Critical Competencies and Advanced French Studies: A Toolkit for Collegiate Educators and Advisors

Principal investigator

Heather Willis Allen, Department of French and Italian; Second Language Acquisition PhD Program

Sponsor and grant funding

French Embassy in the United States, $12,000, 2023-25

Faculty Experts

Cécile Accilien, Professor of French & Francophone Studies, University of Maryland, MD

Lars Erickson, Professor of French, University of Rhode Island, RI

John Moran, Clinical Professor and Language Program Director, New York University, NY

Elyse Petit, French Faculty & Program Coordinator, Santa Rosa Junior College, CA

Todd Reeser, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs & Professor of French, University of Pittsburgh, PA

Deb Reisinger, Professor of the Practice of Romance Studies, Duke University, NC 

Christine Sagnier, Lecturer & Director of the French Language Program, Princeton University, NJ

Nisrine Slitine El Mghari, Assistant Professor of French & Francophone Studies, University of Kentucky, KY

About the project

This collaborative initiative of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Texas Tech University, and Washington University in St. Louis addresses the need to articulate the value of advanced French study and the transferrable skills imparted through undergraduate French curricula.

The project goals include:

  1. Identification and description of the critical competencies associated with advanced collegiate French study via a working group of collegiate French instructors with diverse professional specializations and identities from eight colleges and universities, including minority-serving institutions;
  2. Creation of a toolkit of advocacy materials available through the French Embassy and the website for the American Association of Teachers of French for collegiate French programs and institutional advisors to help students, advisors, and faculty recognize and articulate the critical competencies developed through advanced French study;
  3. Dissemination of project findings and materials via publications, conference presentations, and a webinar. All three of these goals aim to strengthen collegiate French enrollments through collective reflection and advocacy by project participants.