Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version

Spring 6-1-2023

Document Type



Schauer, Erica C. "FRENCH 203: GRAMMAR & CONVERSATION: A Faculty-Led Inquiry into Reflective & Scholarly Teaching Benchmark Portfolio."


Copyright © 2023 Erica C. Schauer,


The following Benchmark Portfolio is the product of a full reassessment of FRENCH 203: CONVERSATION & GRAMMAR, an intermediate-level grammar course that serves as a prerequisite for students pursuing a major or a minor in French at UNL. Previously, French 203 had been a review course that covered the essential grammar structures discussed in 101, 102, 201 and 202 and invited students to practice these structures orally with peers in class. This new iteration of the course, however, seeks to broaden the reach of student comprehension of French as a functional tool of communication by requiring students to understand and explain why the French language behaves as it does. In rebuilding French 203, I have sought to clear obstacles that stand in the way of student progress with the language and increase student confidence in their ability to recognize and explain the differences between the functions of French and English. In doing so, this new version of French 203 should help students to move away from relying on working memory and develop the beginnings of procedural memory. In this benchmark portfolio, I discuss the teaching methods employed in this first implementation of the new version of French 203, enumerate and analyze the intellectual work involved in rethinking a foundational course in the French curricular sequence, and employ qualitative and quantitative analyses of the assignments and assessments completed by students in French 203.