Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Centre for Foreign Language Study


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • Grade C or above in AS Level French or successful completion of French Stage 2 or an equivalent qualification, subject to decision by the module coordinator. No higher entry French language qualification permitted.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Any Core Language Module offered by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.


  • To review, consolidate and further develop knowledge of main aspects of the French language.
  • To enable students to improve their French language skills effectively.
  • To enable students to communicate competently on a variety of general topics.
  • To foster an understanding of contemporary French society and institutions.
  • To develop presentation skills in French.
  • To develop essay writing.


  • Most functional and notional topics studied at this level will be determined by the main course book. Class materials will be supplemented by handouts and digital resources
  • Oral activities will promote the basis for developing confidence, flexibility and fluency in conversations.
  • As part of this module students are required to complete a small project which will include an oral presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
  • demonstrate the ability to carry out basic research in the target language and present an oral and written summary;
  • demonstrate some knowledge of the main aspects of French social, economic and political structures;
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the cultures and societies in France and French speaking countries gained through the study of cultural products;
  • demonstrate a reasonable knowledge and understanding of the main French linguistic principles, structures and registers.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will:
  • write essays on various contemporary topics, expressing and discussing views;
  • enter unprepared into conversation and issues related to the topics studied in class;
  • understand the main points of selected radio or TV programmes on current affairs or topics of personal or professional interest;
  • understand and report on the main points of clear standard speech and aural passages on current affairs, customs and social issues in France and other French-speaking countries;
  • relate a series of events and take part in structured discussion on current affairs, customs and social issues;
  • apply a range of grammatical principles;
  • make effective use of references material such as grammars and dictionaries;
  • use a range of language learning techniques and skills effectively by independently developing strategies to extend their lexis and knowledge of grammar.
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
  • give an oral presentation in French;
  • write an essay demonstrating the ability to organise ideas in a logical and coherent sequence in sustained prose and critically analyse arguments;
  • communicate information, ideas and arguments both orally and in writing;
  • gather, process and reference information from a variety of paper, audio-visual and electronic resources;
  • use IT effectively both as a means of communication and as an aid to learning;
  • deal effectively with a variety of situations whilst abroad.

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

  • This module is delivered through three 1-hour seminars each week
  • Contact time will be used to introduce new material and provide the students with high quality target language input from the module tutor and multimedia sources.
  • 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).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 60 three times per week 1 hour 60
Preparation and Reading 140
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Reading, Writing and Language Tasks Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Project Assignment (Week 10) 30% No
Individual Project Assignment (Week 19) 70% Yes
Component: Oral and Listening Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group oral assessment (Weeks 21-22) 20 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Regular homework/assignments will be given to the students to practise and consolidate what they have done in class and to prepare the following session, some of which will be submitted and marked as formative assignments and regular feedback will be given to the students accordingly.

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