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What does it mean to be French in the 21st century? Why should this question be asked? The program will explore the controversies concerning French unity that are currently taking place in France, not only in political terms but primarily as a conception of language and culture. The background to these controversies will also be explored by looking into contemporary debates and what feeds into them from the recent past. To this end, the subject will draw on a range of material from popular culture such as songs, advertisements, news articles, comics, TV shows, sport as well as French cinema and literature to explore and analyse the way in which this identity has been negotiated by individuals or groups of individuals at different points in time. Parallels and contrasts will be made with the various policies and initiatives taken by successive governments to promote national unity and patriotic sentiment (from street names to museums, the army and the republican school). The way this myth of unity was initially construed will also be discussed in the light of key national and international events.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- have further developed skills acquired at French 3 and French 4 in terms of résumé and narrative competencies in oral and written form;
- have developed their use of complex sentences and moods other than the indicative (subjunctive, gerund, present and past participles);
- have developed their understanding of discourse structure with a particular focus on argumentative competencies (th-/synth-/antith-) in oral and written forms;
- be able to make wide use of technologies, dictionaries and other learning aids (thesaurus, online tools, grammar references, encyclopedia etc) to consolidate and increase their autonomy in their study of the French language and of French-speaking cultures throughout the world;
- be able to reflect on their identity as a bicultural and bilingual person and as a global citizen;
At the completion of this subject, students should:
- have developed skills in independent learning;
- have developed skills in critical thinking and in the interpretation of texts;
- be able to understand the social and cultural sensitivity of language use in particular contexts;
- be able to appreciate different cultural contexts present in French-speaking communities;
- be able to time manage and plan: through managing and organising workloads for required and recommended reading, essay and assignment completion and revision for examinations;
- have developed advanced skills in written French.
Last updated: 8 August 2023