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Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2011-12. The current handbook year is 2018-19

Department: Centre for Foreign Language Study (MLAN)


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap 45 Location Durham


  • Grade C or above in GCSE French ( or equivalent).


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

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


  • To consolidate and revise prior knowledge.
  • To develop reading, writing, listening and speaking skills in French.
  • To enable students to function effectively in a general social context.
  • To extend lexis and knowledge of grammar.
  • To develop basic essay writing skills.
  • To promote intercultural understanding.


  • The first part of this module aims to consolidate and revise prior knowledge, which will involve a comprehensive review of basic language structures followed by the further study of key aspects of grammar.
  • Most functional and notional topics studied at this level will be determined by the main course book and will address issues such as education and the world of work, television and the press etc.
  • Course book materials will be supplemented with topic related sources from satellite TV, internet websites and the press.
  • Free role-plays and group discussion exercises will promote the basis for developing confidence, flexibility and fluency in conversations.
  • Statistical tables and charts may be used to practise group and individual oral presentations and debates.
  • As part of this module, students are required to complete a small project which will include an oral presentation and a written component.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module learners will be able to:
  • demonstrate some knowledge and understanding of the main French linguistic principles, structures and registers;
  • demonstrate knowledge of some aspects of the French social, economic and political structures;
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some features of French culture and society gained through the study of cultural topics.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module learners will be able to:
  • write short essays in the target language related to both personal and social spheres, expressing and discussing views;
  • relate a series of events and take part in semi-structured discussion on French 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 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 a short class presentation in French;
  • narrate a story or relate the plot of a book or a film;
  • write a short essay demonstrating the ability to organise ideas in a logical and coherent sequence in sustained prose;
  • 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 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 seminar style classes and multimedia lab sessions.
  • 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.
  • Small group teaching is particularly suitable for the development of oral/aural skills as it offers all students the chance to participate in role-plays and other communicative activities.
  • Ideally, seminar sessions would be particularly suitable in classrooms equipped with interactive white board facilities as it will allow the module tutor to put into place communicative activities stimulating the students and encouraging them to fully participate in the class.
  • 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 will be made available to students.

Teaching Methods and Contact Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 42 2 per week 1 hour 42
Practical Lab Classes 11 Fortnightly 1 hour 11
Preparation and Reading 147
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Oral/Aural Assessment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Assessment 10 minutes 50% Yes
Aural Assessment up to 45 minutes 50% Yes
Component: Written mid-term test Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written mid-term test 1 hour 100% Yes
Component: Written Examination Component Weighting: 30%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Examination 1 hour 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