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Online course materials for FREN30210

French Language and Life III

Unit code: FREN30210
Credit Rating: 20
Unit level: Level 3
Teaching period(s): Full year
Offered by French Studies
Available as a free choice unit?: N



Additional Requirements

FREN30210 French Language and Life III


To improve students' overall linguistic competence in standard, modern French, by:


  • reinforcing acquisition and production of grammatical and idiomatic French at a level appropriate to final-year undergraduates in a British university;
  • increasing awareness of current French usage, particularly with regard to correct idiomatic construction and formal linguistic register;
  • increasing awareness of the points at which current English usage,
  • expression and sentence structure differ from French, with a view to promoting better understanding of the two languages as distinct conceptual systems
  • reinforcing acquisition of vocabulary in French and its use in appropriate contexts.
  • help students develop their competencies in spoken French

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at Level C1 of the Common European Framework.


This course unit trains students in the techniques of writing coherently structured and grammatically correct argumentative texts in French, including (optionally) in business contexts, and in translating texts from French to English and English into French. This course is designed to develop further the students’ ability to understand spoken French and to express coherent ideas and arguments in spoken French.

Teaching and learning methods

There are three contact hours per week:
- one hour for text writing, and translation into French
- one hour for translation into English
- one hour of oral practice

Language of Teaching and Assessment: French and English

Extensive digitised material, audio and video documents, links to relevant online resources, and all class slides will be placed on Blackboard.

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

Knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to:

  • Manipulate the linguistic resources of both French and English texts, acquiring a range of skills including translation and essay writing in French;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of a wide variety of both written and spoken French stimulus materials.

Intellectual skills


On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to:


  • Achieve a good level of grammatical knowledge and enhance their level of correctness through independent study;
  • 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

On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to:

  • Express their ideas and arguments coherently and convincingly using an appropriate level of academic writing and spoken French
  • Speak with a degree of fluency and spontaneity appropriate for Level 3 study, and take an active part in discussion on a range of topics;

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On successful completion of this course unit, students will be able to:

  • A high level of idiomatic correctness in the writing of French and English, which can be implemented in the workplace
  • Manage time effectively when writing in exam conditions; write essays that are well structured and well argued.
  • 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.

Assessment Further Information


Assessment task


Weighting within unit

1x  translation into French at the end of Semester 1

1.30 hours


1 x exam: essay at the end of Semester 2

1.30 hours


1 x exam: translation into English at the end of Semester 2

1.30 hours


1 x oral examination at the end of Semester 2

15 mins




This unit studies the French language in context using a variety of written and spoken materials to achieve its aims.  It is divided into a weekly written/grammar seminar (business option available), a translation into English seminar, an oral seminar and a guided independent learning programme.

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 French historical, political, cultural and business-related texts to contemporary press.

Written production includes targeted translation into French, formal letters, emails and reports and free writing exercises.  Grammar is studied in context.  Self-correction techniques are an integral part of the module.

Oral skills include pronunciation, debating, discussing current affairs and presentations.

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

Recommended reading


  • Roger D. Hawkins, Richard Towell, French Grammar and Usage (Routledge, 2013)
  • Roger D. Hawkins, Richard Towell, Marie-Noëlle Lamy, Practising French Grammar (NTC Publishing Group,  1997)
  • Maj-Britt Mosegaard-Hansen, The Structure of Modern French, A Student Grammar (Oxford: OUP, 2016)
  • Bescherelle: La conjugaison pour tous (Paris: Hatier, 2006)
  • Alain Vercollier, Claudine Vercollier and Kay Bourlier, Difficultés expliquées du français for English Speakers (CLE International, 2004)

Feedback methods

  • Written feedback on written assignments submitted throughout the year               
  • Oral feedback in class
  • Additional one-to-one feedback if desired (during weekly consultation hours or by making an appointment)

Study hours

  • Seminars - 66 hours
  • Independent study hours - 134 hours

Teaching staff

Catherine Franc - Unit coordinator

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