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Student and tutor module reviews

Mises au point: advanced French

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  • Points: 60
  • Code: L310
  • Level: 3
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Student reviews

As with all the OU language courses I have studied, this was very well designed from the point of view of the materials and exercises used, and I enjoyed coming back to complete my French studies after several years away from the subject. However as I had experience of the old and new formats of language teaching with the OU I would like to say that the new format of being entirely online (except for the reader) is pretty disastrous if you live or work in an area with poor internet connections.

Luckily I had bought a set of notes for the old second level version of Mises au point and used these for the vast majority of the reading and grammar work and didn't bother with the website much. Trying to sort out the method of presenting a formal French dissertation from the website was so frustrating and trying to follow it in the wilds of Sierra Leone for six months with no access to a printer was pretty miserable, even though the materials were usually good.

The dissertation is a major part of the final exam, and understanding it is vital to ensure a good mark. The website was not very useful in this respect if you have poor access. So my advice to anyone taking up this course is to try and get a set of the old printed books of previous versions of Mises au point and avoid Internet frustration, apart from the dissertation technique instructions.

I applaud the OUs desire to use modern techniques in learning a language, but printed versions are still important.
However on an optimistic note, the first two French courses with the OU gave me the ability and confidence to work in a French speaking African country for twelve months speaking exclusively in French with my patients, thanks OU!

Martin Richard Sics

Course starting: April 2014

Review posted: June 2014

Faculty response

The L310 Module Team does not advise using ‘the old printed books’ as suggested in the review by Martin. While we understand the preference of some for printed materials, L310 is an online module and its main asset is the interactive online activities, although many parts of the Module can, if necessary, be printed via ‘Other formats’ on the Module website. More importantly perhaps, the Module has changed and the old books do not reflect the content of the module. A printed anthology of texts (Francosphères, over 200 pages in full colour!) is regularly used in all units of the Module – it is sent to you in the post, and is an integral part of the Module.

Mixed feelings about this course - overall I would give it 6/10. As ever there is a stack of good quality course materials but the limited amount of time spent (e.g. through tutorials etc,) developing practical language skills was a big disappointment. As others have said, the emphasis is on the technical use of french, such as producing academic essays/presentations using approved formats.

I don't feel I have improved my ability to communicate in french as a result of this course, but I have consolidated some learning from L211 (which I found to be a much better course overall). If you want to improve your everyday French - you will need to establish student support networks to practice. Bonne chance!

Joe Simpson

Course starting: February 2013

Review posted: January 2014

L310 was a very demanding course which I extremely enjoyed,even if I had to burn the midnight oil.I have really amassed a wealth of information and knowledge from studying this course, for which I am very grateful to our
fantastic tutor. I would sincerely wish that some other modules could have been made as easy as this one, it was a feast for me to 'donner libre cour a mon imagination'.

Kovi Rangasamy

Course starting: February 2012

Review posted: July 2013

Mises au point was really " Mises au point" for me in the sense that it was the end of the long 2 years before I could have sight of my Diploma which I now have.

Course wise, I much preferred L211 because if there's any language to be learnt that's where I personally found it. L310 is heavily geared to academic skills and I am bored and tired with them! When I set out to study French with the OU I simply wanted to bring my French to an upper level but unfortunately that isn't what I got.

My French was still at the same place when I completed the Diploma, so this is something to bear in mind if what you are looking for is simply to improve your language.

Having said that, we were very lucky to have a fantastic tutor, something we didn't have at Level 2.

Nayla Boss

Course starting: February 2012

Review posted: May 2013

Please note

Each of the views expressed above is an individual's very particular response, largely unedited, and should be viewed with that in mind. Since modules are subject to regular updating, some of the issues identified may have already been addressed. In some instances the faculty may have provided a response to a comment. If you have a query about a particular module, please contact your Regional Centre.

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