FREN401

Upper-Intermediate French I

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The Department of FHIS offers a series of eight courses designed to build students’ skills progressively in the four basic communicative functions of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. FREN 401 is the first of a pair of Upper-Intermediate courses—401 and 402—aligned with level B2 objectives of the Common European Framework of Reference.

The course is devoted to providing students with tools for interacting with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers possible without strain for either party.

With an approach that is communicative and collaborative, inductive and interactive, the course aims to refine the skills acquired in Intermediate French I & II or equivalent courses and to enhance students’ knowledge of French and the Francophone world. Students will be able to consolidate and expand their comprehension, speaking, reading and writing skills in French.

The course uses an interactive approach to the review of French grammar, stressing communicative competence and is focused on:

  • the understanding of concrete or abstract topics in a complex text (oral or written);
  • the production of clear and detailed oral and written communication on a number of subjects (construction of arguments to defend one’s opinion, explain one’s viewpoint);
  • the ability to correct one’s own mistakes (when speaking or writing);
  • vocabulary building, grammatical accuracy and socio-cultural competency using a wide variety of contemporary authentic documents of the French-Speaking world.

Students will share ideas in collaborative small groups and whole class discussion, oral presentation, debates, or other assignments. French grammatical structures such as relative pronouns, the passive form, and the subjunctive, will be studied within a task-based approach.

Lectures and class discussions are all conducted in French.


Required texts:

Entre nous 4, Éditions Maison des langues. (This textbook is used for both FREN 401 and FREN 402.)

  • 3 options:
    1. Digital Textbook + Premium Access: Entre nous 4 (ISBN: 8436016732482) **RECOMMENDED**
      • You will have access to the digital textbooks, all audio files, extra online exercises and activities. If you purchase premium access directly through the Espace Virtuel website, you have the option to purchase an annual subscription for 24.90 EUR or a one-semester subscription for 18.90 EUR. Espace Virtuel: https://espacevirtuel.emdl.fr/
    2. Print Textbook only: Entre nous 4, Paris: Éditions Maison des langues, 2016. ISBN: 9788416347940
      • If you buy the printed textbook, you can access the audio files on the free version of the Espace Virtuel or on the provided CD. This is the cheapest option.
    3. Printed Textbook + Full Premium access: Entre nous 4 (ISBN: 9788417249762)
      • Optional: if you want to have access to the online platform with additional resources and online activities.

Recommended readings:

Suggestion to practice grammar: Grammaire essentielle du français B2, (Paris: Éditions Didier, 2015). Suggested for both FREN 401 and FREN 402.


Prerequisite: One of FREN 123, FREN 302 or French Immersion 12, or assignment based on placement test.

Language of instruction: French

The sequence of French language courses FREN 101, 102, 201, 202, 301, 302, 401, and 402 is designed for non-native speakers. UBC’s French language course sequence should be taken in order and one course at a time: FREN 101 then 102, followed by 201 and 202, and so on.

The Department of FHIS reserves the right to refuse enrollment to any of its language courses to a student who has, in the view of the Department, a level of competence unsuited to that course. Enrollment at or below the level the student has already attained is not permitted.