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French Language through Films (LL298)

(Equivalent to level 6)

This module runs in Term 1, please also see French through Translation for Term 2.



Advanced. The module is offered to undergraduates who already have an advanced knowledge of French: i.e. good A level + 1 year of further study (or equivalent), or who have successfully completed French 5.

Main Objectives:

This module is designed to meet the needs of undergraduates who wish to acquire a more detailed and more specialised knowledge of the French language. It is built around viewing and discussing feature-length French films to enable students to reach a high level of language proficiency and to foster a better understanding of contemporary France.


15 CREDITS, also available for 12 CREDITS.


One 2-hour language class each week for 9 weeks (including written examination).

Students are reminded that 1 credit = 10 hours of study, therefore the minimum expected amount of study is 120 hours. A substantial amount of independent study is therefore required. Students can make use of Moodle to facilitate this.

Students can take part in the online exchange with the Université Clermont Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France.


Claude Trégoat

Course Text

No textbook is required. Selected texts will be provided.

The films studied will be made available to students in Moodle.

Course Description

The module is:

  • taught entirely in French
  • organised around watching a set French film per week (see indicative list below) exploring such aspects as contemporary culture, economic, political and social problems.
  • requiring students to complete each week a "fiche de film" after doing some research about the film, to write a review and to explore specific themes/aspects of the film.
  • skill-based so the syllabus will draw on a variety of media, e.g. podcasts, articles, videos, interviews, novel/play excerpts, blogs/forums in French etc. to enable students to build and increase their language proficiency, cultural awareness and appreciation of contemporary France.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate a high level of language proficiency by expressing themselves more fluently, confidently and spontaneously in French in a variety of contexts.
  • use their increased knowledge of French grammar and vocabulary to follow and understand films and extended speech, and clearly summarise complex subjects.
  • identify and synthesise in French core arguments in films, texts and discussions to enable them to debate contemporary issues and/or produce their own analysis in formal short presentations.
  • demonstrate an extended grammatical and syntactical knowledge of French by applying a high level of research, analytical, summarising, reading and writing skills.
  • show a higher degree of intercultural awareness

By the end of the course, students should be able to perform at approximately Level C1 Proficient user (operational proficiency) of the Common European Framework.

Successful completion of French Language through Films qualifies students to progress to French through Translation.

Indicative list of films

  • Maurice Pialat "L'enfance nue"
  • Claire Denis "Chocolat"
  • Jean-Pierre Melville "Le silence de la mer"
  • Laurent Cantet "Ressources humaines"
  • Etienne Chatiliez "La vie est un long fleuve tranquille"
  • Laurent Tirard "Molière"

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Assessment Scheme:

Assessment summary and skills weighting: Assessment

Marking criteria (written): Marking criteria

Marking criteria (oral): Marking criteria