Module code: FRE1072

Module Overview

This module complements the language modules in Level 4 by introducing students to the cultures and societies of countries where French is spoken. It provides insight into the history, traditions and topical issues of countries where they may be spending time during PTY and will provide opportunities to develop linguistic competence and intercultural awareness.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

MARLEY Dawn (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code:

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 51

Seminar Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 66

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Historical overview of France

  • Historical overview of development of the French-speaking world

  • National and regional identities in France

  • Overview of modern French society

  • Changes in family life; role of women; youth culture; sustainability

  • The media and cultural production

  • Immigration and multiculturalism

  • Overview of societies and cultures in other Francophone countries

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

  • Knowledge and understanding of the target language

  • Ability to analyse and interpret texts

  • Ability to select and synthesise information from written and oral texts

  • Ability to take notes effectively and use IT skills to find and present relevant information;

  • Subject-specific knowledge of French and Francophone history and contemporary cultures and societies.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

written assignment of 1000 words

Takes the form of a literature review, enabling students to develop subject specific knowledge, improve their written French, and develop research skills.

Online exam

Assesses ability to write accurate and appropriate French, demonstrates knowledge and understanding of topics covered.

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Formative assessment will focus on student participation and class discussions throughout the module.

  • Students will be provided with detailed written feedback following coursework assignments.

  • Verbal feedback will also occur in class and individual appointments if required.

Module aims

  • This module aims to equip students with a broad general knowledge and understanding of the societies and cultures of
    France and the French-speaking world, including an introduction to the historical background that has shaped
    contemporary society and culture in these countries.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 On successful completion of this module, students will be able to follow and take notes from material in French, including Panopto and other videos, and written materials CPT
002 Have acquired basic and specialized French vocabulary related to social and cultural issues KC
003 Have gained a basic understanding of the development of France and the French-speaking world, and an understanding of the reevance and value of a historical perspective within the study of modern languages and cultures KCPT
004 Be able to read and critically evaluate authentic sources on a range of cultural and social issues KCPT
005 Be able to write critically in French on cultural and social issues KCT
006 Have developed communication and presentation skills in French PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy will enable students to:

  • develop their language skills, through listening, speaking, reading and writing in the target language

  • acquire explicit knowledge of the linguistic structures, vocabulary and stylistic registers needed for understanding Francophone culture and society, through attending classes and reading in the target language

  • develop learner autonomy, through reading outside contact hours and participating in seminars

  • develop research skills, through reading and presenting findings, through informal class presentations and in the written assignment

  • engage in analytical and evaluative thinking, to analyse and interpret texts and other cultural products 

  • develop communication skills through interactions in class;

  • acquire a broad knowledge of the history, culture and institutions of the societies in which French is used

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • two contact hours per week: practical seminars based on discussion of work prepared in advance.

  • flipped classroom methods are used to maximise class time and student engagement.

  • one hour per week of captured content, typically two Panopto videos and accompanying reading.

  • guided learning each week - suggested readings and activities to prepare for seminars.

  • interactive seminars which enable students to develop communication and presentation skills.

  • guidance on how to prepare and present assignments via SurreyLearn and during practical seminars

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: FRE1072

Other information

Surrey's Curriculum Framework is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Digital Capabilities: students will learn how to source, select and engage with appropriate online resources in their target language, including video and audio sources. They will learn to identify features that make some online sources more valid and reliable than others, and will learn to use appropriate software for sorting and presenting research findings. They will develop practical expertise in producing and presenting material using digital resources and will engage with digital tools such as google docs for collaborative working on a regular basis.

Employability: by learning about the societies and cultures where French is used, students become better prepared for working in those countries, or dealing with them professionally. In more general terms, they also develop valuable transferable skills through the weekly activities in this module. Students will often be required to work together on presentations and to plan and delegate tasks, thus developing communication and project management skills useful in professional life. The assessment also requires them to use a professional register in the target language, observe a strict word limit and a clear focus, all of which are valuable skills in professional writing.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: this module explicitly introduces students to the varied cultures and societies of the French-speaking world, creating awareness of the diverse nature of Francophone cultures. Through the historical part of the content, students will gain awareness of the ever-changing nature of national cultural identity, and the linguistic and cultural impact of European colonialism, in the past and in contemporary societies. Through research and guided discussions students will learn how to adopt an academic approach to cultural differences and to avoid lazy stereotyping. They will enhance their appreciation of cultural difference, based on a non-judgmental and constructive approach.

Sustainability: aspects of sustainability are central to any study of contemporary culture and will be explored with reference to France and other Francophone countries. Through the study of the geography and history of France and other French-speaking countries, students will learn about the varying impacts of human activity and climate change on different countries in the French-speaking world and about the significance of various sustainability issues in these countries. They will learn the vocabulary and structures needed to engage with these issues in the target language.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
English Literature and French BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French and Spanish) BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Modern Languages (French with German) BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Business Management and French BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.