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FRC2: French: Text and Culture

This paper is available for the academic year 2023-24.


The aim of the course is to consolidate and expand the skills acquired at Part IB and during the Year Abroad. Emphasis will be put on seminar presentations to hone presentational skills.

Aims and objectives: 

This paper offers the opportunity to engage with advanced use of the foreign language in stimulating and intellectually challenging ways, through the analysis of texts of various types and genres under a prescribed topic.

The current topic will be "Identity". Students will be expected to engage critically with relevant texts, placing them in their cultural contexts and analysing their formal features and content through written work in the foreign language.

What are the examiners looking for? Candidates will be asked to produce a written text in the target language related to the exam passage they will have selected. Candidates will all be asked to show a very good understanding of the chosen passage. The exam will test their ability to comment on the text (form and content), as well as their ability to react to the text and to formulate a clear argument of their own. Candidates will be expected to show connections between texts and their cultural contexts, as they will have done in the seminars and supervisions. Candidates are expected to produce their answer in a register appropriate for this purpose. Grammatical accuracy, fluency and idiomatic use of the foreign language will be expected at this level (50% language; 50% content/argument/breadth and depth of examples).

Course materials: 

All the texts, films, websites are made available by the relevant teacher through Moodle. See the main website for an overview of themes and further reading: FRC2 Moodle course site.

Teaching and learning: 

The paper will be taught fortnightly in hour-long faculty classes (up to a total of 10 hours per year). Students will also have up to 4 supervisions on their written work for the paper. Students will be asked to submit up to 6 pieces of written work per year (2 written exercises for the Faculty and 4 full length essays for supervisions). They will also be asked to prepare a formal and well structured oral presentation on a relevant topic (for which marks will be given in end of term reports).

For the FRC2 Moodle site, please see here.

Online resources:

Reading list and resources


Under the umbrella topic of "identity", the paper will explore various thematic units in the course of the year. 3 or 4 sub-topics around the central theme will be proposed each year, including themes such as History, society, art, culture, language, philosophy, gender theory, and politics.  A two-hour examination will ask students to engage critically with an unseen text on a topic of cultural interest related to the topics discussed in classes over the course of the year. Candidates will be given a choice of two texts on which to answer in the target language (each text will address a broad range of aspects, allowing candidates to draw on many texts/theories or schedules papers if they so wish). Each passage will be between 600 and 700 words in length. This paper will be weighted as 70% of a full paper. Word limit for the commentary/reaction: 900 words (approximately).

Course Contacts: 
Prof Hugo Azérad
Dr Christophe Gagne