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Envol: upper intermediate French

This module builds on French studies 1 (L112), its predecessor Ouverture: intermediate French (L120) or equivalent knowledge. It will enhance your cultural knowledge and develop the skills needed to study at a higher level, as well as your practical language skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. By studying a variety of authentic audio, video and printed materials from French-speaking countries, you will learn how to communicate in situations ranging from everyday conversation to putting forward your point of view in a debate. You will also improve your command of grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary acquisition. A compulsory residential school takes place in France (or you can study an online alternative, subject to University approval).

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module code


  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.

2 9 5
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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What you will study

The module draws on a wide range of interactive audio-visual, web-based and printed material. It is structured around themes, each covering a different aspect of life in French-speaking countries today. You will be working with print-based materials as well as practising listening and speaking with video footage and audio interviews. A range of online activities on the module website gives you access to authentic materials from French-speaking countries and fosters your ICT and communication skills. The topics have been selected to provide opportunities for comparison with your own experience.

The themes covered in the module are:

  • prendre le temps de vivre (lifestyle)
  • habitat (habitat)
  • expression artistique (culture)
  • gérer l’environment (environment)
  • affaires publiques (local politics)
  • science et technologie (science and technology).

There is a reading and writing book, Cours d’écriture, which comprises a continuation of texts and activities incorporating suggested and model answers. It develops your writing skills in particular, but also addresses other skills concerned with comprehension, analysis and manipulation of texts – for example, summarising, expressing opinion on written passages, style and register, appreciation and accuracy.

The module is lively and varied, with a wide range of mixed-media material that has been selected in order to build up your confidence in the different language skills. The structure of the materials allows you to evaluate your progress regularly and provides confidence-building strategies to improve your learning skills. The materials are interactive and encourage your participation.

This module is designed to enable you to achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level B2 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Professional recognition

The Chartered Institute of Marketing now recognises this module under their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor to help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written and spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs). You can also ask your tutor for advice and guidance. This module usually includes a mix of face-to-face and online tutorials. Please note that depending on where you live, the mix will vary and in some places face-to-face tuition may be replaced by telephone conferencing. Although you are not obliged to attend any of these, you are strongly encouraged to take part as they will provide you with plenty of opportunities to speak and listen to French. How tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the module in your area. Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs).

The TMAs test a range of skills including written and spoken. There is a Writing Test at the end of the module which takes the form of a three hour examination at a standard examination centre. You may have to travel some distance to the examination centre. 

Residential school

A compulsory residential school takes place in France (or you can study an online alternative). 

The one-week residential school  provides excellent opportunities to enhance and develop the skills covered in the module, to practise your French in a variety of situations and learn more about the country. The programme is demanding, running from approximately 09:00 until 21:00, but the timetable allows for a break in the morning and for flexibility with the evening activities.

Online alternative
If you cannot attend the school for reasons beyond your control, an alternative learning experience (ALE), which runs in April, must be completed. This is provided online using a computer conferencing system which allows you to speak with your tutor and fellow students in real time. However, the residential school in France offers a wider range of learning opportunities than the ALE.

In order to successfully complete the module you have to participate satisfactorily in either the residential school or the ALE.

Future availability

Envol: upper intermediate French (L211) starts once a year – October 2018 is the last time we expect it to start.

We plan to replace Envol: upper intermediate French (L211) with a new module – French studies 2: language and culture of the French-speaking world (L222) – that will start for the first time in October 2019.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Essential Documents website.

    Course work includes:

    5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
    Embedded residential school

    Entry requirements

    There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.

    However, as this is an OU level 2 module, you’ll need an appropriate knowledge of French obtained through any of the following:

    • French studies 1: language and culture of the French-speaking world (L112)
    • Ouverture: intermediate French (L120) – now discontinued
    • equivalent French knowledge

    If you’re not sure you’re ready, talk to an adviser.

    Preparatory work

    Anything you can do to keep practising your French will be helpful, for example:

    • redoing some of the activities in L112 (or L120)
    • watching and listening to the L112 (or L120) audio and video materials
    • listening to French radio broadcasts
    • accessing authentic resources online
    • borrowing French books and films from the local library
    • reading a French newspaper


    Start End England fee Register
    06 Oct 2018 Jun 2019 £2928.00

    Registration closes 13/09/18 (places subject to availability)

    October 2018 is the final start date for this course. For more information, see Future availability.

    Additional Costs

    Study costs

    There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as a laptop, travel to tutorials, set books and internet access.

    If you're on a low income you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

    Residential schools

    This module includes a compulsory residential school for which you must pay an additional charge of £285 (2018/19) to cover the cost of accommodation and meals. You’ll pay this charge when you book the residential school, after you’ve enrolled on the module. You’ll also have to pay for your own travel to and from the venue. If you’re unable to attend a residential school, there will be an online alternative you must apply for (if accepted, the additional charge doesn’t apply).

    Ways to pay for this module

    Open University Student Budget Account

    The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

    You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

    • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
    • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

    Joint loan applications

    If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

    As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

    Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

    Employer sponsorship

    Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

    More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

    • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
    • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

    Credit/debit card

    You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

    We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

    Mixed payments

    We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

    For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or book a call back at a time convenient to you.

    Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2019. Fees normally increase annually in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees. 

    This information was provided on 21/07/2018.

    What's included

    Books and a dedicated website with access to a range of electronic tools including real-time conferencing and asynchronous tools such as forums. As a registered language student you will have automatic access to an online forum where you can talk to fellow students over the internet. This will be linked directly from the website.

    You will need

    In addition to the set books shown below, you will need a headset with a microphone and earphones to take part in online tutorials, record spoken TMAs and complete speaking activities.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • Mac OS X 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones.

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students.

    Materials to buy

    Set books

    • Fournier, I. French Grammar (BBC Active) Pearson Education £6.99 - ISBN 9780563519546
    • Collins Robert French Dictionary (10th edn) Collins £40.00 - ISBN 9780007556526

    Note: Students could use any other dictionaries or French grammar.

    If you have a disability

    The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L211 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

    If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our Overcoming barriers to study if you have a disability or health condition.