Home Introduction to French culture and Civilization APERCU HISTORIQUE ET GEOGRAPHIQUE LA FRANCE

APERCU HISTORIQUE ET GEOGRAPHIQUE LA FRANCE

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1.0 INTRODUCTION

This unit will introduce you to France. You will be acquainted with location, population, boundaries and geographical features of France. You will also learn about climate and seasons in France. You will be familiar with major cities in France as well.

2.0 OBJECTIVES

On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  1.  Situate France in appropriate continent 
  2. Be informed about the size, physical and geographical features of France 
  3. Familiarize yourself with historical landmarks of France 

This unit is titled Historical location of France.

3.0 MAIN CONTENT

3.1 Aperçu Historique De La France

Please read this simple text and pay attention to the explanation given after:

3.2 La Population

La France se compose de plusieurs groupe ethniques: les Grecs, les Gaulois, les Celtes, les Vikings ; Elle compte approximativement 62 millions d’habitants. Cette population est divisée en 22 régions et 96 départements y compris DOM-TOM (Département d’outre-mer, Territoire d’outre-mer).

SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERICE 1

You will now take note of the following:

  1.  France is made up of many ethnic groups 
  2. There are 62 million inhabitants, approximately 
  3.  This population is divided into 22 regions and 96 “departments” 

NB: You can make use of a French-English dictionary to have a better understanding of the words and expressions used above. You should have underlined the words been considered difficult.

3.3 La Superficie

La France est considérée comme le plus grand pays européen après l’URSS. Elle s’étale sur une superficie approximative de 550.000km2. Elle a la forme de l’hexagone.
You will note the following:

  1.  France is the biggest country in Europe after USSR 
  2. Her landmass covers about 550,000km2. 
  3. The map of France takes the form of a hexagon that, it has six sides. 

Can you compare the population and land mass of France with Nigeria?

3.4 Aperçu Géographique

3.4.1 Les Limites Please study the map shown below:

From the map above, the following countries and waters are outlined:

La Manche and la Mer du Nord at the North
La Belgique, L’Allemagne and Le Luxembourg at the North-East
La Suisse at the East
L’Italie at the South-East
La Mer Méditerranée et L’Espagne at the South
 L’Océan Atlantique at the West and,
 La Corse, an island that belongs to France located at the Southern part.

3.4.2 Les Montagnes

Here, you will learn about mountains that exist in France. These mountains are categorized into two major parts:

  1.  Les montagnes Anciennes 
  2. Les montagnes Jeunes 

The two categories have different mountains. Les montagnes Anciennes are: Le Massif armoricain, le Massif central, Ardennes and, Vosges.
Les montagnes Jeunes are: Les Pyrénées, les Alpes, le Jura.
It is necessary to be aware that there are other mountains that are not mentioned here but exist in France.

3.4.3 Les Fleuves / Rivers

In France, “Fleuves”, that is, Rivers play important role in the socio-economic lives of the people. You should take note here that there are small as well as big rivers. Some of these rivers help to generate electricity or serve navigation purposes. Now, take note of these rivers and their lengths:

  1. La Loire with about 1.010 kilometers. 
  2.  Le Rhin with about 1.298 kilometers 
  3.  Le Rhône with about 812 kilometers 
  4.  La Seine with about 776 kilometers 
  5. La Garonne with about 647 kilometers 

3.4.4 Les Climats et les Saisons (Seasons and Climates)

France has a temperate climate divided into three:

  1.  Le climat atlantique 
  2. Le climat méditerranéen 
  3.  Le climat continental 

You will note that Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea as well as rivers and mountains inside France influence these climates. Take note also that the three climates correspond to four major seasons:

  1. Le Printemps: Starting from March to June (Spring) 
  2.  L’Eté: Starting from June to September (Summers) 
  3. L’Automne: Starting from September to December (Autumn) 
  4. L’Hiver: Starting from December to March (Winter) 

3.4.5 Les Villes Principales

Like in many other countries, France has many major cities, towns and villages. You will recall that France has 22 regions and 96 departments. All these are cities and towns put together. There are more than 100 major cities. You will be familiar with some of them.
Paris (the capital city)
Marseille
Strasbourg
Bordeaux
Grenoble
Nantes
Poitiers
Rouen
Avignon
Lyon
Besançon
Montpellier
Toulouse
Dijon

You have to note that these cities are not arranged by order of importance or by their population. With the help of your textbooks and other materials, you will be familiar with other cities and towns.

SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERCISE 2

Answer all questions
Répondez VRAI ou FAUX

  1.  La France se trouve dans le continent européen. 
  2.  La France est entourée de six pays. 
  3.  Il y a deux saisons en France. 
  4.  La France a principalement quatre montagnes et quatre fleuves. 
  5. Il y a 22 régions et 96 départements en France. 

4.0 CONCLUSION

In this unit, you have learned about France. You went through the population, landmass and boundaries. You also learned about some geographical features such as mountains, rivers and climates. You would recall that we mentioned some major cities and towns in France.

5.0 SUMMARY

This unit has furnished and equipped you with what is required about the history of France, her population and boundaries. You have also learnt the rudiments of French geography. You can now mention the major mountains and rivers as well as identify the climatic conditions and the four major seasons obtained in France.

6.0 TUTOR MARKED ASSIGNMENT

  1.  Quelle est la superficie de la France ? 
  2. Combien d’habitants y a-t-il en France ? 
  3.  Mentionnez 2 montagnes et 2 fleuves en France. 
  4. Quelles sont les saisons en France ? 
  5.  Quels sont les pays limitrophes de la France ? 
  6. Mentionnez 5 villes principales en France. 

ANSWERS TO SELF-ASSESSMENT EXERCISE 2

  1.  Vrai 
  2.  Vrai 
  3.  Faux 
  4. Vrai 
  5.  Vrai

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