Communicative language teaching
Students in our courses are given maximum opportunities to use the language they are studying and to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Communication is at the heart of our teaching, through active engagement with fellow students, teachers and written and spoken text.
Educational technology is carefully embedded into our teaching practices, to assist our varied, multimodal approach. The digital language laboratory allows us to include a range of innovative activities into our teaching and assessment practices, such as interpreting and subtitling. Teaching on all our modules is supported by the University’s virtual learning environment, which is used for module information, assessment, class discussions, blogs and other innovative learning and teaching activities.
A sound understanding of how language works is seen as the foundation of efficient language learning and communication. Our language classes are designed to develop greater language awareness. Excellent communication skills in both the native and the foreign language/s are key outcomes of greater awareness.
Intercultural understanding and skills
Our courses are based on an integrative approach towards language and culture, aiming to develop both language skills and a critical cultural awareness. We help our students develop a positive, outward facing attitude, cultural understanding and intercultural sensitivity through exposure to authentic materials, from newspaper and articles to blog posts, film and literature.
Independent language learning and learner autonomy
We help our students develop into independent, self-reliant and confident language learners through portfolio work, project work and other independent study activities. The Language Lounge offers a variety of language learning materials and expert advice. Specially trained language advisers can help you identify your needs, develop a realistic study plan and source appropriate material, either in addition to your classroom learning or as an independent learner. Our tandem learning scheme can help you can find a native speaker for practice and support, either at the University or online. As a Centre for Film Studies, the University also holds a vast selection of foreign language films, which lend themselves to some engaging independent learning activities.
Translation and interpreting
Translation and interpreting are important components on our foreign language modules. We distinguish between didactic and professional translation, the former being a teaching and learning tool, the latter the product of experience and informed training.
Innovative Teaching Practices
Our teaching is informed by relevant research into language pedagogy, applied linguistics and educational technologies. All language teachers are members of CTELL, the Centre for Teaching Excellence in Language Learning, a vibrant community of linguists and scholars brought together with the aim of reviewing, developing and enriching our teaching. Our language teachers are regularly present as delegates and speakers at national and international conferences and workshops and publish their findings in renowned specialist journals.