You'll start using your new language from the day you join us, with the help of our enthusiastic and experienced tutors.
Engaging classes that prioritise active learning
With a maximum of 20 students in any one class, your tutor has the time to get to know you, understand your learning needs and offer plenty of feedback to help you improve. Classes are relaxed and friendly, giving you the opportunity to study alongside students from different year groups, courses and nationalities.
From the very start, you will develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills through varied and enjoyable activities, with the ultimate aim of effective communicative competence in a wide range of social situations. After studying your additional language for three years, you will have also gained the general learning skills necessary for continuing your language development after the course.
By the end of your course, you will have achieved intermediate level, aligning with B1 on the Common European Reference Framework, which will enable you to get by in most social situations, and provides an excellent springboard to more advanced knowledge. Previous students have gone on to actively use their additional language after graduation. For example, a past student of Chinese volunteered at a panda breeding facility. Another completed a three-week exchange programme at Nanjing University, and another went on to complete a four-month internship in Taiwan.
Study the cultures and societies where the language is spoken
Learning a language is not just about being able to speak it; it is also about learning about other cultures, societies and values. For example, students on the British Sign Language programme work on the linguistics of BSL and analyse its grammatical components in addition to understanding "Deafhood", i.e. the lived Deaf experience, which includes a historical look at the oppression of Deaf people and its impact on their culture.
Students in additional language classes have the opportunity to engage with varied cultural aspects at all levels through the in-term coursework. At Stage 1 and 2, students complete a portfolio throughout the academic year, which includes tasks to develop knowledge of the country or countries where the language is spoken. Previous students have explored an incredibly wide range of activities driven by personal interest, such as contemporary media, cuisine, history, fashion and literature. For example, students of Japanese have researched anime, the J-pop industry and the history of the Samurai.
By Stage 3, students are able to engage more deeply in the usual class time with socially and culturally relevant topics, such as migration, social norms or histories of important cities (actual topics differ by language), as well as using authentic language materials.
Students at this level also complete a short research project which focuses on developing cultural awareness and intercultural competence as well as developing the ability to write accurately and precisely in the target language. For example, past students of Russian have worked on topics such as social inequality and oligarchs, youth culture and folk traditions in Russia.