French studies 1: language and culture of the French-speaking world
This module takes you to an intermediate level of linguistic competence in French, which is equivalent to B1 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference. You will develop your confidence in listening, reading, writing, speaking and interacting in French, as well as your knowledge and understanding of French-speaking societies and cultures. In addition, the module is designed to expand your academic, digital and employability skills in French contexts. You will have the option to study most activities in a book or as interactive online activities on the module website. The website uses authentic online resources in support of independent and collaborative learning.
What you will study
This module is based around six themes: Geography; Celebrations, Customs and traditions; Work; Leisure and culture; Society; and History. Through each theme, you will gradually develop your French knowledge and skills by:
- familiarising yourself with core vocabulary and grammar
- learning about and reflecting on language, culture and intercultural communication skills
- studying with audio recordings and videos featuring speakers of French and their lives and environments
- engaging in a wide variety of speaking and interactive activities
- practising direct translation to support your language learning
- working independently and in collaboration with others
- reviewing and monitoring your progress using checklists, and reflective questions.
The study materials are carefully structured and graded, and provide ample opportunities to practise the language in realistic contexts.
This module will develop your proficiency in French to a level equivalent to B1 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages. The Chartered Institute of Marketing recognises this module under their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme.
This is an OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning.
You require a working knowledge of French to study this module, equivalent to A2 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for languages. It is ideal if you have successfully completed Bon depart: beginners’ French (L192) or who have reached a similar linguistic standard. You do not need a formal qualification in the language, but may have acquired your knowledge in adult education classes, time spent in French-speaking countries, regular contact with French-speaking people or other sources. You should be able to understand basic written and spoken materials and to hold a basic conversation in French in everyday situations such as talking about yourself; your family and where you are from; booking a hotel; or asking for directions.
To help decide if this is the module for you, see our Languages diagnostic. If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
Before the module begins, we suggest that you continue to use your French in any way you can. You could do this by: redoing some of the activities, watching and listening to the audio materials in Bon depart: beginners’ French (L192); reading a French newspaper; using online resources; or watching some films in French. Anything you can do to keep practising your French will be helpful.
Three books and a dedicated website with additional online activities. As a registered language student you will have access to online forums on the module website where you can communicate with fellow students and tutors.
You will need
You will need access to a computer, a headset with a microphone to record yourself in audio activities and speaking assignments, as well as for use with the real time audio-visual conferencing tool and to take part in the online tutorials and final assessment. Alternatively you can study via a tablet or a mobile device with recording tools.
We also recommend that you purchase a good bilingual dictionary. We will provide you with details of the latest editions of those that we consider will be most suitable, prior to you starting this module.
You’ll be asked to watch one French-language film that you’ll need to source yourself. Suggestions for films and more information will be provided when you begin the module.
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.