Modern Languages and Cultures

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code FREN125
Coordinator Prof CRA Forsdick
Modern Languages and Cultures
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2020-21 Level 4 FHEQ Second Semester 15

Pre-requisites before taking this module (other modules and/or general educational/academic requirements):


Modules for which this module is a pre-requisite:


Co-requisite modules:


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 12


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 126


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Student presentation. Standard UoL penalties will apply. There will be a reassessment opportunity. This cannot be marked anonymously.  10 minutes    20       
Essay, Standard UoL penalties will apply. There will be a reassessment opportunity. This will be marked anonymously.  1500-1800 words    60       
Blog post. Standard UoL penalties will apply. There will be a reassessment opportunity. This will be anonymously marked.  -600 words    20       


To provide students with an outline of the major stages in the establishment of Global France and the wider Francophone world and, through the use of a range of historical, cultural, linguistic and literary approaches, to engage students in a critical examination of these;

To encourage students to engage with a variety of genres and media produced throughout the Francosphere, through which students will be able to examine different aspects of French and Francophone societies and cultures;

To broaden and deepen students’ historical and geographical knowledge of the French-speaking world and encourage them to understand France in ways that are both transnational and comparative;

To provide students with skills appropriate to a range of areas in French and Francophone Studies and to assist them in developing generic study skills, including information skills training and anti-plagiarism training.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate knowledge of key events and issues in the development of the wider French-speaking world.

(LO2) Demonstrate knowledge of the development of the French language and culture and of the extent of their presence throughout the world.

(LO3) Develop French language skills, expanding vocabulary and enhancing sensitivity to issues of idiom, syntax, register and rhetoric in examples drawn from across the French-speaking world.

(LO4) Read unfamiliar and challenging texts and other relevant material, showing specific knowledge about the contexts in which those texts were produced.

(LO5) Read critically in both French and English, write blogposts and an essay, and make oral presentations on materials covered on the module, constructing a coherent argument and creating transnational and comparative connections.

(LO6) Demonstrate an ability to analyse closely a range of material in different genres and media and to produce a coherent and cogent commentary based on this analysis.

(LO7) Find and use appropriate materials and gather data from secondary works using library and IT resources, and understand the rationale behind the proper and consistent use of bibliographic citation.

(S1) Improving own learning / performance - reflective practice.

(S2) Communication (oral and visual).

(S3) Communication (written and visual) – writing for general audiences.

(S4) Communication (written and visual) - academic writing (including referencing skills).

(S5) Critical thinking and problem solving - critical analysis.

(S6) Global citizenship - cultural awareness.

(S7) Understand a text of the target language within its broader historical, cultural and social context.

(S8) Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the cultures, linguistic contexts, history, politics, geography, and social and economic structures of the societies of the country of the target language and other countries around the world where French is used.

(S9) Time and project management - personal organisation.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching method 1: lecture.
There will be a weekly lecture in which the topic or region under discussion will be presented to students through a range of examples. Lectures will draw where possible on web-based materials and students will be encouraged to follow up sources as part of their additional study. Lectures will be interactive, allowing students to comment on materials under discussion and to create connections between different Francophone regions and cultures. PowerPoint slides of lectures will be made available on the VLE along with supplementary learning materials.

Teaching method 2: seminar.
The weekly lectures will be complemented by a student-led seminar in which authentic material provided in a module dossier (maps, legal documents, advertising material, photographs, excepts from travel writing, etc.) will be analysed. The aim of each seminar will be detailed commentary on and analysis of the material prescribed for discussion. Students will be encou raged to develop a dossier of notes in parallel to the module dossier.

In addition to lectures and seminars, students would be expected to undertake 126 hours of self-directed learning. This will be made up of preparation for seminars; further reading following lectures; preparation of assessment.



The module opens with an introduction to French colonial history, allowing students to explore the ways in which French has become a global language and France a global power. After an overview of this context, the module uses a combination of lectures and guided reading in seminars to provide a comprehensive understanding of the presence of France and French across five continents. A dossier of texts and other material will be read both individually and from a comparative and transhistorical perspective. The module will conclude with a consideration of the organs of French neo-colonialism and soft power, such as La Francophonie, and allow students to explore Global France in the twenty-first century. An indicative syllabus will cover the following areas:

Introduction to French colonial history
France and French in North America
The French-speaking Caribbean
French in North Africa
France and French in Sub-Saharan Africa
France and French in Asia (former Fre nch Indochina)
France and French in the Pacific (Polynesia and Melanesia)
Francophone Europe (Belgium; Switzerland)
La Francophonie
France in the world/Global France

The module syllabus will be provided on the VLE and in the module handbook at the start of the course.

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.