MLF1052 - French Language for Beginners

2018/9 Module description

StaffDr Damien Gaucher - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level4
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

Spoken by more than 270 million people globally, French is a crucial asset: it is one of the most common languages in many domains (business, the Internet, media, international organisations), and the second most learned language in the world. The MLF1052 module will help you become part of this community, as it covers the essentials of the French language and culture. You will follow a structured programme and dynamic classes, and will develop a better awareness of the range of strategies available to learn a language. The sessions are conducted in the target language, so you become familiarised with the language and immerse yourself in the learning process. 

This module can be taken even if you have no prior knowledge of French, but it is also available for those who have learned French up to an appropriate level.

Module aims

This intensive language module aims to provide you with a practical working knowledge of the language, enabling you to acquire the skills to communicate effectively in writing and verbally, so that you can express opinions, and compare and contrast viewpoints. The module aims to train you in all four language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening comprehension) as well as to equip you with the required grammatical knowledge and vocabulary to deal with a range of topics and situations. It aims to bring beginners and GCSE entrants to the equivalent A-level standard (B1 of the CEFR).

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the basic grammatical structures of the target language
  • 2. Demonstrate understanding of texts written in the target language
  • 3. Express ideas and opinions orally and in writing in the target language
  • 4. Give short oral presentations in the target language on a defined topic to a small group of listeners and engage in group discussion of the topic presented
  • 5. Write letters and other short texts in French on a limited range of practical and descriptive themes
  • 6. Attempt straightforward translation exercises out of the target language

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. Understand the principles of learning a new language intensively, and organise your own learning with guidance from the tutor
  • 8. Use available learning aids to consolidate your own learning
  • 9. Use reference grammar books and bilingual and monolingual dictionaries to check the structural and lexical accuracy of your writing and expression in the target language

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. Communicate at a basic level with French
  • 11. Express and discuss views individually and/or as part of a group

Syllabus plan

You will work through a course book, which covers all essential points of grammar, vocabulary, and cultural awareness, and consolidates skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing. You will also work from a variety of media (e.g. TV, radio, newspapers, weblogs), and develop your understanding and production of authentic French Language.

You will follow 5 modules per week (one hour each), in which grammatical structures as well as vocabulary will be introduced in context. You will have the opportunity to practice language skills in class and in set homework in an integrated manner. 

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that among other skills, you will learn to:

  • Provide information about yourself and about other people.
  • Make practical requests, such as asking your way or ordering food, drink, etc.
  • Interact and socialise with other people, e.g. inviting someone for a drink.
  • Talk about past events; express your feelings and emotions about an event.
  • Express your opinion on events, or abstract but simple topics.

You will also learn to develop several linguistic skills such as:

  • Writing formal and informal documents.
  • Speaking in simple contexts.
  • Reading and listening to authentic but simple documents.
  • Translating simple documents from French to English and English to French.

You will receive feedback on their work in class and individually.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching110Five weekly classes over 22 weeks, introducing grammatical material, written and reading comprehension exercises, listening and speaking practice
Guided independent study190Independent study with guidance provided by language tutors.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Up to 10 formative tasks per year (grammar tests, writing, reading comprehension, translation, vocabulary)Variable1-11Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral2010 minutes overall1-4,7,10-11Written and oral feedback
Listening comprehension class test (written response)101 hour1,2,7Written and oral feedback
Coursework202 e-tests throughout the year1-2,5-7,9-10Written and oral feedback
Examination502 hours1-2,5-7,9-10Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination (written)Examination (written)1-2,5-7,9-10Ref/Def Period
OralOral1-4,7,10-11Ref/Def Period

Re-assessment notes

The written examination will count for 80% of the final mark, i.e. will include:

  • a listening comprehension component – 10%;
  • a grammar test component – 20%;
  • a reading comprehension, written production, and translation component – 50%.

 The oral will count for 20% of the final mark.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • J. Rey-Debove, Dictionnaire du français. Le Robert & Cle International. ISBN : 978-2090339994
  • Collins Robert French Dictionary Complete and Unabridged edition: 500,000 translations (Collins Dictionaries). ISBN : 978-0007556526

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • A wide range of language learning materials is available in the Foreign Language Centre, the Library as well as online. As part of the module, your tutors will provide guidance on the materials best suited for guided independent language learning.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Beginners' French language, ab-initio French language, French language.

Important please note

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Foreign Language Centre modules

Term 1 module codes listed above ending with C, i.e. FLF1115C, are only available to outbound students who are away in Term 2. Students studying all year must select the standard module across both Term 1 and 2.