Comment: If you're looking for an intensive conversation course, this isn't it, as French 102 entails formulating page after page of literary analyses over the length of a semester. Not only did Professor McLaughlin work wonders in improving students' grammar, but she also managed to boost our confidence in articulating an opinion (and subsequently debating with one another) in a foreign language. Oral proficiency varied among students, but we all managed to take a lot out of the written component of the course. Composition prompts were vague enough for each student to more or less personalize the subjects into a topic of interest, and we were given more than enough time to complete (and thus edit) each assignment. It should be noted that if you often struggle with the French language (little leeway is given for the common error in formal written assignments), you may want to drop by office hours every once in a while. Overall a simultaneously interesting and challenging course. I plan on looking into other French classes with Professor McLaughlin.
FRENCH 102 (Spring 2011)
Comment: Requires solid grammar and essay writing skills. 5 essays,1 midterm, no final. Doing the reading and homework is a must. Essays take some time to think over and write, but there's a lot of freedom in how you approach the topic, so it can be more fun than it seems. The professor is strict but genuinely cares about helping her students learn. She's always eager to read the compositions, always encouraging, and helps you support your ideas instead of feeding you her own. There's around 15 people in the class and she will call you out if your mind isn't on topic, but she gives second chances and will still want to hear what you have to say. One thing I didn't like was that she emphasized that office hours are only a resource after you've tried searching through dictionaries, grammar books, and online, so I felt discouraged from going.