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French studies 2: language and culture of the French-speaking world

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This module takes you to an upper intermediate level of competence in French, which is equivalent to level B2 level of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference. You’ll further develop your cultural knowledge, and practical language skills in listening, speaking, reading, writing and interacting in a variety of situations – ranging from everyday conversation to putting forward your point of view in a debate. You’ll also consolidate and further develop academic, digital and employability skills in French-speaking contexts. A residential school takes place in France, or an online alternative will be provided.

What you will study

This module further extends your language competence as well as enhancing your cultural knowledge and developing key skills necessary for studying at a higher level. The themes of the module cover different aspects of life in French-speaking countries today.

You’ll work with online materials, and study a variety of texts, and audio and video materials that will develop your reading, speaking, listening and writing skills. The activities provided will also develop your academic, digital, professional and intercultural skills in French-speaking contexts.

The module has six themes:

  • Work and education
  • History
  • Media and popular culture
  • Environment
  • Individuals and institutions
  • Social issues

Through each theme, you’ll gradually develop your knowledge and skills by:

  • consolidating and expanding your knowledge of French vocabulary and grammar
  • learning about and reflecting on language, culture and intercultural communication skills
  • studying with audio recordings and videos that explore topical issues in French-speaking cultures and societies
  • engaging in a wide variety of speaking and interactive activities
  • practising translation to support your language learning
  • consolidating and expanding your academic skills
  • using digital tools and resources to support your language learning
  • finding and using information from external sources
  • working independently and in collaboration with others
  • reviewing your personal goals and monitoring your progress using checklists and reflective questions.

The study materials provide confidence-building strategies to improve your learning skills. We’ve carefully structured these to equip you gradually with the key skills necessary for studying at a higher level.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements to study this module.

However, as this is an OU level 2 module, you’ll need appropriate knowledge of French through any of the following:

  • French studies 1 (intermediate) (L112)
  • Ouverture: intermediate French (L120) – now discontinued
  • French knowledge equivalent to the above

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:

  • listening to French radio broadcasts and podcasts
  • accessing authentic resources online
  • checking out the language materials available in iTunes U
  • borrowing French books and films from the local library
  • reading a French newspaper
  • redoing some of the activities in L112 (or L120)
  • watching and listening to the L112 (or L120) audio and video materials.

You can also visit OpenLearn to explore the free materials available for French.

What's included

You'll have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • course-specific module materials
  • audio and video content
  • access to the Open University online library that contains resources for French
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access
  • access to forums where you can communicate with your fellow students.

You'll also be provided with a printed grammar book.

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 an up-to-date version of Windows or macOS.

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.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll 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. Depending on where you live and on current guidance regarding face-to-face events, the mix will vary. Until July 2021, at least, all tutorials will be held online. Although you’re not obliged to attend, we strongly encourage you to take part, as they will provide you with plenty of opportunities to speak and listen to French.

Assessment

You can find the assessment details for this module in the facts box.

The TMAs test your writing and speaking skills. The EMA tests your writing skills.

Residential school

A compulsory residential school takes place in France. Due to the ongoing pandemic, we may replace face-to-face events with an online alternative.

The one-week residential school usually runs in February/March and 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. On most days, the programme runs from approximately 09:00 until 19:00, with breaks between activities.

If you can’t 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 that 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.

To pass the module, you must take part in either the residential school or the ALE.

Residential school and ALE dates are provisional and subject to change.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying L222 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

French studies 2: language and culture of the French-speaking world starts once a year – in October.

This page describes the module that will start in October 2021. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2028.

Course work includes:

4 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment
Embedded residential school