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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

French Language Course in the Graduate School of Education
-A gathering of colleagues interested in the French language-

Yui Morimoto
2nd year student in the Master's Program, Graduate School of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Scene from class. Professor Watanabe is at the right.

The contents of this course are extremely simple: students read the French language. Together, students read about 6 pages from various literature related to research in diverse fields. Before class, each student prepares a draft translation. The translation and details of these drafts are then reviewed in class. It may seem that such methods are used in any class on reading the French language. However, judging from my personal experience, this course differs from other language classes in that it places great focus on grammar.

Even more than the methods used, this course is made unique due to the diversity found within the small number of students in class.

I have studied in this course since the first year that Professor Yoshitaka Watanabe began teaching the classes (at that time, I was a 4th-year student in the School of Education). Every year, students of various ages and academic specialties gather together based on their interest in the French language and French-speaking countries. Student's goals include reading theses written in French, working at a French museum in the future, and studying abroad in a French-speaking country.

Textbook used in class (L'Erreur)

As far as I am aware, the specialties of students in the class range from French literature to Japanese literature, sociology, drama, and art management. In the course, students read literature related to each student's research area, thus creating the opportunity to encounter a wide variety of fields. Literature which we have read thus far includes a sociology thesis, an essay by the Belgian painter Rene Magritte, and a novel which is said to have been read by Kafu Nagai.

Even if Professor Watanabe stops teaching this class or if the course itself ceases to exist, I hope that students who feel passion towards the French language will gather around Professor Watanabe and that language study will continue in a more informal setting.