Department of French at St. George

Statement of Purpose

The Department of French offers a wide range of undergraduate courses and programs to accommodate flexible degrees of interest and previous experience. Students interested in the practical aspects of proficiency in the French language may access courses at all the appropriate levels, from absolute beginner to high advanced, and language programming aimed at the gradual mastery of written and oral skills with a strong literacy in the cultures of the French-speaking world. The Department also offers a learning environment that is conducive to informal social interaction in French, thanks to weekly Tables françaises, a news lounge, and cultural programming.

Our undergraduate programs in literature cover the whole range of time periods, from the middle ages to extremely contemporary works, as well as a full gamut of areas of study, from France, Quebec and Africa. The development of techniques and critical skills for the analysis of literary works highlight the evolution of genres through time and space. Several courses offered in English explore cultural aspects such as the social practice of film in Africa, the varied expression of desire in French cultures, or specific French approaches to cultural life.

Our undergraduate programs in French Linguistics provide a firm understanding of French sounds, word and sentence construction, meaning and discourse and their relationship with the acquisition of French in bilingual settings and the social aspects of its use. Students who are interested in teaching French will also find a focus on pedagogical theory and best practices in teaching and learning, as well a dedicated course on young people’s literature.

Our Master’s program in French is both a standalone program and a springboard toward advanced graduate studies in the research-focused PhD. We offer an M.A. in French Literature and an M.A. in French Linguistics with a full range of distinctive courses and the option to complete a supervised research essay. The objectives of the program are to allow students to develop deep academic knowledge of their discipline of choice through a series of methodology courses and research-oriented seminars and to perfect and fine tune their research skills in French Studies.

Our PhD program offers specialization in French Literature or in French Linguistics. The PhD is a necessary preparation for a career in higher education in Canada and abroad which will include teaching and research at an advanced academic level. The PhD includes a combination of advanced seminars, field examinations, a high amount of embedded professional experience in teaching and research, and the presentation of the results of a significant contribution to the discipline in the form of an original dissertation.

Our Location

We are located at 50 St. Joseph Street, at the north-west corner of Bay and St. Joseph Streets. Quite appropriately, this historic building, Clover Hill, brings us to a site rooted in the French past of Toronto. In 1852, Armand, comte de Charbonnel, the Catholic Bishop of Toronto, invited the Basilian order of priests to come from France and set up a seminary-college. After a few temporary locations, they acquired a site at Clover Hill and modelled the buildings on the minor seminaries of France and constructed them in the French Gothic style.

The Department of French occupies the second floor where its central administrative offices are now located.