Name of Head Of Department: Dr. K. Wosu
Contact E-mail:
Contact Phone Number(s): 08033412334




NAME                                                DATE OF APPT.                    DESIGNATION

*Dr. R.N.C. Okafor                            1982-1984                               (Ag.) Head of Department

*Dr. F.A. Joppa                                  1985-1986                              (Ag.) Head of Department

*Prof. R.N.C. Okafor                         1987-1988                               Head of Department

*Dr P.T.N. Okafor                              1989-1990                               (Ag.) Head of Department

*Prof. W.F. Feuser                            1991-1992                              Head of Department

*Dr. P.T.N. Okafor                             1993-1994                               (Ag.) Head of Department

*Dr (Mrs) R.N. Okafor                       1994-1995                               Coordinator

Dr. I.A. Akakuru                                1996-1998                              (Ag.) Head of Department

Dr. D.P. Ekpo                                    1998-2000                              (Ag.) Head of Department

*Dr. S.A. David-West                        2000-2002                               Coordinator

*Prof. M.T. Bestman                         2002-2006                              Head of Department

Dr. I.A. Akakuru                                2006-2008                              (Ag.)  Head of Department

*Dr. E.M. Onumajuru                        2009-2011                              (Ag.)  Head of Department

Prof. D.P. Ekpo                                 2011-2013                              Head of Department

Prof. I.A. Akakuru                             2013-2015                               Head of Department

Dr. (Mrs.) E.N. Mbanefo                   2015 – 2017                            Head of Department


*Asterisks shows “no longer in the service of the University”.



Dr. Dele Adegboku                            2017 –  date                 Head of Department

Prof. F.O. Shaka                                2016-  date                  Dean, Humanities

Prof. Hakeem Fawehinmi                                                       Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Prof. Regina Ogali                                                                  Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Admin.)

Prof.  Ndowa Ekoate Sunday Lale                                         Vice-Chancellor



To become one of the true Centres of Excellence in French Studies and by so doing help to create a world in which language shall no longer be a barrier to mutual intelligibility, world peace and global progress.



To train the bilingual manpower (Linguists, translators, interpreters, writers, etc) needed in the public and private sectors of our national economy and international relations across linguistic boundaries.



The philosophy of the B. A. French Programme is to produce young people whose mastery of spoken and written French will open their minds to the intellectual patrimony of the francophone world. This exposure to the French language, ideas and cultural know-how, will refine their personalities, expand their world and equip them to confront the global dynamics of today’s world.



This programme is designed to achieve the following objectives:


i)Train students to acquire adequate communication competence in both the spoken and written varieties of the French language, thereby giving them a good grounding and effective mastery of the language in its various applications to achieve adequate self-expression and self-actualization.


ii)Equip the students with the knowledge of the forms and features of the varieties of French used in different professional domains such as business, diplomatic service, law, electronic broadcast media, print journalism, advertising and sports commentaries, book publishing, and biography writing.


iii)Equip the students with adequate linguistic knowledge of the French Language through a detailed study of its sound system, lexicon, syntax and usage.


iv)Adequately prepare students to pursue postgraduate studies in French Language/Linguistics, Francophone African Literature, French Literature and Civilization, Translation (French/English), and to take up teaching and research at the appropriate level of education.


v)Orient students towards self-employment by a focus on skills such as writing (e.g. articles in magazines, speeches, memoranda of understanding, designing and presenting special programmes on radio or TV, designing and publishing magazines, etc.), creative writing, and other kinds of original output through independent thought, inventiveness and creativity.



The Department started, at the founding of the University of Port Harcourt in 1976, as a unit in the school of Humanities. In 1982, the University of Port Harcourt Senate approved and passed into effect the departmental system and so, the department of Foreign Languages and Literatures was born.

From its inception in 1982, the mission of the Foreign Languages and Literatures department has been to produce Nigerians and other nationals, who will, on account of their multi-lingual and multi-cultural competences, contribute effectively to the nation’s manpower needs and also serve as human tools for the facilitation of the process of integration within the ECOWAS sub-region. At the outset, French, Portuguese and German were offered as part of the menu with French as the main dish.

Through the first few years of its existence, it became clear that we could not sustain Portuguese and so this desirable language spoken by Africans was phased out. The vision of the Department is to actualize its status as Centre of Excellence for the teaching of French and also to build the Department into the first multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual Centre for ECOWAS students. The Department has been offering, since 1982, a Bachelor of Arts degree programme in French with German as subsidiary.

When the main source of fresh students into the Department began to dwindle as a result of the inability of the Secondary Schools to provide qualified candidates through Jamb and as fewer and fewer secondary school students offered French in the WAEC/GCE Examinations, the Department introduced, in 1987, a one-year French Certificate Programme. Successful candidates were admitted into the regular degree programme and this gave the Department a great boost. But unfortunately in 2016, the University stopped the Certificate Programme and the Deapartment joined the centralized Pre-degree Programme.

Also, in 1997, the University of Port Harcourt was elevated to the status of Centre of Excellence for French studies, South-South zone of the country, earning for itself a satellite dish and some audio-visual equipment, donated by the French Government. And in 2000, when a building was finally allocated to the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the satellite dish was installed at the building allocated to the Department by the University. Yet, it was not until April 2001, that the departmental office moved from its former location in the Faculty of Humanities quadrangle into its current building now called the French House.

Both the departmental library, the audio-visual Room and two classrooms capable of seating over 60 students each are housed in the French House. This is in addition to the over fifteen general Lecture Halls shared with other departments in the Faculty. Besides, the new Faculty of Humanities Building (Elechi Amadi Faculty of Humanities Building) has afforded us more space.

Over the last few years, the student population has remained relatively constant (cf statistics attached). However, the phenomenal rise in the number of non-French students that compulsorily have to offer French (about 1200 in the Faculty for 2 Semesters, 500 from the Faculty of Education for 1 semester, 50 from the Continuing Education Centre for 2 semesters, etc) has compelled the University to recruit more teaching staff as can be gleaned from our Staff list.

Our academic staff strength as at the last accreditation in 2014 was twenty (20). The distribution was as follows: 3 Professors, 1 Associate Professor, 4 Senior Lecturers, 7 Lecturer I, 2 Lecturer II and 3 Assistant Lecturers. There are now 15 academic members of staff distributed as follows:  2 Professors, 1 Associate Professor, 4 Senior Lecturers, 5 Lecturer 1and 3 Lecturer 2. Besides, the Department has an Assistant Chief Executive Officer, an administrative Officer, a Computer Operator I and 2 Messenger-Cleaners.

The Department was granted full accreditation by NUC in 2014. The Department was the only one in the Faculty of Humanities granted full accreditation by NUC in 2014. Among other things, this was possible because the Department, based on one important NUC recommendation, improved on staffing by employing one Associate Professor and one Senior Lecturer by that year 2014.

Three academic members of staff were sponsored to undertake an intensive French language teaching programme organized by the French Government at the Centre for French Teaching and Documentation in Jos. The lecturers were eventually sent to France (two to Besançon and one to Nantes) to take part in the advanced segment of the same programme, thanks to the French Government. Dr. Peter Nyah (Lecturer I) was sponsored by the university for his PhD while Dr. Kalu Wosu, Dr. Nwanne Felix-Emeribe, Dr. Njoku all had financial waivers for their respective Graduate Programmes.

Members of staff are actively engaged in research. Publications include books, chapters in books, monographs and journal articles published locally and internationally. In November 2003 and November 2010 respectively, the Department successfully hosted the 6th and 13th National Conferences of the University French Teachers’ Association of Nigeria (UFTAN)’




The French Pre-degree Programme is a one-year intensive French course designed to enable students to remedy their deficiency in French before proceeding to study French as a degree course in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures.


  • Entry Requirements For Admission into the Pre-degree Programme:

To get admission into the Pre-degree Programme, candidates are required to:

1. Possess at least five credit passes at SSCE, GCE O/Level or the equivalent, including English Language, in not more than two sittings;

2. Have sat for the JAMB examination in the current year/session in which the candidate is seeking for admission and obtained the national minimum cut-off score.


NOTE: Under the Syllabus B (that the Department is currently running) where previous knowledge of French is not required to read French at the B.A. level, the Pre-degree Programme is just an opportunity for candidates who had not had any previous knowledge of French, to acquire some French before starting their B.A. French Programme at the Department.




FCP 001.1      Semantics of French

This course exposes students to the semantics of French.  It highlights the various factors that affect the meanings in French such as gender, number, person, accents, grammatical inflections and categories as well as context among others.  It also deals with the different kinds of meaning which can be ascribed to words i.e. denotative, connotative, figurative, etymological, special, absolute, etc.  Emphasis shall also be placed on acquisition of French lexical items geared towards the development of vocabulary through practical exercises in polysemy, homonymy, synonymy and semantic fields.


FCP 002.1      Morphology

This course introduces the students to French morphology by exposing them to inflectional studies such as conjugation of the three groups of French verbs in the present indicative, the future tense and the past tense.  The students in addition are expected to learn parts of the body, different occupations, nouns and pronouns, types of adjectives coupled with the French sentence structure.


FCP 003.1      Syntax

The students who pass through this course will be able to grasp the structure of French language.  They will also be acquainted with the rules governing the different parts of speech in the logic of their combination with one another.  More especially, the accent will be on accord (concord or agreement) with regard to gender and number.  Various exercises will be used to shape them up.


FCP 004.1      French Phonetics

This course introduces certificate students (most of them having to learn French for the first time) to the French sound system and pronunciation.  The course involves studying the French vowels, consonants and the IPA symbols that capture the sounds.  It also involves the studying of the French alphabets that are combined to realise the sounds.  Furthermore, it involves pronunciation drills and transcription exercises.


FCP 005.1      French Vocabulary

This course seeks to help the students build a solid background vocabulary so as to be able to express themselves in the various domains of language both in the written and oral aspects.  It is believed that at the end of this course, students will be able to comprehend, write and speak very simple French expressions as is required at their level.  These include self introduction and identification of objects and people around them.


FCP 006.1      French Composition

This course exposes students to the concept of writing and making sentences.  It also teaches the students how to chain these sentences to form ideas through logical reasoning.  Again it helps the students to develop creative ability so as to describe and interpret things they see as well as form personal opinions about them.


FCP 007.1      French Comprehension

This course gears toward exposing students to various comprehension texts both written and oral.  It also aims at imparting comprehension skills that lead to the understanding of selected texts, viz: literary and scientific,


FCP 008.1      French Civilization and Culture

This course will acquaint the students with the knowledge of the cultural values of the French people whose language they are studying e.g way of life, mode of eating, customs, leisure, fashion, festivals and world view.


FCP 009.1      French Dictation (Dictée)

Dictation as a course intends to intimate the candidates on the essential punctuation rules as they are related to the learning of the French language.  Every language has its own punctuation rules governing its learning and in this course the candidates would be expected to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of these rules and their applications in the language learning process.


NOTE:  Each second semester course is a follow-up of the corresponding First semester course.





The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers, for the time being, a Degree in French Language and Literature, as French is obviously the most important foreign language in terms of the geo-politics of the West African Sub-region.  The students will spend the first two years acquiring the basic linguistic and literary rudiments of language, in addition to other courses of more general nature.  In the third year, the students go abroad to live and study in area where French is the official language.   In principle, all third year students are expected to spend an entire session at the French Language Village at Badagry in Nigeria or any other French Language Centre in Benin Republic, Cameroon or Togo.  During this period, the students concentrate on French, taking advanced courses in the language, literature and civilization of the Francophone world.  The fourth year is devoted to more intensive work based on the greater familiarity with the language that the student has acquired during the ‘Year Abroad’.




a)         Five SSCE (or its equivalent) credit passes including French, English Language and any three other subjects.

b)         Successful completion of the University of Port Harcourt One Year French Pre-degree Programme with a minimum overall score of 60%. The candidates must possess five (5) WASC, O/L (or its equivalent) credit passes including English Language.

c)         UPH accepts candidates with five (5) WASC O/L (or its equivalent) credit passes including English Language and any three other subjects, plus a French “Deuxième degré” diploma of the Alliance Française and a minimum pass in French (50% and above) in JAMB/UTME.

d)         Five SSCE (or its equivalent) credit passes plus a Diploma in French or its equivalent from the French Village, Badagry

e)       UTME subjects for prospective French candidates of Syllabus A: English Language, French and any other two subjects.



a)      Five SSCE/WAEC/NECO/GCE O/L (or its equivalent) credit passes in English Language and any other four subjects.

b)       UTME subjects for French: English Language and any other three subjects.


*Note: For the NUC Syllabus “B” newly approved by the Senate of the University, a candidate can come into the Department without any prior knowledge of French.

In addition, Syllabus “B” students will have to offer two additional courses (FLL106.1 and FLL 107.2) to meet up with the level of their counterparts who come in through Syllabus “A”



a)        Holders of Baccalauréat (French Advanced Level) from any Francophone African country or a Diploma in French (Advanced Level equivalent).

b)      Holders of GCE Advanced Level (in at least two subjects with French as one of the subjects) or its equivalent.




The Department has been running the same programme for about two decades. In an effort to meet NUC requirement that stipulates that degree programmes should be reviewed after ten years, the Department in 2013 decided to carry out a review of its courses in order to meet the challenges of a global university  in the 21st century  and also allign with the current entrepreneurial vision of the University of Port Harcourt.


The review adopts a broader approach to language learning by moving beyond the traditional literature/language dichotomy into a more flexible multi-disciplinary approach to French Studies. This is why new courses anchored on issues in history, politics, regional integration, international business, etc, which affect, not only Francophone Africa but also the larger global Francophone world.


The first two years are still devoted to the acquisition of basic communicative skills in French but a deliberate balance has been struck between oral (Phonetics, exposé/débat), written (Grammar, Translation, creative writing) and Literature (Francophone/African, French and Civilization). New culture-and-society based courses have also been introduced at this level to prepare the students for the work in the Third year which is tagged “The Year Abroad Programme”.


By the final year, the student who has attained a good level of language during the Year Abroad, is now offered options in discourse analysis, comparative African Literature in English and French, Linguistics applied to the teaching of French, post independent francophone poetry and drama, twentieth century French literature poetry and drama, Translation, etc. This is in addition to courses in advanced creative writing, Nigerian Literature in French, Advanced German and Entrepreneurship.