Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Modern Language and Cultures (French)


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap 45 Location Durham


  • French Language 2 (FREN2051) 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: French Language 4 (FREN3041) or French Language 4 following Year Abroad (FREN3351). Other: see Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies in MLAC or his/her representative

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Students may take up to a total of three Translation/Interpreting modules in MLAC, but no more than two translation modules, selected from Translation Theory (MELA3111), Spanish Translation (SPAN3131), Italian Translation (ITAL3121), French Translation (FREN3051), German Interpreting (GERM3041), French Interpreting (FREN3331) and Russian for Professional Communication (RUSS3381). Students may NOT take both French Interpreting (FREN3331) and German Interpreting (GERM3041).


  • To enable students to interpret at a high level between French and English by teaching, simultaneous, consecutive, on-sight and liaison interpreting as well as conference note-taking; to build on translation skills introduced at levels 1 and 2.


  • The module is based on a comprehensive set of authentic texts and multimedia materials made available in a dossier and on DUO.
  • The dossier contains French and English material on a number of topics based on debates, reports and proceedings of the European Parliament and other international organisations in which French is an official or working language.
  • A thorough mastery of the issues covered in this material and the linguistic skills and terminology required to be able to interpret quickly and accurately in a variety of modes between French and English will be acquired.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have an in-depth knowledge of 6 topic areas and an understanding of the central issues involved in the four forms of interpreting (simultaneous, consecutive, on-sight and liaison).
  • Students will have acquired a detailed knowledge of terminology relating to each of the topic areas studied and to the language of interpreting and debate more generally.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will have developed skills in the four forms of interpreting. They will also have developed the skill of ‘conference note-taking’ (committing long texts or utterances to paper efficiently and recoverably).
Key Skills:
  • Extended development of general oral and communication skills.
  • The ability to discuss topical or general issues with a high degree of fluency.

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

  • The module is taught in a language laboratory in groups of no more than 20 students; each group has two hour-long sessions per week.
  • A wide variety of approaches and situations is used: students work alone, in pairs or small groups, using the microphone and recording equipment or face to face.
  • All the activities will contribute to provide the maximum opportunity for the deployment of knowledge and skills acquired during the course.
  • Modes of assessment reflect authentic tasks and situations and are based on authentic materials.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Practical Laboratory Sessions 42 2 per week 1 hour 42
Preparation and Reading 158
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Practical Lab Exam Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical Lab Exam 1 hour 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Regular feedback on preparation for and performances in practical interpreting sessions.

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