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French and Italian: Graduate Program


MA in French


The MA program’s approach to outcome assessments includes formative and summative assessments throughout the program. Expected Leaning Outcomes are based on and adapted from the National Standards for Foreign Language Learning recommended by the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACFTL), or their CEFRL equivalent. Assessment of learning outcomes takes place in the mandatory MA examination that is administered during a student’s last semester. 


Last Modified: 05/13/2016

Expected Learning Outcomes: 


1. Communication

Ability to communicate orally and in writing in French according to either one of the following standards:

·      CEFRL (Common European Frameworks of Reference for Language): minimum C1 level proficiency in French, C2 as a goal.

·      ACTFL: minimum Advanced High, Superior as a goal.


2. French and Francophone Cultures

·      Ability to identify and assess the impact of some of the major events and developments (historical, cultural, artistic, social, political and economic) in the French-speaking world (as relevant to the specific MA sub-field and course work selected).

·      Ability to achieve the advanced level of intercultural and interdisciplinary competence expected of future participants in the new global economy


3. Critical Thinking

·      Ability to formulate research questions, to evaluate current research, to assess methodologies, to collect and analyze data, and to communicate conclusions (assuming mastery of the body of primary and secondary knowledge specific to the field and ability to make use of a wide range of available resources in the pursuit of knowledge and the conduct of research)


4. Engagement: Ability to apply knowledge and skills beyond the classroom: through participation in student-centered activities that build on classroom learning and develop professional and personal skills, students develop an appreciation for and an understanding of at least one area of expertise (Office of Student Engagement competencies):

·      Civic and Community Responsibility: Students develop an understanding of government and community systems in order to contribute to the social cohesion, capacity, and governance of a community. 

·      DIVERSITY AND IDENTITY: Students develop explicit understandings of the sociocultural, linguistic, economic, and political experiences of diverse groups representing varying identities and societies, both their own and others, and apply those understandings in work related to a wide range of communities

·      GLOBAL AND INTERCULTURAL COMPREHENSION: Students develop an understanding of global issues and the worldwide impact of individual and systemic actions while respecting diverse viewpoints.

·      INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY: Students gain an understanding of how to deliberately apply information, imagination, creative thinking and initiative to generate new ideas for the purpose of addressing needs. 

·      INTERDISCIPLINARITY: Students gain an understanding of how to bring together novel and original thinking across disciplines to build on knowledge, practices, theories, or methodologies. 

·      PROFESSIONALISM: Students develop a heightened understanding of themselves and others as they participate in various experiences to build their knowledge of professional etiquette and expertise. 

·      SUSTAINABILITY:  Students gain an understanding of the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of conditions or practices that make society vulnerable and unsustainable over multi-generational time scales.      


5. Teaching (available to options 1-4 only): Effectiveness as a teacher of Beginning and/or Intermediate French.

Last Modified: 05/13/2016

Assessment Activities: 


1. Student exit survey

After graduation, students are asked to fill out a survey about their overall experience in the program and their self-assessment of their mastery of learning outcomes.


Outcomes Measured: 1-5.


2. Student self-evaluation grid

During their last semester, students fill out CEFRL’s Self-assessment grid about their listening, reading, speaking and writing skills in French.


Outcome Measured: 1.


3.  M.A. Exam (Format 1 or 2)

Format 1: Written and Oral Examinations: Requirements vary according to the track selected, but are usually based on the candidate's coursework in French and/or Francophone literature, culture, and/or theory, as well as related areas of the graduate curriculum when appropriate:

French Literature and Culture, Francophone, AMP, PMA

Three 4-6 pages each take-home exams in French that typically take the following form:

·      an explication de texte,

·      an essay based on a specific work of literature,

·      an essay on a wider, more general topic in literary and/or cultural studies.

Teaching French as a Foreign Language

Three 6-8 pages each take-home exams:

·      two in the areas of pedagogy, SLA, linguistics, or technology,

·      one in French Studies.

At least one of the papers will be written in French.

Secondary Teaching Certification

·      Two 4-6 pages each take-home exams in French,

·      a teaching portfolio.


Format 2: M.A. Thesis and Oral Defense: An in-depth project based on an approved topic of interest in French/Francophone studies, Linguistics, SLA under the supervision of a faculty committee.


Outcomes Measured: 1-3.


4. Engagement: Successful completion of a project, experience, or training designed in consultation with the student's advisor to meet the individual needs of the student. Possibilities include: action research design, study abroad, work experience, giving talks at professional conferences, service learning in local schools and community organizations under contract with SILLC.

Outcomes Measured: 1-5.

Specific Assessments for Teaching (when relevant):

·      Review of GAT Teaching: Assessment of graduate students’ teaching skills through: classroom observations; review of normed student evaluations of GATs by the Director of Basic Languages or for advanced undergraduate courses, the Director of Graduate studies / the faculty in charge of coordination at that level; awards for excellence in teaching.  


·      Secondary Teaching Certification: Students pursuing the certification option must successfully complete a supervised student-teaching semester at a local public secondary school that follows all ADE requirements.


Outcomes Measured: 4-5.

Last Modified: 05/13/2016

Assessment Findings: 

1. Communication

Each faculty committee member uses the CEFRL “Global scale” form to rate overall proficiency. Once ratings are averaged, the composite score is used to determine the level of proficiency in communication (there are six levels of proficiency, C2 being the highest, A1, the lowest, according to the CEFRL (see table and ACTFL equivalent).


·      Reading and Writing

Proficiency in written communication is assessed during the examination through the evaluation of grammatical, lexical, and stylistic quality of the written exams or thesis.


·      Listening comprehension and oral expression

Proficiency in oral communication is assessed during the oral examination or thesis defense through the evaluation of the students’ ability to communicate orally. Each faculty committee member uses the CEFRL “Qualitative aspects of spoken language use” form to rate oral proficiency.


·      Self-evaluation grid

CEFRL “self-evaluation grid” to be filled-out by student.


2. French and Francophone Cultures

Knowledge and understanding of French and/or Francophone cultures are assessed in the exams/thesis. Faculty fill out the “MA Exams/Thesis Evaluation” form.


3. Critical Thinking

The abilities to think in a critical, self-reflexive manner, to process information and knowledge that enrich values, attitudes, and perspectives, to make use of a wide range of available resources in pursuit of knowledge and the conduct of research, are assessed in the exams/thesis. Faculty fill out the “MA Exams/Thesis Evaluation” form.


4. Engagement

Students assess the quality of their engagement experience in the student exit survey, referring to the rubrics at

5. Specific Assessments Tools for Teaching (when relevant):

·      GAT Teaching: TCE scores, Director of Basic Languages evaluation form.

·      Secondary Teaching Certification: College of Education “Observation” and “Student teacher assessment” forms. 


Last Modified: 05/13/2016

Change in Response to Findings: 

Findings will be posted once a larger N is reached.


Last Modified: 05/13/2016



Updated date: Tue, 06/27/2017 - 11:25