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Study information

Advanced French Language Skills

Module titleAdvanced French Language Skills
Module codeMLF3111
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Aidan Coveney (Convenor)

Dr Damien Gaucher (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

MLF3111 gives you the opportunity to develop your language skills to a very high level, while enhancing your understanding of modern and contemporary France. Translation work (in both directions) enables you to hone your skills as high-level bilinguals, and to develop further your command of grammar and lexis. Written Communication Skills are taught by Francophone staff, and train you to produce high-quality résumés and essays, while the Oral classes focus on developing your speaking skills further, particularly in presenting ideas and arguments, and engaging in debate. The Written and Oral classes focus on various engaging topics related to contemporary France.

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • To extend your command of French vocabulary, syntax and idiom and to increase the understanding of the nuances of the French language through the medium of translation.
  • To enhance your ability to communicate in a clear and structured manner ideas of a complex and abstract nature, both in written and oral form.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Apply a knowledge of a broad range of grammatical features of the target language, including some complex or advanced structures, to a range of linguistic exercises
  • 2. Tackle complex translation passages in and out of the target language based on a wide range of topics in a variety of written styles
  • 3. Present a case in spoken and written French in answer to challenging questions on a range of abstract and contemporary issues
  • 4. Use bilingual and monolingual dictionaries to research conventions of usage, find synonyms, and explore nuances of meaning
  • 5. Discuss complex topical and abstract issues in an appropriate register of spoken French using a broad range of vocabulary and idiom
  • 6. Summarise, in French, complex texts relating to a range of abstract and contemporary issues, and comment on them

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Understand and use in class discussion a broad range of linguistic terminology, using this terminology to a certain extent to conceptualise his/her mistakes in the target language and to identify strategies for improving his/her linguistic accuracy
  • 8. Engage critically with the French-language media (printed and electronic, including television and radio), using it as a resource for independent researches

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Communicate meanings of some complexity in French, and (through translation) in English
  • 10. Express and defend opinions on a wide range of current and abstract issues
  • 11. Advance his/her linguistic competence independently, with limited guidance

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

Classes for Translation, Oral and Written Communication Skills: weekly in Terms 1 and 2. In Translation, the texts are selected from the module booklet and relate to a range of topics, including aspects of modern and contemporary France. In the Written and Oral components, work is focussed on a small number of broad themes, relating to France and the contemporary world.

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 Teaching2220 x 1-hour written classes
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2220 x 1-hour translation classes
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2220 x 1-hour oral classes
Guided Independent Learning234Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
10 formative tasks per year (writing, translation)Variable1-11For marked written work, individual written feedback. For other practice work, feedback is normally oral and collective

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
Translation examination50Exam1-2, 4, 7, 9, 11Collective, written feedback via ELE
Written examination251 hour1, 4, 6-11Collective, written feedback via ELE
Oral examination2515 minutes1, 3-5, 7-9On request, individual written or oral feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Translation examinationTranslation, examination1-2, 4, 7, 9, 11Referral/Deferral period
Written examinationWritten examination1, 4, 6-11Referral/Deferral period
Oral examinationOral examination1, 3-5, 7-9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Module booklets, available at the beginning of the year, for Translation, Written and Oral work. 

Also recommended:

  • Jean H Duffy, Using French Vocabulary [C.U.P., 1999]
  • Marie-Noëlle Lamy, The Cambridge French English Thesaurus (C.U.P., 1998)
  • Glanville Price, A Comprehensive French Grammar [Blackwell, latest edition]
  • Major French and French-English dictionaries.
  • Major newspapers/periodicals, especially Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur, Le Point (available in the Library).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

As shown on ELE: e.g. web sites of major French national media.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Audio and audio-visual resources in the Foreign Language Centre

Key words search

French Language, communication skills, translation skills (bi-directional)

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

MLF2001 ‘French Language, Written and Oral’, or equivalent level of French

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date