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Bon départ: beginners' French

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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.

Professional recognition

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

Entry requirements

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.

What's included

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

A headset with a microphone and headphones to talk to your tutor and other students online during some of the study activities and the facility to play audio CDs.

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.

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 OU 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).

TMAs test your writing and speaking skills. Your listening and reading skills will be tested by computer-marked assignments (iCMAs) presented on the website. You will be given more detailed information when you begin the module.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L192 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

Future availability

Bon depart: beginners' French (L192) 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 2021.

Course work includes:

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

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