Rennes 2 University.
The experience of studying in France will no doubt prove to be very useful in the course of your life.
In addition to editing, publishing, advertising and printing, graduates of the Department of French Literature make careers in industries including translation, information processing, airlines and fashion. Reflecting the liberal atmosphere of the department, the choices available to graduates encompass a diverse range, from becoming a middle school or high school teacher, to continuing research as a graduate student, to working as a freelance writer or manga artist, to becoming a dancer or studying in France to become a patissier.