Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • French in Society 2 (LANG2051) or equivalent.


Excluded Combination of Modules

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


  • To further develop high level language skills for reflection and communication.
  • To raise students' awareness on current aspects of language and culture in France or French speaking countries.
  • To promote a high level of academic writing in French.
  • To promote independent research using French language material from a variety of academic or media sources.
  • To introduce interpreting from French into English.
  • To introduce interpreting from English into French.


  • Designed for students having studied French in Society 2 (or equivalent) in their 2nd year, this module will further develop advanced communication skills in French through a study of some aspects of contemporary French speaking societies either within a European or a Global context.
  • Guided contact with the French media will be used to develop core skills in interpreting, translation and academic writing.
  • Students will further develop their research skills within the target language, learning how to collect data from a variety of different media. They will carry on developing their skills in using catalogues and other electronic systems for locating appropriate source material within the target language.
  • Students will be able to further develop their understanding of the French language as well as their ability to apply their skills with greater accuracy, fluency and flexibility.
  • As part of their portfolio assignments, students will be required to research and present to their peers an area of particular cultural or socio-political interest.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will have:
  • acquired sufficient knowledge of French to use source material for research purposes
  • obtained an explicit and productive knowledge of a variety of text types appropriate to a task
  • obtained a knowledge of French socio-cultural concerns as these are currently being expressed by the media
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will:
  • research an agreed topic in the target language
  • identify and critically analyse English and target language source material
  • produce oral and written summaries of target language source material
  • translate specialist and general articles
  • present in the target language with a high degree of fluency
  • defend a position in the target language
  • engage in ad-hoc interpreting in general contexts
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will have:
  • an enhanced ability in written communication in a cross-cultural context
  • developed an ability to engage in research
  • an ability to act as an autonomous language learner
  • presentation skills for cross-linguistic contexts
  • skills 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 a combination of seminar style classes and language laboratory interpreting exercises. In preparation for each session students will be expected to prepare a set of materials, either individually or in small groups, which will be presented and discussed during class time, thus fostering students' development as independent learners. Interpreting skills will be developed and assessed through simulated language laboratory role-play exercises.
  • The assessment scheme for this module is designed to test students' communication skills and the level of attainment in language production (speaking and writing) and reception (listening and reading). In order to reflect the continuous nature of language learning, the module will be assessed by a combination of formative and summative in-course assessments and by formal examination. Summative assessments will also fulfil a formative function, with feedback being formulated in a way that will help students to benchmark their own progress.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 2 1 in Michaelmas term. 1 in Epiphany term 20 minutes 0.66
Seminars 22 Once Weekly 2 hours 44
Other Lab Session 22 Once Weekly 1 hour 22
Preparation and Reading 133.34
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written examination 2 hours 100%
Component: Aural Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Interpreting and aural examination 100%
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research portfolio assignment 100%
Component: Presentation Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Seminar presentation in French 15 minutes 100%

Formative Assessment:

Three formative assignments. Preparation for seminars, oral presentation/ discussion.

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