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FREN3030 French Sociolinguistics: challenges to Francophonie

Module Overview

This module in French sociolinguistics aims to build on and re-evaluate your existing knowledge of the French language from a sociolinguistic perspective. The module has three major themes: language change, language variation and language identity in relation to the French language in France and other parts of the world. It looks at French as a standard language, regional variation, minority languages in France, French in Canada and Africa, and French Creoles. It provides a challenge to the way you think about French and its relation to other languages.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • to have deeper insight into sociolinguistic phenomena related to French, minority languages spoken in France and La Francophonie;
  • to look at the French language and other languages spoken in France from different perspectives, and in relation to the phenomenon of language in general;
  • to have an enhanced understanding of the interaction between variation and change in the evolution of languages;
  • to become more aware of how language relates to society, and of the role of historical, geographical, social and personal factors;
  • to carry out research after advanced training and practice in research methodology.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Develop and clearly express sophisticated theoretical arguments in writing;
  • Collate a wide variety of primary and secondary material and evaluate its usefulness;
  • Express your own views and interpretations clearly and succinctly in oral presentations;
  • Participate in critical discussions of controversial issues;
  • Use a variety of resources to carry out detailed independent research;
  • Critically evaluate your own skills.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Produce complex readings of texts in various media;
  • Discuss debates about language from a sociolinguistic perspective
  • Carry out advanced research into a specific area of French sociolinguistics;
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse theoretical work on language change, language variation and language and identity
  • Think critically about the French language, and minority languages in France and La Francophonie
  • Think critically about questions of language identity in France and La Francophonie

Syllabus

The module will broaden and deepen your interest in the French language from a sociolinguistic perspective and stimulate and develop your existing interest in (socio)linguistic phenomena; You will gain an understanding of the French language as a system which allows for many variations, some of which are favoured by choice, culture and usage. The module will follow three themes in connection to French and other languages spoken in France and La Francophonie: Language Change Language Variation Language and Identity Within these themes you will study French as a standard language, nonstandard varieties e.g. youth varieties, regional variation, minority languages in France, the languages spoken on France’s borders, French in Canada and Africa, and French Creoles.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Interactive Lectures; • Seminar group presentations; • Group discussion in seminars. Learning activities include • Organisation of material and own ideas for oral presentation; • Developing own interpretation of theoretical texts and concepts; • Debating ideas in class • Independent study. Innovative or special features of this module You will be asked to join a topic group to discuss and present individual research and you will need to provide a group introduction to the topic under discussion. Guidance will be provided by the teachers.

TypeHours
Teaching26
Independent Study124
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Coveney, A., M-AC-E Hintze, CC-E Sanders (2004). Variation et francophonie. 

Hintze, M. A. et al (eds) (2001). French accents: phonological and sociolinguistic perspectives. 

Rickard, P (1989). A history of the French language [electronic resource]. 

Offord., M (ed) (1996). A reader in French sociolinguistics. Series title: (Applications in French linguistics ; vol.1). 

Wardhaugh, R (2011). Introduction to sociolinguistics. 

Gadet, Françoise (2003). La variation sociale en français. 

Detey, Sylvain; Durand, Jacques; Laks, Bernard; & Lyche, Chantal (eds) (2010). Les Variétés du Français Parlé dans l'Espace Francophone: ressources pour l'enseignement. 

Coveney, A (2001). The sounds of contemporary French: articulation and diversity. 

Posner, Rebecca (1997). Linguistic change in French. 

Aitchison, J (2013). Language change: progress or decay?. 

Lodge, R. A (1993). French from dialect to standard. 

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

Assessments designed to provide informal, on-module feedback ? Practical tasks and activities in class and as weekly assignments

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Group presentation 10%
Research project  (2500 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Research project  (2500 words) 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: FREN1016 The Making Of Modern French 2016-17

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