FR2LJ-Introduction à la littérature de jeunesse

Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites: FR1L1 Beginners French Language FR1L2 Intermediate French Language or FR1L3 Advanced French Language I
Non-modular pre-requisites: FR101 or 102 or IWLP French levels 4/5
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Sophie Heywood


Type of module:

Summary module description:
Some of our best-known children’s books are in fact French: Perrault’s fairy tales, Jules Verne’s 20,000 lieues sous les mers or the adventures of Babar the Elephant to name but a few. However, many other texts that have shaped the lives and ideas of generations of French children remain virtually unknown to the English-speaking world. Who has heard of the comtesse de Ségur for example? Yet in France, she is a national icon.

Without pretending to be exhaustive, this module introduces students to some of the important texts, authors and themes in the study of children’s literature in modern France.


This module introduces students to some of the important texts, authors and themes in the study of children’s literature in modern France.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Students should be able to:
• Identify and outline the major texts, authors and themes in modern French children’s literature
• Understand and take notes from lectures in French
• Read and analyse books produced for children in their social, cultural and literary context
• Organise and articulate a coherent written argument in coursework and under examination conditions.
• Engage critically with the ideas presented in lectures, seminars, or secondary materials.

Additional outcomes:
This module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills, and research skills.

Outline content:

Topics for study may include:

• Charles Perrault’s fairy tales.

• La comtesse de Ségur and books for Petites Filles Modèles.

• The golden age of publishing for children.

• Jules Verne: stories of empire, exploration and science.

• «A trois ans, l’enfant devient intéressant». The development of books for young children: Babar and le Père Castor.

• «Interdit de démoraliser l’enfance»: the 1949 law, censorship and the impact of two world wars on children’s literature.

Key themes may include: 

• The role of the Church.

• The role of the publisher.

• The role of translations, adaptations and readership.

• Changing ideas of the ‘child’.

• The impact of the new science of child psychology. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The course will be taught using a mixture of lectures (in French) and seminars.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 5
Seminars 10 10
Project Supervision 1 1
Guided independent study 168
Total hours by term 16.00 184.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Practical skills assessment 10

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Students will produce two essays (2,500 words) 60%, deliver one assessed presentation 10%, and produce one book review (1,000 words + annotated bibliography, in French) 30%. 

Contact time outside of the class hours will be reserved for one to one/small group discussion of the assessed components: choice of book for review, choice of approach (educational/ psychological/ historical/ theoretical etc), identification of potential research materials. 

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment in August, in the event of failure in this module and of failure in Part 2 as a whole. Coursework for reassessment must be resubmitted by 12 NOON on the third Friday of August or, if the University is closed on the third Friday of August, by 12 NOON on the first working day thereafter.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 16 May 2018


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