Review Comment

[FREN 3242 UN] French Language, Culture and Society through the Discovery of Paris

November 07, 2018

Borer, Alexandra
Third-Year Conversation W3131 and [FREN 3242 UN] French Language, Culture and Society through the Discovery of Paris

Honestly, I'm surprised she doesn't have more reviews. A previous review says that she's boring but I think that's just the nature of the French Grammar class, which I also took but with a different professor. That class was kind of boring. But Alexandra Borer? Absolutely not! She's a joy in class. Perhaps because the classes I took with her are more engaging that just consulting some grammar textbook. I took "Third-Year Conversation" and "French Language, Culture and Society through Paris" with her.

Alexandra is great at presenting new ideas and vocab in French. Often, she'll put a few words, phrases, or ideas on the board in French, and then she'll separate you into groups and ask each group to guess what the mystery terms mean. That's actually quite fun, because not only does it force you to think critically about the language, but it also gives you an opportunity to speak in French. Her classes tend to be multimedia, with a mixture of video, images, texts, poems, etc. All that's to say, her class is super interesting!

She's very sharp when listening to students' conversation. She'll come around when you're separated in groups and listen for a while, sometimes giving input, asking new questions that propel the conversation, and always correcting your speech when you make a mistake. It's helpful, she's not harsh at all!

She's also quite flexible with deadlines; I guess that's probably a very French thing...? But that's also because she never really specifies whether some written work is hand-in or not. It's like a riddle; you have to take your chances. Are our answers to these three questions for handing in? Is this short research just for me or does she want it for a grade? Either way, it's not a problem because at the end of class you'll find out (surprise!) and if you didn't do it, just show up next class with it. No penalties.


For the Conversation class: 1 presentation, weekly readings/video/research/short writing exercise as homework, 3 vocab quizzes. 1 midterm (really more of a test) on vocab and grammar. No final.

For the French Language class: 2 essays, 1 presentation (for extra credit), 4 midterms (not hard at all, just pay attention in class and to your grammar!), no written final but a final project.

The workload, all in all, is considerably less than most other classes. It's kind of just like an extra course with minimal hand-in work.

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