Syllabus & schedule

LAST UPDATED: 2018-05-11


Course information may be subject to change over the course of the term; the most up-to-date official version will be the one here on this site. Details of the weekly schedule may vary somewhat from section to section and from instructor to instructor, but following the same general structure and order.

  • FREN 101-922
    FREN 101-924
    Monday & Wednesday syllabus & schedule: PDF (general version, last updated 2018-05-11)
  • FREN 101-921
    FREN 101-923
    FREN 101-925
    Tuesday & Thursday syllabus & schedule: PDF (general version, last updated 2018-05-11)

The full course description and syllabus here below is for all sections of FREN 101 in general: some details will vary between winter and summer sessions, and in winter sessions between daytime and evening sections.


folon folon-jardinsdudesert-bigCOURSE DESCRIPTION


FREN 101 is a beginners’ French course, of a “blended” and “enriched” approach. The objective of the course is the acquisition of basic comprehension, communication, and writing skills. It aims to provide students with a solid grounding in French grammar and the development of an awareness of the language’s structures, and to act as a useful introduction to French and Francophone culture. The course involves six hours a week of classroom work.



FREN 101 is a course for true beginners, and for “false beginners” who have completed high-school French 9 (or less) or who have completed French 10 more than five years ago. It is not available to students who have completed French 11 or any equivalent course. Generally speaking, students may not earn academic credit for any course below the level for which they have qualified by previous study.

FREN 101 is part of a sequence of courses that should be taken one course at a time and in order: it is followed by 102, then by 111 and 112 (FREN 112 satisfies the UBC Faculty of Arts language requirement); then 122, 123, 222, and so on. See further:

Not sure which course you should be taking?
What level of French course should you be in?
Will this course satisfy your degree language and/or distribution requirements?
Will you get credit for taking this class?

→ TO FIND ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS, PLEASE READ: placement / which French course to take.


(one item, for both FREN 101 and 102)

Manley, Smith, McMinn, Prévost
Horizons (6th edition)
Cengage: 2015


  • ISBN 9780176699406
    = custom softbound textbook
    + iLrn access code a.k.a. book key (on a card/sheet of paper in the “custom pack” package)
    available new from the UBC Bookstore


  • ISBN 9781285457444
    = just the iLrn access code: no printed textbook (cheaper) purely online version
    available new from the publishers

Both versions include an access code / book key, giving access to the Horizons online materials at iLrn:

  • Horizons ebook: can also be highlighted, annotated, printed out, etc.
  • Horizons electronic student activities manual: online exercises
  • further materials online: more exercises, practice, self-tests, audio-enhanced vocabulary flashcards, downloadable grammar & pronunciation tutorials & podcasts, games, puzzles, audio & video, etc.
  • If you are also taking FREN 102, make sure you have access until its end too. You may find cheaper codes for sale, always check when they expire!

Course materials can also be bought used from students who took this course previously; for more information, please read You MAY share online access codes for working on online exercises—working on them in pairs of peers is strongly encouraged (see further below)—but you MUST have your own copy of the textbook (or its ebook version). Please bring it with you to class.

Course information and documents, as well as some supplementary materials, are here at The most up-to-date official version will be the one at that site. Individual instructors may also choose to make use of UBC Canvas for their section; they will inform you accordingly.


  • course materials
  • course materials (2): online.: includes step-by-step instructions on accessing iLrn, setting up there and activiting your book key/access code, using your ebook, online exercises, and other online materials



  • Homework (three short compositions) = 5%*
  • Online practice exercises = 5%
  • Francophone UBC & Vancouver fieldwork project = 5%*
  • Vocabulary quizzes (five) = 5%*
  • Oral & aural work = 10%*
  • Tests in class (four, of which the best three count) = 30%
  • Final examination = 40%

* = these parts (25% in total) of the final grade may be redistributed or reallocated in different ways by individual instructors


As is usual with university-level courses, students should expect to be spending at least two hours outside class (regular preparation, homework, and practice) for every hour spent in class. For a six-hour class, that is at least twelve hours’ work; or, a little over two hours every day during the week, and the weekend off. Language learning requires regular practice: like music, dance, martial arts, and sports. It is better to do some French every day than to try to cram all your homework into one session on Sunday afternoon (also, this wrecks your weekend). FREN 101 has online exercises to provide you with this practice. You are actively encouraged to work on them with a fellow student, peer-to-peer.

BONUS: some useful practical general tips and advice from Timothy Gowers (Mathematics, University of Cambridge) > scroll down to “General study advice”


Homework compositions:

  • should be YOUR OWN work, UNASSISTED: you MAY NOT use tutors, Francophone friends, etc. to help. It is important to your learning to make your own mistakes, and to learn from them.
  • You MAY use the FHIS Learning Centre; for some assignments, your instructor may ask you to do so
  • You may use dictionaries and other resources; some assignments may explicitly ask you to do so
  • Topics will be communicated to you at least a week in advance of the due date;
  • Forms of writing will vary, and you will always have a choice of form and topic ( journal, description, review, sketch, story, comment, poem, calligramme, epigram, pastiche, parody, synopsis, collage, photomontage, meme, … ). Short: usually under 50 words.
  • There will be three homework compositions
  • There may be other composition exercises, in class, contributing to the “quiz” part of your final grade; some of these composition exercises may be individual, and some in groups (ex. preparing skits / sketches)
  • Compositions are worth 5% of your final grade*

Online exercises:

  • are on iLrn:
    institution = UBC
    course = FREN 101: summer 2018
    course code = FKADDX466
  • PLEASE READ the detailed directions and guidance on how to access iLrn: course materials (2): online 
  • Assigned exercises can be done several times
  • The deadline for their completion is the day of the final exam
  • It is recommended that you work on practice exercises in pairs of peers (but you may work alone or in small study groups of 3-5 fellow FREN 101 students, if you wish to). You may also see the GHIS Learning Centre for help.
  • It is recommended that you do exercises regularly, after you have covered the work concerned in class—ideally every day—to reinforce what you have learned in class while it is still fresh in your mind
    • TIP: you may find it useful to redo exercises as revision before that chapter’s test and the final exam
    • TIP: there are also further exercises and extra revision materials on iLrn; these are optional and are not marked – see course materials (2): online 
  • Online exercises are worth 5% of your final grade

Francophone UBC & Vancouver fieldwork project:

  • May be individual or collaborative (pairs or small groups)
  • Further instructions will be provided in week 1 of class
  • It is worth 5% of your final grade*

Vocabulary quizzes:

  • There will be five quizzes in class: short (5-10 minute) in-class activities, every week except for weeks when you have a test (no quiz that week)
  • These are NOT tests: they are short (5-10 minute) in-class activities, “quiz” in the French sense of a game involving questions (like a TV quiz show)
  • On the vocabulary of the previous week’s work
  • Form and format will vary: individual/pair/team; pop quizzes, games, dictations, short translations, in-class writing, skits/sketches, fieldwork, and other collaborative problem-solving activities
  • Worth 5% of your final grade*

Oral and aural work:

  • Listening comprehension and pronunciation and speaking practice
  • Form and format will vary: individual/pair/team; games, dictations, skits/sketches, fieldwork, etc.
  • Worth 10% of you final grade*


  • There will be four short (10-15 minute) closed-book tests in class, in common across all sections:
    —Test 1 on the preliminary chapter and chapter 1
    —Test 2 on chapter 2
    —Test 3 on chapter 3
    —Test 4 on chapter 4
  • Further details of test form and format, revision guides, plus extra revision materials on iLrn: please consult/read the revision guides
  • The best three tests count
  • Worth 30% of your final grade (10% each)

Final examination:

  • The final examination is two and half hours long, and will take place during the final exam period (April 2018)
  • It is cumulative, on everything in FREN 101
  • It is worth 40% of your final grade.
  • Further details of exam form and format, revision guides, plus extra revision materials on iLrn: please consult/read the revision guides 

* = these parts (25% in total) of the final grade may be redistributed or reallocated in different ways by individual instructors


Your first port of call is your instructor (= the person who teaches you in class), who will hold weekly office hours.

You can also contact your instructor by email; their UBC email addresses are listed at:

You can also email the course coordinator or come and talk to her in person:

Dr Juliet O’Brien
Office: Buchanan Tower 728
Office hours: (by appointment, please email to arrange a mutually-convenient time)

This course site also links to resources to help you and for finding help, at UBC resources & useful links:

  • French advising via the department
  • academic advising in the Faculty of Arts and throughout UBC
  • where to find information and help for everything in UBC life: well-being, access and diversity, health, security, finance, being an international student, and any other matters of identity and being…
  • UBC policies and procedures, rules and regulations, and the Ombuds office
  • if in doubt, if you have any questions or worries about anything, please ask!
    —this course, your class, your instructor, and your coordinator are a safe space and here to help
    —if we don’t know an answer—we’re human—we’ll help you to find someone who does
    —this is a community of care


  • Attendance is required.
  • In order to pass the course, a student must pass the final examination.
  • Although students are strongly encouraged to speak French in class, speaking competence will not directly be graded.
  • Such details as quizzes, the content of tests, composition topics, and the selection of exercises assigned may vary somewhat from section to section at the discretion of individual instructors. They may not, however, vary from student to student within a section.
  • Students may not do extra work for extra credit; nor may the percentage of marks allotted to any portion of the course be changed. No extra credit. 
  • It is the responsibility of students to make sure that all the required assignments have been done and to keep all marked assignments and be able to present them upon request.
  • No late compositions will be accepted.*
  • No make-up quizzes, in-class exercises, tests, or exams.*

* For exceptions to the two previous policies, in exceptional circumstances, and with supporting evidence for your absence: see Late work, extensions and making up for missed work and Missing or rescheduling tests and examinations


I. Aims and objectives
II. Expectations
III. Responsibilities
IV. Grading criteria
V. Plagiarism
VI. Late work, extensions, and making up for missed work
VIII. Missing or rescheduling tests and examinations
VIII. Quick links to UBC rules, policies, and procedures

These rights, rules, and responsibilities are in addition to, not instead of, all policies and guidelines as supplied by the University, Faculty of Arts, and Department of FHIS. The most up-to-date version will be online (at the aforementioned URL).

They apply generally across all sections of FREN 101: there may be some variation on some specifics from instructor to instructor.

N.B.: you are expected to be cognisant with University rules and regulations: this is part of the contractual agreement every student enters into with the University when they register..


All students must write their final examination on the appointed day and at the appointed time as scheduled during the Formal Examination Period after the end of term.

There are only three exceptions to the rule requiring that all students write their final examinations at the appointed time.

1. Students with three examinations scheduled within a twenty-four hour period are said to face an examination hardship and are entitled to have the middle exam rescheduled. If French 101 falls in the middle of such a combination, consult the coordinator.

2. Students who are prevented by illness, bereavement or other personal or family affliction from writing an examination on the appointed day may apply to their Faculty’s Academic Advising Office for deferral of standing. Documentary evidence will usually be needed to support the request.

3. The coordinator will reschedule an examination whose date falls on a religious festival for adherents of the faith concerned. But please note: you may not invoke the policy to justify an early departure from campus for the holidays unless you adhere to a religion that has no place of worship in the Lower Mainland. Your exam will simply be moved a few days in either direction of the original appointed date for the exam.



1. Under no circumstances will an examination be rescheduled to accommodate a student’s travel plans, not even to prevent the waste of money unwisely spent before the exam schedule was known.

2. No provision will be made for students who miss a scheduled examination because they misread the timetable.


  • Thursday 18 May 2018
    = last day to drop without a “W” standing (= appearing on your transcript) and for other changes of registration (from credit to audit, or to Credit/D/Fail)
    through the Student Service Centre online
  • after 18 May 2018
    = the Student Service Centre will be unavailable for course withdrawals or other changes in registration: withdrawal, at this point in the term, is a formal academic concession for which you will have to apply to and receive the approval of the Academic Advising Office of your Faculty.

(Monday & Wednesday version + Tuesday & Thursday version)

The general schedule is intended to help you plan and organize your work, and prepare properly for class. It outlines, week by week:

  • what work you should prepare ahead, for the next class
  • = what work will be covered in each class
  • homework to do that week: online practice exercises and compositions
  • in-class assignments: quizzes and tests

Your instructor may also supply you with a more detailed schedule, specific to your section.


All other work must be completed and submitted before your final exam at the very latest (some instructors may give you a few days after, this may vary from section to section). This is for a practical reason: your instructor has to submit their final grades for your class shortly after that final exam, and as it will take them at least a couple of days to mark the final exam (and more if they are teaching more than one class–ex. faculty–and have exams from other classes to mark too), they need all marks for all other work from the course to be ready by the time they have finished marking the exam and are calculating and calibrating final grades.

As with any late work, individual instructors’ policies on amnesties may vary; some might not accept any late work at all (except with agreed extensions, in extenuating circumstances, if you have an academic concession, etc.). Please consult your instructor (= the person who teaches you in your class) directly to check with them what their policy is.


The date of the final examination is not yet known. It is not set by your instructor, the course coordinator, or the Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies; nor by the Faculty of Arts. They have no control over it. It is set by the Higher Authority that is Enrollment Services.

The examination schedule will be available around half-way through the term, and exam locations will be posted shortly after. For more, see:

Information will be added and updated here accordingly, once it is known.

Your personal examination schedule will be at the Student Service Centre; the complete examination schedule for all UBC courses may be consulted at

The examination period for this term runs from 26 to 30 June 2018 inclusive. It is strongly recommended that you not make any travel plans or purchase tickets until the examination schedules have been published: vacation or other travel is not an acceptable reason for absence from an examination. See also:

Course information may be subject to change over the course of the term; that is in the nature of a flexible, responsive, interactive course. Changes will only be in your favour: ex. if a deadline is changed, it will only ever be moved forwards in time to a later date: never to an earlier one! The most up-to-date official version of any information will be the electronic one at this post here on this site.