Skip People


  • Participants
Skip Activities


  • Assignments
  • Forums
  • Resources
Skip Administration


  • Grades
  • Profile
Skip Course Support

Course Support

OL 101: My Course Help offers Quick Start Guides, an FAQ, and other information to help you navigate this site.

For quick resolution to technical or administrative issues, please Contact Our Support Staff rather than your instructor.

Skip Required Textbooks

Required Textbooks

  1. Amon, Evelyne, Muyskens, Judith A., and Omaggio Hadley, Alice C. Vis-a-vis: Beginning French with Digital Workbook/LabManual (Quia), 5th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010. ISBN: 9780077943202

    (used in French 102 and 103)

This course preview outlines the details of this online course. For more information on taking this course, please send an e-mail message to our support staff at UW offices are closed on these holidays.

Course Preview
  • 6 lessons
  • 6 written/oral assignments
  • 2 exams (midterm and final)

Bienvenue! Welcome to French 101. This course is the first part of a series of three courses: French 101, French 102, and French 103. Through this series, you will develop a basic level of proficiency in French, in the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. You will also discover a new culture as you are introduced to France and the rest of the French-speaking world, known as la Francophonie. You might be surprised to learn that more than 220 million people in the world speak French as their first or second language.

No knowledge of the French language is necessary to start this course. French 101 will provide you with a firm basis for continuing your study of the French language. You will soon be able, in French, to ask questions, describe yourself and your immediate surroundings, and express what you like to eat and drink and what plans you have for the weekend.

The material we will cover is the same as that taught in the first-year courses on campus at the University of Washington. I highly recommend that you take advantage of the extra activities and exercises in the Vis-à-vis Online Learning Center ( as well as the exercises, which are assigned in Centro (your online workbook and lab manual). These will provide you with more oral practice as well as pronunciation tips.

I hope you enjoy this course! Amusez-vous bien!

Course Objectives

When you have finished this course, you will be able to

  • understand basic conversation elements spoken at a pace somewhat slower than normal;
  • greet people and master basic words of politeness;
  • talk about your studies;
  • talk about yourself, your environment, and your family;
  • describe your room, your belongings, and your clothing;
  • describe the weather and the seasons;
  • tell time;
  • talk about meals and food; and
  • express your preferences and talk about your pastimes.

The Online Environment

Your online course offers several advantages to the traditional classroom, including the comprehensive Online Student Handbook, the ability to communicate electronically with students and with your instructor, and links to a rich array of library resources.

Student Handbook

Access information about your online course here or from your Course Syllabus

Online Student Handbook

This handbook answers questions about your online learning course, such as how to purchase your text, schedule an exam, obtain a transcript, and get technical help if you need it. The handbook also provides additional resources, such as how to order books or journals from the library and how to study for an online course.

Communication with Your Instructor and Student Peers

Two methods you will use for communicating during your online course include discussion forums and e-mail.
  • Online Discussion Forums allow you to communicate with other currently enrolled students and with your instructor. We encourage you to use the forum to exchange ideas, resources, and comments about your course work with other students in this course. This unstructured forum is monitored by your instructor.
  • You can use e-mail to ask me a question or preferably post your question on the forum. I will reply on the same forum.

Library Resources

As an online student, you have access to a wealth of Web resources compiled to provide fast, easy access to information that supports your online learning experience. Organized by subjects, Library Resources link you to sites with help for writing and research, study skills, language learning, and library reference materials. All links have been assessed for credibility and reliability, and they are regularly monitored to ensure their usability.

Course Overview

This course covers material from chapitre 1 to chapitre 6 of your textbook. The work is divided into the six lessons that make up these online materials. Leçon une through six (corresponding to chapters 1 through 6 in your textbook) will guide you through the material presented in the textbook. At the end of leçon trois and six, you will find review materials that will prepare you for the two major exams in this course—the midterm and the final.

Besides the lessons, graded assignments, and exams, this course provides ample practice for writing French through several non-graded practice exercises from both your textbook and online workbook/lab manual, as well as practice quizzes. For practice listening, you will find pronunciation aids and recordings of vocabulary as well as verb forms and other aspects of the French language embedded in the online lessons. You will also have access to the Vis-à-vis Web site where you will find more opportunities to hear and practice spoken French.


In the course commentary, all French words are in italics and a French word or phrase surrounded by asterisks (e.g. *word*) indicates an incorrect spelling or format.

The course also includes a discussion forum, La table française, for even more opportunities to communicate in French. Finally, several Your-Turn activities enhance the cultural aspect of learning French.

About the Course Materials

Vis-à-vis Text

Amon, Evelyne, Muyskens, Judith A., and Omaggio Hadley, Alice C. Vis-a-vis: Beginning French with Digital Workbook/LabManual (Quia), 5th ed. New York: McGraw Hill, 2010. ISBN: 9780077943202

Vis-à-vis, 5th edition, is a textbook we have used at the University of Washington for all of our French 100 level courses. It is an excellent college-level text and is rich in cultural material. The explanations are clear, and the book provides a lot of exercises to practice the new skills that you will acquire in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. French 101 will cover the first six chapters of the book.


The online Vis-à-vis Workbook/Lab Manual found in Centro will help you practice what you have learned in the lessons. Most of the exercises are automatically corrected so that you can receive immediate feedback on your progress.

The online workbook/lab manual exercises will give you practice in listening, pronunciation, and intonation, simulating the interaction you would have in class with a French-speaking instructor. While many of the written workbook/lab manual exercises are for practice, those that can have more than one answer are typically included in the assignments that you submit to your instructor for a grade.

Vis-à-vis Web Site

Vis-à-vis Web Site

Access the textbook audio material, the à l'écoute sur Internet online exercises, the iMix playlist, and other activities associated with each chapter for practice.

Access the Web site to complete the optional à l'écoute sur Internet online exercises, listen to French popular music, and find more grammar and vocabulary practice.

internet À l'écoute sur Internet Online Exercises

A small globe icon appears in the online lessons in the section called "à l'écoute sur Internet" to indicate when to access the site for the assigned exercises (even though many exercises are not assigned, I encourage you to explore as many of them as possible).

  1. Connect to the Vis-à-vis Web site: (
  2. "Choose a chapitre" from the drop-down menu on the left; you will be given a choice of exercises for that chapter.
  3. Select "à l'écoute sur Internet" and read the directions.
  4. Click the icon to start the recorder at the top of the page and respond to the exercise.
  5. You will receive immediate feedback when you submit your answers, which will give you an idea of how well you have understood the material in the chapter.

About the Course Activities


Wherever you see the audio player, you can follow along in your textbook while you listen.

Click on the right arrow arrow to start the audio.

About Listening

Throughout the course there are links via an audio player that allow you to hear French pronunciation. These include short vocabulary sections which correspond to pictures in your text, a few Allez-y! exercises from your text, Prononcez bien!, Le parler jeune, Vocabulaire, and Questions and Example Answers.

For Prononcez bien! you will need to listen carefully as the audio includes expressions for the entire chapter and you will have to move the slider to the correct location.

earphones In some instances, you will see "Listen to your Instructor" followed by a link to PowerPoint presentation with audio explaining a topic in more detail.

About La table française

La table française
is a discussion forum for French conversation. Try to answer in French only!

See the Discussion Forum Guidelines

The optional discussion forum, La table française, enables us to simulate one of the features of a face-to face setting—being able to converse with other students. Just as students on campus often meet informally face-to-face to practice their French, we'll be able to practice through this online meeting place. All students currently enrolled in Elementary French 101 have access to this discussion forum (See the Discussion Forum Guidelines for details about using this tool). You may respond to postings, or just observe them passively, but you should respond in French only! At any time during your enrollment, you can access La table française, introduce yourself, and practice with other beginning French students. Remember, this is an opportunity to communicate with other students enrolled in French 101 at your skill level.

Your instructor will post topics and questions to get you started, provide general feedback and tips, or pose new questions approximately every two weeks. You should not expect individual feedback in La table française, and you should not ask questions about your work, your grade, or anything that you need a timely response from your instructor for. Rather e-mail your instructor directly with all individual course or assignment related questions.

About Practice Exercises

Practice Exercises

You do not need to submit practice exercises.

Practice Exercises allow you to apply the concepts presented in each lesson. These exercises are for practice only and do not need to be submitted. Most of these exercises are from the Allez-y! section of your textbook and answers are provided in a separate files that include a menu to help you find specific exercise answers. Where there is no one right answer for an exercise (because the answer will vary according to each person), answers are not provided, you will see the following note: Note: Answers will vary.

Practice Quizzes and Exams

There are several online quizzes that provide immediate feedback in each lesson for additional practice. There are also practice exam quizzes for both the midterm and the final. While these exams are online quizzes, the official midterm and final exams are paper and pencil (or pen) and require scheduling.

About Your-Turn

These activities pose additional questions, suggest further readings, or encourage exploration of topics that focus on French culture.

About the Lessons

Perspectives Icons


songLa vie en chantant

internetà l'écoute sur Internet

listeListe de vocabulaire

For the most part, the lessons in these online materials follow the order that material is presented in your textbook. With the addition of the midterm exam preparation and final exam preparation in lessons 3 and 6, respectively, each lesson is organized as follows:

  1. First, each lesson starts with a series of objectives. Read these objectives to discover what you will learn in a particular lesson. Then, revisit them once you have finished the lesson, using them as a checklist to assess whether you have learned what you need to. You will also find links,as mentioned above, to PowerPoint presentations with audio where you can "Listen to your Instructor" further explain a particular topic.
  2. Following the objectives, a section called Paroles, provides vocabulary study. This section is designed to teach you new words and expressions in French. Oral exercises in the Paroles section will not be accompanied by answers because they are simply oral practice of the new words acquired.
  3. You will then move on to the section called Structures, which provides grammar study. Here, you will learn the fundamentals of French grammar. All exercises under the Structures section will have answers provided to you, since you are then assimilating important grammatical points.

    In your textbook, each Structures section is divided into two parts and includes a sub-section named Reportage, which presents some readings and cultural information. In order to keep this course structure simple, we will deal with the Reportage section separately, after all the Structures have been covered.
  1. In the last section, called Perspectives, you will find readings as well as listening comprehension exercises. The readings are provided in the textbook, but for the listening exercises (à l'écoute sur Internet), you will need to connect to the Vis-à-vis Web site to hear the audio material.

    The suggested exercises in this section are for practice, and you will not need to turn these in. As with other practice exercises, answers are provided in a sidebar, or you will see a note reminding you that answers will vary.
In this section, you will also find:

Wherever you see the audio player, you can follow along in your textbook while you listen.

Click on the right arrow arrow to start the audio.

    • lecturesLectures: readings selections that are thematically connected to the current chapter topic.
    • song La vie en chantant: presents music from France, both traditinal and contemporary.
    • internetÀ l'écoute sur Internet: For more oral practice you can connect to:

      Follow the directions on the site to complete the listening comprehension exercise.

    • liste Liste de vocabulaire: includes a link to the Vis-à-vis Web site. While listening to the recorded native speaker read the vocabulary, you will practice repeating the words from your textbook. Listening to the vocabulary will help you pronounce the words correctly and, at the same time, memorize them.

About Assignments

You will have a total of six assignments in this course (one for each lesson). Assignment consist of a combination of written and oral Workbook/Lab Manual Exercises, Worksheets, Composition Exercise, and/or Oral Exercises corresponding to the chapter you just studied. Assignments are important, as they serve as a check on your comprehension and progress. They are a requirement, and essential to your success in this course.

You will find instructions for each assignment on the Assignment page. You will complete and submit your work to your instructor for a grade.

Written Assignments

Most written assignments are derived from material in the online workbook/lab manual and quizzes included in the online materials. Some short compositions will be assigned as well. You will submit your written work for each assignment in a single Word document, using the "Upload a file" button at the end of the Assignment page. See "To Submit Written Assignments" below and individual assignments for detailed assignment instructions. See also the Assignment Submission Guidelines.

Creating Special Characters in MS Word for French

On a PC

Press the Ctrl key and the "special key" at the same time. Then type the letter.

  • ACCENT GRAVE: CTRL+` (above the Tab key), the letter
    à, è, ì, ò, ù,
    À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù
  • ACCENT ACUTE: CTRL+' (apostrophe), the letter
    á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
    Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú,Ý
  • CIRCUMFLEX: CTRL+SHIFT+^ (caret—above the 6), the letter
    â, ê, î, ô, û
    Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û
  • CEDILLA: CTRL+, (comma), c or C
    ç, Ç

You can also look up these characters using the Insert menu. Select Symbol … and start searching for the character you want (this is a very tedious process—it's much easier to learn the keyboard shortcuts.)

On a Mac
  • ACCENT GRAVE: Option +` (above the Tab key), the letter
    à, è, ì, ò, ù,
    À, È, Ì, Ò, Ù
  • ACCENT ACUTE: Option + e, the letter
    á, é, í, ó, ú, ý
    Á, É, Í, Ó, Ú,Ý
  • CIRCUMFLEX: Option + i, the letter
    â, ê, î, ô, û
    Â, Ê, Î, Ô, Û
  • CEDILLA: Option + c or C
    ç, Ç


To Submit Written Assignments

You will submit your completed assignments via MS Word files (see below for format). If this is technically impossible for you for any reason, please make arrangements with your instructor at the beginning of the course to use another method.

For all assignments:

  • Save a copy of each assignment as a precaution.
  • Include your name and page number on every page.
  • Please submit only one assignment at a time.

Your instructor will make every attempt to return each assignment with individual feedback within 7–10 days of receiving it.

Format for Word documents:
  • Submit assignments as MS Word documents using the following convention for naming your file: yourlastname10x_# (where "x" is the last digit of the course number (101, 102, 103) and "#" is the assignment number)
  • Example: LeSmith103_6

Oral Assignments

Record Responses
You will need a PC equipped with a microphone, so you can create an audio file and e-mail it to your instructor.
  1. To do this, go to
    Start>All Programs> Accessories>Sound Recorder.
  2. Say your name, the lesson number, and the NUMBER of the Oral Exercise distinctly before you begin.
  3. When you are finished save the file as: your last e.g. beck_a01.wav

In the oral exercises, you will use your computer's Sound Recorder. You will be asked to record the oral portion of your assignment, in which you pronounce words and sentences. You will also listen to dictations and questions for which you will write down what you hear or provide answers to questions. You will then record what you wrote.

Be sure to read through the instructions on the Assignment page for each exercise. When you are ready, you will record responses for the exercise. For each recording you make, please use the following format, so that the instructor can record the submission of your assignment:

  • Introduce yourself in French: Je m'appelle
  • State your student ID number in French: Mon numéro d'étudiant est
  • Give the number of the assignment in French: Devoir numéro

As you record your assignment, speak slowly and clearly. Remember that you can rerecord it as often as you need before submitting it to the instructor. If needed, your instructor will provide feedback when she listens to your recording.

Be sure to save your written responses, where indicated, as you will be asked to submit them in the same Word file as the written portion of your assignment. Your written responses will help your instructor gauge any problems that you are having in hearing particular sounds or words; responses will be returned to you with feedback.

If you have any questions about using this system, please call the Program Support Services office at (206) 543-2320 or (800)543-2320.

To Record Responses

You will need a PC equipped with a microphone, so you can create an audio file and e-mail it to your instructor.
  1. To do this, go to
    Start>All Programs> Accessories>Sound Recorder.
  2. Say your name, the lesson number, and the NUMBER of the Oral Exercise distinctly before you begin.
  3. When you are finished save the file as: your last e.g. beck_a01.wav and submit to your instructor via e-mail.

About the Exams

Scheduling Exams

Refer to the Online Student Handbook for exam details, such as scheduling an exam and locating a proctor. Start this process three weeks before your target exadate.

There are two exams associated with this course: a midterm and a final. The midterm will focus on chapters 1 through 3, and the final, while focusing more on chapters 4 through 6, will be comprehensive, encompassing material from all the chapters studied so far. Refer to the Online Student Handbook for exam details, including how to schedule an exam and locate a proctor. It is recommended that you start this process three weeks before your target exam date.

You will take the midterm after completing Leçon trois and the final after completing Leçon six. The exams will contain written exercises, similar to those that you work on throughout the course.

  • The midterm exam follows Leçon trois and covers Leçons une, deux, and troix.You will have one hour to compete the exam.
  • The final exam follows Leçon six and focuses on Leçons quatre, cinz, and six. The final exam is cumulative, but emphasizes the remaining lessons following the midterm. You will have two hours to complet the exam.
  • Exam Proctor

    If you live in an area without an established proctor and you haven't found one yet, do so as soon as possible. Setting up a proctor in advance will ensure quick delivery of your exam when you are ready to take it. (A list of all established proctors is included in the Online Student Handbook.)

Do not take the exams until you have received back all assignments that precede the exam. The exams are closed-book, so you may not bring your textbook.

The exams will be graded on a 4.0 scale.

About Grading and Deadlines

For each assignment and the exams, you will receive a percentage grade. This percentage is based on the number of points you receive, divided by the total possible number of points for the assignment. For example, if you receive 90 out of 100 points on an assignment, you will receive 90 percent.

The following table is a conversion chart that you can use to convert any grade you receive to the University of Washington 4.0 grading system:

Per Cent G. Point Letter
100-99 4.0  
98-97 3.9  
96-95 3.8 A
94-93 3.7  
92-91 3.6  
90 3.5  
89 3.4  
88 3.3  
87 3.2  
86 3.1  
85 3.0 B
84 2.9  
83 2.8  
82 2.7  
81 2.6  
80 2.5  
79 2.4  
78 2.3  
77 2.2  
76 2.1  
75 2.0 C
74 1.9  
73 1.8  
72 1.7  
71 1.6  
70 1.5  
69 1.4  
68 1.3  
67 1.2  
66 1.1  
65 1.0 D
64 .9  
63 .8  
62 .7  
61 .7  
60 .7  

The table below shows the weight of assignments and exams in percentages.

6 Written/oral assignments 70%
Midterm exam 15 %
Final exam 15%

For written assignments, you will be expected to include all accents and other special markings, as these are an integral part of correct French spelling and grammar.

Students cannot receive a passing grade in the course unless they pass the final exam with a 70%, regardless of grades on other materials.


If you need to have your final course grade turned in to the registrar by a certain date, plan ahead. Work is graded on a first-come-first-served basis. If you wait until close to your course deadline to submit multiple assignments, they may not get graded in as timely a manner as you would like.

Allow two weeks after submitting your final for Distance Learning to process your grade. Allow even more time if you are taking the exam with a proctor. We cannot get through the process any faster. If your schedule turns out to be particularly tight, you may request a letter from your instructor indicating that you have completed the course and what your course grade is. You may be able to use this prior to having your grade posted to your transcript.

Study Tips

General Study Tips

Refer to "Study Tips and Procedures" in Online Student Handbook for information on the logistics of course completion and tips on how to establish good study habits.

People learn differently, but the following tips, if occasionally obvious, should prove helpful to anyone interested in making the best use of study time in a language course.

  1. Have your textbook and these online materials open at the same time. Let the latter guide you through the textbook. You should, however, read the assigned sections of the textbook and not rely solely on these online materials.
  2. Do the exercises as you go along, as indicated in these online materials.
  3. Do not begin the end-of-chapter assignments until you have gone through the entire lesson.
  4. Learning a language is much like building a house. You must establish and maintain a strong foundation; otherwise, your house will topple during the building process. The information you learn in each lesson is essential for proceeding to the next. It is a good idea to review material from previous lessons periodically.
  5. Read carefully and underline terms and passages that are not immediately clear. The text will make frequent use of grammatical terms. If it has been a while since you have thought about grammar, you may want to consult English Grammar for Students of French: The Study Guide for Those Learning French (Jacqueline Morton. Olivia & Hill Press, June, 2002. ISBN 093403432X)
  6. Use the examples in the text and in these online materials. When studying a foreign language, students often read through the examples too quickly and move immediately to the English translation. Instead, you should take the time to look at the French examples without checking the English translation until you have observed the French structure.
  7. Once you understand the example, memorize it. I cannot stress the importance of memorization enough. You want to be able to understand, recite, and apply an appropriate verb conjugation, grammatical example, or vocabulary word quickly, without prompting or notes. Until you are able to do this, you have not learned the lesson. The following tips can help you exercise your memory:
    1. Work out loud. You will retain the material better if you see it and hear it at the same time. Try to put away your modesty and pronounce everything clearly and with a confident voice!
    2. Whenever possible, learn vocabulary from examples, not from word lists. It is easier to remember words that are in the context of a whole sentence rather than in isolation.
    3. You can make your own flash cards, using 3 x 5 index cards, and use them to practice anything you need to work on. For example, test your knowledge of new vocabulary by writing the French word on one side of the card and the English translation on the other. Take the flashcards with you on the bus or post them on your mirror to review while you're brushing your teeth! For example, to learn food items (leçon 1, Vis-à-vis), you may want to label items in your kitchen. Be creative!
    4. Try to quiz yourself many times throughout the day to see if you remember how to say a particular word in French. For example, "How do I say 'I am hungry' in French?" or "What is this object called in French?" This way you will keep practicing your vocabulary.
    5. Try to associate a movement with new words you learn. Research shows that your brain will retain the material better if it is learned along with a body movement. For instance when you learn the greeting bonjour, put your hand forward as if you were shaking someone's hand, while pronouncing the new word. When you learn the verb boire (to drink), you can simulate drinking something.
  8. Be patient and persistent. It is absolutely normal to make mistakes and to need constant repetition and review. Think of children and how they learn how to speak. They do not have any reference language—they just catch words as they can in a highly repetitive environment. Learning a language takes a long time and it is sometimes very frustrating; however, with persistence and effort, you will be amazed at how much you can learn!
  9. The more you learn about French-speaking countries and the people, who live there, the better you will remember what you are learning. You can, for example, rent travel videos or French-speaking movies, check out audio tapes or CDs of French songs from the library, attend lectures in the French department, or look for articles about French-speaking countries in the newspaper. In other words, making the language relevant in its context is very important.
  10. About You

    Don't forget to fill out your student profile. Click on your name from the Participants list and select Edit profile. You, your instructor, and other students in the course can view these profiles to learn more about each other.

  11. And don't forget one thing: Enjoy yourself! Learning French may be one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things you have ever done! And wait until you are in Paris and can actually go buy your baguette and chat with the baker in French! You will never regret the efforts you have made!

French Internet Resources

Seattle International Sister City: Nantes, France:

Site officiel de la Ville de Nantes: (The French 101 developer's home city in France.)

About the Developer

Hedwige Meyer is the French 100-level program coordinator. She supervises a team of Teaching Assistants, to whom she gives pedagogical advice and support. She has published the following French workbooks: Supplementary Exercices for French 100 (McGraw Hill, 1995); Workbook to accompany RendezVous, 5th edition (McGraw Hill, 1998); Encore des Exercices (McGraw Hill, 1998); Workbook to accompany Vis-à-vis, 2nd edition (McGraw Hill, 2000); Workbook to accompany Vis-à-vis, 3rd edition (McGraw Hill, 2004). Hedwige is native French, from the city of Nantes in western France. Nantes is a sister city to Seattle, Washington. Take a look at the offiicial Web site for Nantes on the "French Internet Resources" page linked from the Course Syllabus.

Skip Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events
Skip Latest news

Latest news

  • 01:34 PM,Sep 3
    Online Learning
    About the Final Exam more...
Skip Calendar


Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31      

Events Key