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Module

FRE2044 : Linguistic Variation in French

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Damien Hall
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

- In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, to build on skills gained at Stage 1.
- To provide students with a solid knowledge of how, and according to which social and regional factors, language use varies in France and the rest of the Francophone world.
- To provide students with a solid knowledge of aspects of general sociolinguistic theory possibly relevant to language use in France in particular.
- To provide preparation for the Year Abroad.
- To provide students with the knowledge necessary to carry out detailed studies of language variation in France, either during their Year Abroad, or during Stage 4.
- Through the assessed presentation requirement, to provide students with practice in presenting information to an audience.
- To provide students with the opportunity to carry out genuine research, even at undergraduate level. This could arise either through the essay or through the students applying the knowledge gained in this module, when they are in French-speaking countries in the following year: for example, they could take voice-recorders abroad, carry out interviews, and analyse those interviews for a Dissertation in Stage 4. All the students will be offered this opportunity, but whether or not to take it would be entirely up to individuals.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students will attend two hours of lecture and one hour of seminar each week. Lectures will present the fundamental and theoretical issues. The assessed presentations will take place in seminars. If there are not enough assessed presentations to fill our seminar time, exercises on the topic of the week will be provided.

The progression of topics will be roughly:
1. Setting the issues
2. Axes of variation in French (how can French vary?)
3. Language variation in France and the Francophone world
4. Phonological variation in French
5. (Morpho-)syntactic variation in French
6. Labovian sociolinguistics and French
7. ‘Sociolinguistique’ in France
8. World Frenches

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials94:0036:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion301:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching171:0017:008hr synchronous online 9hr present in person
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities92:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study981:0098:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Synchronous Online
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will convey key content issues. In the seminars, students will:
- either present and discuss some of these issues, applying them to real-world data;
- or carry out practical activities (such as textual analysis) to apply the knowledge gained in lectures.

These discussions and activities will provide knowledge and practice which will be of practical use during students’ Year Abroad in Francophone countries, as well as a solid intellectual foundation for relevant Stage 4 and postgraduate study. The assessed presentation will provide students with practice in a skill which is increasingly important for employment. The mark for participation will encourage class discussion, which is essential, as sociolinguistics is based on observation of language.

Students are expected to read preparatory material as well as attending lectures and seminars.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1002,500 words in English (10% leeway)
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MGroup seminar presentation, max 4 students.Each student to person one part of the larger topic with discussions/conclusions from all
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative oral presentation is intended to allow students to investigate topics of interest in French sociolinguistics in such a way that it can also benefit the entire class (because the presentations will be made in seminars). The collaborative aspect will also allow students to practise this vital aspect of today’s academia and today’s non-academic workplace.

The summative essay allows students to demonstrate in-depth knowledge of a particular area of the syllabus, or to give a demonstration at length of data analysis techniques covered in the module. It also allows them to practice good writing and the marshalling of an argument, which are also vital skills inside and outside academia.

Both aspects of the assessment for this module will introduce students to research skills which they may well need to use in Stage 3 and Stage 4 research-based modules.

Reading Lists

Timetable