Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • GCSE French, grade C or equivalent.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • No other French language module taken either with the Language Centre or MLAC


  • To enable students to function effectively in a general social context.
  • To extend lexis and knowledge of grammar.
  • To develop writing skills in the target language.
  • To promote intercultural understanding.


  • The first part of this module aims to consolidate and revise prior learning.
  • This will involve a comprehensive review of basic language structures followed by the study of key aspects of French grammar.
  • Communicative competence will be developed through interactive language tasks and exercises focussing on listening and speaking skills.
  • A combination of structured and free role-play exercises will be used to practise conversation, encouraging students to develop and transfer their skills to different social contexts.
  • Guided and independent self-study will be an important element of this unit in order to achieve maximum exposure to the target language and to accelerate the pace of learning.
  • Visual stimuli such as photographs, statistical tables and charts will be used to practise basic presentation and writing skills.
  • In order to promote independent writing students will be encouraged to keep a diary in the target language noting routine and unusual events.
  • Functional topics will mainly be based in an everyday social context and will be determined by the course book.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • understand the description of events and feelings in personal letters.
  • connect phrases in order to describe and comment on experiences and events.
  • extract relevant information and summarise written texts which consist mainly of high-frequency everyday language
  • demonstrate an understanding of some key aspects of contemporary French society and political organisation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • summarise interviews, dialogues and other aural texts on course related topics.
  • write connected text topics which are familiar or of a personal interest.
  • write personal letters describing experiences and impressions.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will:
  • understand the main points of clear standard speech on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, leisure etc.
  • demonstrate their ability to deal effectively with unexpected situations relating to familiar themes.
  • deal with a variety of situations likely to arise whilst travelling in the host country.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • This module is delivered through seminar style classes and multimedia lab sessions, which will meet twice weekly.
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and to provide students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and from recorded material.
  • Small group teaching is particularly suitable for the development of oral/aural skills as it offers all students the chance to participate in role play and other communicative activities.
  • In preparation for each session students will be expected to revise new material and complete formative language exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students' level of language attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading).
  • In order to reflect the continuous nature of the language learning process the module will be assessed by a combination of formative and summative in-course assessment and by formal written examination.
  • Summative assessments will also fulfil a formative function since feed-back on summative in-course assessments will be made available to students.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 22 1 per week 2 Hours 44
Multimedia lab 22 1 per week 1 Hour 22
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one-hour written examination 100%
Component: Continuous Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
mid-term written class test 50%
portfolio 50%
Component: Oral Assessment/Aural Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
oral assessment 50%
aural assessment 50%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given short fortnightly assignments in preparation for seminars, to practise and consolidate new material as well as to assess student's ability and transfer their knowledge to new situations. All formative assessment will be submitted to the module tutor during class time. Summative language portfolio tasks will also fulfil a formative role since full feedback will be provided to students.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University