From the tiniest atoll in the South Pacific to major world capitals, from private conversations at sidewalk cafés in Paris or Montréal to policy discussions at the United Nations and World Bank, French remains one of the dominant international languages. It is spoken by millions on every continent, including close to home in Canada’s Québec, the Caribbean and the French Quarter in New Orleans. Studying and learning another language is personally and intellectually enriching. You broaden your perspective to include other cultures. Travel experiences are transformed to where you communicate and interact effectively with locals and not depend on tour guides or interpreters. Also imagine a semester abroad or graduate school opportunities at a French university where you live and immerse yourself in the language and culture while pursuing French studies in conjunction with advancing your major area in disciplines such as Business/Economics, Political Science, and the Humanities.
A minor in French can bring you closer to realizing the above and, in conjunction with a degree in a specialty area, will open doors to employment opportunities not otherwise available. French is one of the official languages of conducting business in all international, political and economic institutions. The United States federal government, particularly the Departments of State and Defense and the various intelligence agencies, always look for candidates with foreign language skills. The situation in the private sector is the same. Our modern globalized economy requires private companies to seek out bilingual and bi-cultural job applicants if they want to remain competitive in the international market place.
Locally and regionally, French is also one of the three official languages (along with English and Spanish) for all political and commercial activities linked to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Colorado, with its extensive business links to Latin American countries and the energy industry in Canada, plays an important role in NAFTA activities. Additionally, if you are searching for a career in education, our local and regional public schools all have French programs and actively search graduates who have a primary or additional teaching endorsement in French. Finally, as our region and state continue to attract more and more people from other countries, the need for foreign language skills in assisting the public will continue to increase. Studying French, even as a minor, will give you a competitive edge.
The goal of the French minor program is to have our students achieve an intermediate degree of transilingual and transcultural competency. Our program has five learning objectives based on the five C’s: Communications, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities. For our Communication objective students are expected to attain at least and Intermediate High proficiency level as per ACTFL standards.