University of Maine at Augusta

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Bonjour et bienvenue!

Professor Chelsea Ray teaching French class

This site is devoted to all things French at UMA. You can learn about our courses and the French minor. Whether you’re just learning or re-awakening your French, see the FAQ below to find out what class might be right for you.

You can also get to know Chelsea Ray, Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literature at UMA.

Course Modality – Issues to Consider

- Ideally, language classes are taken in person, as the in-person interaction helps students learn the language in a meaningful context. The next best thing is to provide videos of live classes so that you can see language in “action.” If you live near Augusta and can make it one day a week, I recommend the... Read more »

Frequently Asked Questions

I had French in high school, but I am not sure if I remember much. How can I figure out what French class to take?

If you want to discuss what level might be appropriate for you, please contact Chelsea Ray at or call 621-3487. In addition, Tricia Dyer in the advising center has a placement examination to see if French 102 or French 203 might be appropriate for you. You can contact Tricia at 621-3144 or

I would like to take a French class to brush up, but I have very little time. What might you suggest?

French 103, “Conversational French for Everyone” is a favorite for a wide range of speakers, because it is a small time commitment and a lot of fun! We meet once a week for an hour. This informal, multilevel course seeks to connect UMA students with French speakers in the broader Augusta community. The syllabus is tailored to the interests, needs, and abilities of the class members: it doesn’t matter if you are just putting two words together or if you are well on your way to learning French (or re-awakening your French)! Your language skills are reinforced while you learn more about Francophone culture. There are no tests or quizzes; it simply is a class for the joy of learning French.

What if I grew up speaking French, but I am not sure where to start?

You are not alone. There are many people who are thinking about re-awakening their French language skills. Ben Levine’s film, Waking Up French, is a great inspiration to those who want to reacquire a lost childhood language. You can start by coming to the monthly French Conversation Table, which caters to the needs of speakers like you who want to connect with the language. You might think about takingFrench 103, “Conversational French for Everyone,” as this class is multilevel; it doesn’t matter if you are just beginning or well on your way to learning (or reawakening your) French. In other words, we start where you are!

What if I like the idea of learning French, but the idea of speaking in a language classroom terrifies me?

They say that people fear public speaking more than death-so what does that make public speaking in a foreign language? In her French classes, Chelsea Ray strives to make everyone comfortable and helps students to take risks in the language. Small group work and conversation partners also help in creating a supportive, close-knit community in the classroom.

I am hoping to learn more about Franco-American culture. Are there any courses at UMA?

UMA offers HUM35, “Franco-Americans: Cultural Identity in Context,” every other year. This course offers the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Franco-American New England from socio-linguistic, historical, and literary perspectives. Students will be encouraged to think about cultural identity in general, and to personalize the course by reflecting on their own background and identity. This course is taught in English.

I would love to learn more about Francophone literature. What class might work for me?

In English 389W, “Francophone Literature,” students explore the historical and aesthetic evolution of Francophone literature. Past courses have included works from North Africa, the Caribbean, and North America. The class will examine the socio-political framework of colonization and decolonization for each work as well a variety of literary traditions. The role of France and its relationship with the people and countries of the Francophone world will also be discussed. This course is taught in English.

One language sets you in a corridor for life.
Two languages open every door along the way.

University of Maine at Augusta