BA English Language and French

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
French Language 5

Course unit fact file
Unit code FREN51050
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course is designed to develop further the students’ ability to understand spoken and written French and to express coherent ideas and arguments orally and in writing. Emphasis is placed on appropriate use of syntactic structures in the production of texts, as well as grammatical accuracy. A range of topics touching on contemporary French and Francophone cultures will be covered in the oral and written classes (such as professional life in France, the French language in the world). Students will learn how to write their own CV and cover letter as well as prepare themselves to answer questions in a job interview. They will also learn to write argumentative essays on a range of topics.

Written components: 

Building on the work undertaken at Level 3, these classes enable students to produce increasingly accurate and sophisticated written French, and to analyse and write increasingly complex texts in French. 

Oral component:  

The oral classes will reinforce work done in the written course which they will complement through emphasis on vocabulary acquisition and its use in appropriate contexts, preparation for the year abroad, including formal interviews, and work on pronunciation, stress and accentuation of oral French. Independent learning also plays a vital role in these areas. 


Unit title Unit code Requirement type Description
French Language 3 FREN51030 Pre-Requisite Compulsory


This course is designed to help students develop their competencies in spoken and written French, by means of language exercises, varied linguistic materials, and French grammar. 

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level B2 of the Common European Framework. 

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of a wide variety of both written and spoken French stimulus materials. 

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate an understanding of a range of social, cultural, intellectual and professional issues in France and the French speaking world, as reflected in the materials studied


Practical skills

  • Write idiomatic French, showing awareness of stylistic and structural differences between French and English appropriate for Level 2 study; 
  • Write grammatically accurate French, showing precise knowledge of the aspects of grammar covered in seminars and by the Level 2 Independent Learning Programme; 
  • Speak with a degree of fluency and spontaneity appropriate for Level 2 study, and take an active part in discussion on a range of topics; 
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basis of pronunciation and intonation in French and a sound knowledge of the pertinent French symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet; 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Work effectively with peers, both inside and outside the classroom; 
  • Take responsibility for their own learning of French through independent learning and self-reflection as well as through the use of available resources via the Language Centre, the Internet and the Blackboard virtual learning environment. 

Employability skills

Written and oral communication skills including translation; team-work; leadership; negotiation skills; research skills, problem-solving; adaptability; decision-making; time management; initiative; self-discipline; organization; independent learning skills; self-reflection; action planning; oral skills; self-confidence; IT skills. Write CV and cover letters in French. Develop interview techniques.

Assessment methods

Assessment task  

Weighting within unit (if summative) 

One written examination at the end of Semester 1 

(translation into French) 


One written examination at the end of Semester 2


1 X oral Examination at the end of Semester 1 


1 x oral examination at the end of Semester 2 


Weekly homework tasks on Blackboard, comprising one grammar and one oral task each week.  90% of these activities must be completed within a given time to receive 5% each semester. 










Feedback methods

Feedback method  

In-class comments made during discussion regarding the relevance and linguistic quality of student responses and participation. 


Written/oral comments on oral exercises.   

Face-to-face discussion if required. 


Written comments on non-assessed coursework plus face-to-face discussion if desired. All written exercises are normally returned within two weeks of the submission date (during semester time) and in time for corrections to be applied to assessed exercises. 


Written comments are made on the semester 1 assessed exercise, which is returned to students in Week 1 of semester 2. Feedback may be complemented by face-to-face discussion if desired. 


All students are entitled to request individual feedback on their examination performance, based on the comments of examiners, and on the understanding that this de-anonymizes the student. 

Recommended reading

Jubb, Margaret and Rouxeville, Annie, French Grammar in Context (London: Routledge, 2021) 

Robert Hawkins and Richard Towell, 4th edition, French Grammar and Usage (London: Arnold, 2015) 

Alain Vercollier, Claudine Vercollier and Kay Bourlier, Difficultés expliquées du français for English Speakers (CLE International, 2004) 

Mosegaard Hansen, Maj- Britt, The Structure of Modern French, A Student Grammar (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016)  

Bescherelle: La conjugaison pour tous (Paris: Hatier, 2006) 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 66
Independent study hours
Independent study 134

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Catherine Franc Unit coordinator

Additional notes

The course employs a wide variety of written and spoken stimulus materials to study the French language in context and achieve its linguistic aims. 

Materials range from novels and poetry to press including business articles, film and actualité. 

Written production includes targeted translation into French and free writing exercises.  Grammar is studied in context.  Self-correction techniques (including dictionary skills) are an integral part of the module. 

Oral skills include pronunciation and intonation, aural comprehension exercises, debating and presentations. 

The guided independent learning programme encourages students to build up a portfolio of personal weekly tasks, which is presented in the oral examination at the end of the year. 


Extensive resources will be available via Blackboard. These will include supplementary materials to aid students in their Independent Learning in preparing for classes and assessment as well as links to on-line resources. Blackboard will also be used for monitoring independent study. 


Relevant links to grammatical, lexical, current affairs and reading resources will be provided via Blackboard. 


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