Bon départ: beginners' French
This introductory OU level 1 module is designed to develop the skills you need to speak and understand simple French in everyday contexts. It explores life in French-speaking countries and communities, introducing you to a wide range of practical situations such as travelling, shopping, working and eating out. Study resources include printed materials and a dedicated website with a variety of online activities which support independent learning. Together, they’ll give you not just language skills but a real feel for French-speaking cultures too.
What you will study
The module is based around three books and has at its core the following elements:
- user-friendly, 'bite-sized' information dealing with language and cultural aspects
- gradual development of study and language skills
- development of basic vocabulary and set phrases
- audio material, featuring recordings by native speakers of French, and a wide variety of speaking activities
- practice activities and self-assessment tests to monitor your progress
- regular online activities and video clips to support your practice activities.
The study materials are carefully structured and graded, and provide ample opportunities to practise the language in realistic contexts, with an emphasis on listening and speaking skills. By the end of the module you will be able to speak and understand simple language and will have developed an understanding of key aspects of French life.
This module is designed to enable you to achieve a level of language proficiency equivalent to level A2 of the Council of Europe Common European Framework of Reference for languages. You will have developed your knowledge and understanding of the language as well as an awareness of cultural diversity in French speaking countries which form a key part of the learning outcomes for studying at this level. By the end of the module you will have developed key OU level 1 undergraduate study skills such as learning to work independently and using strategies which enable you to solve problems and analyse data.
This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning.
No prior knowledge of French is required to study this module. 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.
Books and a dedicated website with additional online resources, activities and online audio recordings. As a registered language student you have access to an online forum, where you can communicate with fellow-students.
You will need
We recommend that you purchase a good bilingual dictionary, such as the Collins Robert Concise French Dictionary (2007), HarperCollins Publishers, which you will be able to use throughout your French studies.
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 join in the spoken conversation in our online rooms we recommend a headset (headphones or earphones with an integrated microphone).
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.