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Understanding French-speaking Cultures and Societies (ab initio) - LAN00067C

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Elisabeth Wallmann
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
    • See module specification for other years: 2024-25

Module summary

The module analyses key aspects of the societies and cultures of French-speaking countries, with a focus on cultural, social, political, historical and/or linguistic topics.

This module will lay the groundwork for more advanced study of French language and cultures in year 2 and the final year.

The medium of instruction is French.

Related modules

Intensive French Language and Cultures: Beginner or equivalent level of proficiency.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24

Module aims

The module aims at building up, at a quick pace, knowledge, skills and strategies necessary to communicate and interact in French, and to develop, at intermediate level, a plurilingual and pluricultural communicative competence (i.e. students’ ability to use their own linguistic repertoire for effective communication).

The module seeks to consolidate and expand students’ written and oral skills.

Module learning outcomes

Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • understand, with a satisfactory level of comprehension, straightforward factual information about a curated selection of social and cultural topics, identifying both general messages and specific details, if articulated clearly

  • describe and present the topics studied with appropriate highlighting of significant points, and relevant supporting detail

  • express views effectively, and use the language accurately and convincingly on a range of curated topics

  • communicate with good grammatical control

  • interpret and explain a document or event from the cultures of study, and relate it to documents or events from cultures with which they are familiar (including their own).

Module content

Students will engage, individually and/ or in groups, in communicative activities focussing on three modes of communication:

  1. reception activities (oral, audio-video and reading comprehension);

  2. production activities (oral and written production);

  3. interaction (oral, written and online interaction).

The module will focus on a range of key cultural, historical, and/or social topics, such as:

  • The French territory

  • The French population

  • The French Republic

  • The French-speaking world

  • Colonisation and decolonisation

Selected grammar topics (such as pronouns, past tenses, the conditional and subjunctive moods etc.) will also be included, in the form of revision, exercises and independent study.


Task Length % of module mark
Open paper
N/A 60
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Oral presentation
N/A 40

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative tasks done individually and/or in groups throughout the module.

Students will be given:

  • written comments for written formative work

  • oral feedback during class discussions

Summative assessment and feedback

Students will be given written feedback and marks for their work within the University mandated schedule.

Indicative reading

Course materials and guided readings will be provided by the module convenor(s) in class and/or via the VLE at the start of the semester.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.