Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (French)


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None Location Durham


  • French Language 1 (FREN1011) or an equivalent qualification to the satisfaction of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.


  • Modern Languages, Combined Honours and all Joint and 'with' programmes: at least one other Level 2 French cultural module. Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative.French Language.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To develop students’ knowledge of and ability to express themselves in French
  • To develop students' ability to write effectively in French for a variety of purposes (essays, articles, reviews) and to translate fluently and accurately from and into French, whilst also consolidating grammar knowledge and vocabulary acquisition
  • To develop students' spoken French as they take part in informal conversation and discussions and give presentations
  • To develop students’ knowledge and understanding of French culture and their awareness of cultural issues.


  • The module is taught in two weekly one-hour classes: translation/composition and oral. The translation/composition class is taught in English and French; the oral class is taught in French
  • Work in the translation class is based on texts from module booklet 1 (Translation/Composition), with an emphasis on cross-cultural themes and issues of current interest
  • Work in the oral class is based on module booklet 2 (Oral) and on the broad theme of ‘aspects of contemporary France’, with a particular emphasis on the working environment in France and the French education system
  • The module booklets and other course materials have been developed to help students to prepare both for the end-of-year examinations, for the year abroad in year three, and for final year study.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will have acquired a greater knowledge and understanding of French culture and an increased awareness of cultural issues.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will have consolidated the skills and knowledge acquired in the first-year core language module – in speaking and writing, in listening to and reading contemporary French, in translating from and into French.
Key Skills:
  • The further development of general written and oral communication skills.
  • The ability to discuss topical or general issues with fluency.
  • The ability to gather and process information and evidence from a variety of paper, audiovisual and electronic sources.
  • An ability to read complex and multivalent texts with developed intellectual nuance.

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

  • Regular, assessed practice in a variety of written and oral exercises extends linguistic accuracy and verbal manipulation.
  • these exercises include some relevant to functioning well in a French-speaking country.
  • Summative assessment tests competencies acquired in formative practice, including appropriateness of language (register and idiom); and range of language (lexis and structures).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Translation Class 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Oral Class 21 1 per week 1 hour 21
Student preparation and reading time 158
Total SLAT hours 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 75%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Oral Examination Component Weighting: 25%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Examination 15 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular language exercises.

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