You are viewing information for England.  Change country.

Envol: upper intermediate French

Qualification dates
Start End

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).

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Course work includes:

5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
Embedded residential school

Student Reviews

See what other students thought.