Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • French in Society I (LANG1281) or equivalent.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • No other French language module available within the Language Centre or MLAC


  • To develop accuracy, fluency and independent usage in French.
  • To raise students' awareness of French political and socio-cultural issues and to provide them with the linguistic skills and applied terminology to discuss them in French.
  • To extend essay writing skills in French.
  • To extend the students' presentation skills in French.
  • To introduce independent research skills applied to French language sources.


  • This module focuses on the further development of essay writing and presentation skills as well as general communicative proficiency. Students will be made to develop further their understanding of the French language as well as their ability to apply their skills with greater accuracy, fluency and flexibility.
  • Through a thematic approach, which aims to integrate all four skills, students will deepen their understanding of contemporary French culture and society as well as wider social issues. Students will spend 2-3 weeks on the study of specific issues, using both written and aural source material. In addition every week some time will be reserved for the discussion and critical analysis of current new events. Class time will be used for short student presentations and tutor in-put, followed by small or whole group discussion. As part of their portfolio assignments, students will be required to research and present to their peers an area pf particular cultural or socio-political interest.
  • Indicative themed for this module are: Les evenements de mai 88; La femme dans la societe francaise; L'enseignment superieur en France; Superstition et savoir vivre en France.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will:
  • have acquired sufficient target language knowledge to use source material for research purposes
  • have developed knowledge of the text-types in the target language apppropriate to a given task (eg writing short essays, summaries and reports)
  • have deepened their knowledge of French socio-cultural concerns as these are currently being expressed by the media
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will:
  • produce text-types in the French appropriate to a given task (essays, summaries and reports)
  • give a ten minute seminar presentation on a political or socio-cultural aspect of contemporary France, demonstrating appropriate presentation skills
  • research an agreed topic demonstrating the ability to identify and critically analyse relevant English and French source material and to present their findings both orally and in writing with accuracy, fluency and cogency
  • produce an accurate oral and/or written summary in English and French of more specialist French newspaper/magazine articles, commentaries and TV or radio extracts
  • initiate and actively participate in group discussions, displaying the linguistic ability to present and defend their position coherently and with fluency in the target language
  • produce a variety of text types appropriate to the task (newspaper articles, letters, summaries etc) to a high level of accuracy showing an ability to use appropriate register and an awareness of French idiom
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will have:
  • an ability to research an agreed topic
  • an ability to act as an independent language learner
  • developed presentation skills
  • a generally enhanced ability in intercultural communication

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. 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 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 feedback 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
Other (Multimedia Lab) 22 1 per week 1 hour 22
Preparation and Reading 134
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two hour written examination 100%
Component: Oral Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
oral examination 100%
Component: Aural Assessment Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
aural examination 100%
Component: Language Portfolio Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
language portfolio 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will be given short fortnightly assignments in preparation for seminars and to practice and consolidate new material. All formative assessments will be submitted to the module tutor during class time. Summative language portfolio assignments will also fulfil a formative role since full feed-back 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