Former Students Talk Teaching

Ian Curtis:

“At Yale I have taught Intermediate and Advanced French I and II, where students begin to master complex grammar, and to read classic works of French fiction, including novels by Camus and Gide.  I have also worked as a teaching fellow for The Modern French Novel, which introduces students to a wide range of works of Realism, Modernism, Surrealism and the Nouveau Roman.  Teaching at Yale has been a valuable opportunity to hone my pedagogical and professional skills in both language instruction and in leading advanced literary discussion in a seminar format.  A number of the authors I have taught are prominent figures in my own research (Stendhal, Gide, Camus)—engaging with their novels in the classroom has helped me to develop my intellectual perspectives, and I have learned a great deal about my own work from my students.”

Carole Delaitre:

“I taught a beginner level course during my third year. French 110-120 is a year-long course, entirely taught in French using a method created at Yale called “French in Action”.  “French in Action” is sometimes a bit outdated (the method was created in the late 1980s), but it is a very efficient method which allows student to be able to speak French at a good level after only a year. Though I had taught language classes before coming to Yale, I had never taught a beginner level and it was therefore extremely valuable for my professional development to teach at this level.  . It allows you to develop the skills needed to teach in French to students who have never been exposed to this language. As it is an intense method, “French in action” gives you a real opportunity to work closely with the students and to help them along the way

I am currently in my fifth year and my teaching assignments are in literature classes.  This semester, I am a Teaching Fellow for a class co-taught by Professors Alice Kaplan and Maurice Samuels called “Modern French Novel”.  It is a survey of the major French novels from a diversity of perspectives (literary, stylistic, sociological, historical, literary history).  As a Teaching Fellow, I am in charge of teaching the Discussion Section in French (the students read the texts, speak in class and write their papers in French). In addition to the intellectual benefits one can get from attending the seminars taught by Professors Kaplan and Samuels, being a teaching fellow for “Modern French Novel” has given me the opportunity to learn how to teach a discussion section and to lead a literature class in French with students from different backgrounds, which sometimes means introducing them to literature all together. It also gives me the chance to work closely with senior teachers and benefit from their advices.

Next semester, I will be a Teaching Assistant for my thesis adviser, Professor Cadieu.”

Pierre Huguet:

“Teaching at Yale has been a very valuable experience for me. I’ve taught Intermediate and Advanced French I and II. Teaching gave me the opportunity to learn and develop new pedagogical skills under the guidance of senior lecturers. In more advanced classes where students are introduced to literature in French, I was able to develop my own style and approach to teaching, two elements that are central in the job application process. Teaching to smart and motivated students also gave me a unique opportunity to learn about my own perspectives on literature.”