Department of Language and Linguistics

Languages for All

Students talking to each other in a foreign language.

Learn a language at no extra cost

Join the award-winning Languages for All programme and learn a language alongside your degree, at no extra cost, for one year.

Languages for All consists of two programmes; Language Express and Language Portfolio. These carefully developed programmes have been designed to complement your studies, helping you acquire an incredibly valuable skill, without compromising your existing degree.

Discover how the award-winning Languages for All programme can supercharge your degree and boost your future prospects:

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Apply now for Languages for All!

Applications for the 2022 to 2023 academic year are now open. Before applying, please read the terms and conditions and essential information included on this page. Spaces are subject to availability. Apply now to avoid disappointment.

I accept the T's & C's - apply now!
Why learn a language?
  • Learning a language will open the door to a multitude of career options, helping you gain a competitive edge in graduate employment.
  • Speaking another language will immediately boost your ability to study, work or travel abroad, expanding your horizons and increasing your prospects.
  • Language learning will help you acquire a host of transferable skills; effective and confident communication, empathy and understanding of others and enhanced global and cultural awareness.

Which Languages for All programme is for you?

To help you decide which programme is for you, we've compiled a quick summary of each:

Language Express
  • Language Express classes consist of in-person evening classes, held once a week, for beginner and post-beginner level students.
  • This programme will increase your language skills so you can live, study or work abroad for a short time.
  • Classes will be accompanied by a course book and will involve; pair work, games, listening exercises, speaking role-plays, reading, writing and grammar exercises.
Language Portfolio
  • Language Portfolio is a programme of flexible web-based learning of between two and three hours per week, from beginners, through intermediate to advanced level.
  • This programme will increase your language skills so you can deal with a range of situations when travelling or working abroad.
  • Study will be supported by well-established academic language learning software from Rosetta Stone. Your tutor will create a tailor-made programme of lessons to be completed every week, at a time that suits you.

What next?

Once you've found your perfect programme, read the Language Express and Language Portfolio guides below. Here you will discover everything you need to know about each programme and how to get started.

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"I studied Arabic in my first year through Languages for All, which was really interesting - although really difficult, because of how different it is from English! Being able to hold a conversation at the end is super rewarding, though, so your hard work really pays off."
Emma Holland MA ADVERTISING, MARKETING AND MEDIA

Your guide to Language Express:

How and when are classes held?

How you learn:

Language Express is taught through in-person evening classes which will not conflict with your studies.

Classes are designed to be accompanied by a course book and are communicative in nature. This means that there will be group activities and pair work, as well as games, listening exercises, speaking role-plays, reading, writing and grammar exercises.

When you learn:

  • A two hour in-person class will be held weekly during term time.
  • Classes will take place on a Monday, Tuesday or Thursday, normally between 6 and 8 pm, with one or two exceptions.
  • Full details of your class including the room number and teacher’s name, will appear on your personal timetable once you have been enrolled.
  • You will also be expected to complete between 1 and 2 hours per week in private study to consolidate learning and prepare for the next class.

What can I learn?

Languages you can learn:

You can study:

  • Arabic

  • British Sign Language

  • French

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin Chinese

  • Russian

  • Spanish

What you can achieve:

The lessons are specifically tailored to help you study or live in another country, with the aim that:

  • After one year you will be capable of a short stay in the country (for a conference, short course or summer school).
  • After two years you will be capable of living in the country (for a study abroad year, for example) but studying or working in English.

Levels you can learn:

We offer modules at beginner and post-beginner level:

  • Beginner 1 modules: Beginner classes for students who have little or no previous knowledge of the language.
  • Beginner 2 modules: Post-beginner classes that aim to finish with A1/A2 proficiency level. These are suitable if you have taken Level 1 or have studied the language at GCSE (or equivalent).
  • If you have studied an A Level in the language, or have lived in the country for a period of time, these courses will be too basic for you and you may be removed from the course. If you’re too advanced for these courses, you could learn something new instead.

Choosing the right level of study:

To enrol on a course you will need to choose the right level of study. Our course summaries will help you choose the right level for you:

Beginner 1 modules:

Beginner 2 modules:

  • British Sign Language

Where can I learn?

Language Express evening classes are available at the following campuses:

Colchester

  • Arabic Beginner 1 & 2 modules
  • British Sign Language Beginner 1 module
  • French Beginner 1 & 2 modules
  • German Beginner 1 & 2 modules
  • Japanese Beginner 1 & 2 modules
  • Mandarin Chinese Beginner 1 & 2 modules
  • Russian Beginner 1 & 2 modules
  • Spanish Beginner 1 & 2 modules

Southend

  • French Beginner 1 module
  • German Beginner 1 module
  • Spanish Beginner 1 module

Can't find a class at your campus?

Why not try online language learning with the Language Portfolio instead? Visit the Language Portfolio guide to discover more.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed through class tests of your reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. To discover more about the assessment criteria, please read the course summary of your chosen module.

If you successfully complete a module, you can request a certification letter with details of your achievement. If you take all three assessments, obtain an aggregate mark of 60% or higher, and have 70% or higher class attendance, you can gain 50 units for the Big Essex Award.

How much will it cost?

All students are entitled to one free Languages for All module alongside their degree course, regardless of their year of study.

If you would like to learn more than one language in your first year with LfA or continue learning in subsequent years then a small fee is payable.

The fee for the academic year 2022-23 is £280.

How do I get started?

Applications for our Languages for All programme are now open and will close on Wednesday 12 October 2022. Before making your application you must confirm the following:

  • You have read and accept the Languages for All terms and conditions (.pdf)
  • You have read and understood the essential information (.pdf) for Languages for All students
  • You understand that a non-refundable fee of £280 may apply if you do not meet the criteria for a free module. To ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, please read the terms and conditions (.pdf)

Places for the Languages for All programmes are subject to availability. To avoid disappointment, we advise making a timely application.

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"I studied German through Languages for All during my first year at Essex. It was taught in an engaging and encouraging way... The fun exercises and friendly classes were a joy to attend. I would highly recommend to anyone interested in learning a language, whether complete beginners or improvers."
Jamie Halls BSc BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

Your guide to Language Portfolio:

How and when will I learn?

How you learn:

Language Portfolio allows you to learn a language at a time and pace that suits you, through flexible web-based learning alongside your degree, from beginners, through intermediate to advanced level. This programme is available at all campuses; Colchester, Southend and Loughton.

Using well-established academic language learning software from Rosetta Stone, you can study French, German or Spanish at any level from beginner to advanced. After an initial assessment to establish your level, your language tutor will develop a tailor-made learning programme for you.

Prior to your assessment, your tutor will provide you with guidance on using the Rosetta Stone software and completing the initial online assessment. Your tutor will monitor your progress and support you throughout the course so there is no need to worry about being left on your own. You can also contact your tutor at any time via email and Moodle. For extra support you can arrange to  speak with your tutor in-person in the LfA office or via Zoom.

When you learn:

You'll be expected to do between two and three hours of online exercises per week in order to progress to a sufficient standard. Your tutor will assign weekly lessons for you to complete - how and when you undertake your study is up to you.

What can I learn?

Languages you can learn:

You can learn:

  • French
  • German
  • Spanish

What you can achieve:

Language portfolio gives you the opportunity to:

  • Study a language at your own level and pace but receive support and guidance from a native speaker of the language.
  • Increase your language skills so that you can deal with a range of situations when travelling or working abroad.

Levels you can learn:

The course is tailored to any level, from complete beginners (A1) through to fluency (C1). The content for all levels combines a mixture of language relating to everyday situations and language used in a study or professional context.

Choosing the right level of study:

Your proficiency level will be assessed by an initial placement test through the Rosetta Stone software and weekly lessons will be assigned by your tutor based on your level.

How will I be assessed?

You have two assessments - one written and one oral, which you complete in the first and second term. You also complete a portfolio of online work with Rosetta Stone. The assessments and portfolio consist of different tasks designed to determine your overall language proficiency in different areas of language learning.

If you successfully complete a module, you can request a certification letter with details of your achievement. If you take all three assessments, obtain an aggregate mark of 60% or higher, and have 70% or higher class attendance, you can gain 50 units for the Big Essex Award.

How much will it cost?

All students are entitled to one free Languages for All module alongside their degree course regardless of their year of study.

If you would like to learn more than one language in your first year with LfA or continue learning in subsequent years then a small fee is payable.

The fee for the academic year 2022-23 is £280.

How do I get started?

Applications for our Languages for All programme are now open and will close on Wednesday 12 October 2022. Before making your application you must confirm the following:

  • You have read and accept the Languages for All terms and conditions (.pdf)
  • You have read and understood the essential information (.pdf) for Languages for All students
  • You understand that a non-refundable fee of £280 may apply if you do not meet the criteria for a free module. To ensure you meet the eligibility criteria, please read the terms and conditions (.pdf)

Places for the Languages for All programmes are subject to availability. To avoid disappointment, we advise making a timely application.

Lots of different national paper flags on cocktails sticks.
Apply now for Languages for All!

Applications for the 2022 to 2023 academic year are now open. Before applying, please read the terms and conditions and essential information included on this page. Spaces are subject to availability. Apply now to avoid disappointment.

I accept the T's & C's - apply now!

Still not sure if Languages for All is for you?

Other ways to learn a language at Essex

If Languages for All doesn't sound right for you, there are two other ways to learn a language at Essex:

Choose a language module:

You can learn French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish by taking a language as an option worth 30 credits as part of your year degree.

Choose an undergraduate degree:

Study one or more languages right up to mastery level in our Department of Language and Linguistics.

We also offer English language classes for dependents

Essex offers English language classes for dependents and close family members of current students. Our free English language classes are designed to help those closest to you improve their English language skills. Visit English classes for Dependents to discover more.

How learning a language will benefit your degree

Successful completion of Languages for All modules will enable you to obtain a certification letter to provide evidence of your language skills to future employers.

If you take all three assessments, obtain an aggregate mark of 60% or higher, and have 70% or higher class attendance, you can gain 50 units for the Big Essex Award - the University’s employability award to help identify the skills you've developed at Essex.

As well as gaining valuable certification to showcase your skills to future employers, Languages for All can help to maximise your time at Essex in many ways:

  • In-person classes will introduce you to new friends and expand your network
  • Speaking another language will increase your options for studying, working or travelling abroad
  • Language learning can help you to gain confidence and increase your global and cultural awareness

How language learning will boost your career

If you are looking to boost your career and increase your income, language learning could help you to stand out from the crowd.

A recent study entitled The wage premium from foreign language skills published in Emperica, Journal of European Economics, by Jacek Liwiński from the Faculty of Economic Sciences at the University of Warsaw, highlights that speaking a second language can add between 11% and 35% to your salary.

Languages for All can help you achieve those skills for free. Read the following articles and discover why language learning is such a valuable skill in today's job market:

As well as learning the language itself, language learning helps you gain a number of complementary interpersonal skills, helping you to become an invaluable member of any team. These skills include:

  • Effective and confident communication
  • Empathy and understanding of others
  • Listening skills
  • Collaboration
Contact us
Languages for All Room 4.303A, Department of Language and Linguistics
University of Essex
Telephone: 01206 873614
Department of Language and Linguistics University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872196