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French for Professional Purposes in US Undergraduate Education: An Analysis of Course Offerings and Student Demand Open Access

In the past decade, there has been a significant decline in French language enrollments in US higher education institutions, despite a growing demand for French proficiency in the North American job market. These trends illustrate the need to offer French for Professional Purposes (FPP) courses, which allow students to develop language skills adapted to the professional environment. Our research aims to analyze the supply and demand for FPP courses. In this current study, we assessed the proportion of four-year colleges and universities that offer FPP courses, and we compiled the variety of their course offerings. We then conducted a survey of students enrolled in the FPP courses. Among the 545 institutions reviewed, a majority offered at least one FPP course, usually Business French. Institutions offering more than one course and a wider diversity of course topics were less common. Based on questionnaire responses, we found a significant mismatch between the supply of courses and students’ demand for FPP course offerings. We also found that, if given the possibility, most undergraduate students in the first through third years would like to enroll in another FPP course in the following academic year. These results call for further developments of FPP courses nationwide and greater diversification of course offerings.

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