You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

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.

Professional recognition

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.

Entry requirements

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.

Preparatory work

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. 

What's included

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.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written and spoken tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. If you’re new to the OU, you’ll find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. This module includes a programme of tutorial events, all of which are offered online, and some of which are also offered face-to-face. You therefore have the option of attending all events online or a mixture of online and face-to-face. Where face-to-face events are held will depend on the geographical distribution of students taking the module. All of these tutorial events, whether online or face-to-face, will provide plenty of opportunities to speak and listen to French.

Contact us if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

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 iCMAs test your reading and listening skills. The TMAs test your writing and speaking skills. The final TMA is an interactive speaking assignment which will be carried out online. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the module.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed materials are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader (foreign language materials may be particularly difficult to read in this way). When you are requested to explore online materials and websites, some of these might not be fully accessible, however, alternative versions of activities will be provided wherever possible.

Future availability

French studies 1: language and culture of the French-speaking world (L112) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2018. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2026.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
4 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
No examination
No residential school