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, use our self-assessment quiz.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
You'll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course-specific module materials
- audio and video content
- 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 three printed module books, a printed study guide and the audio content on CDs.
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.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11), or macOS (10.15 or higher).
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.