Advice about language courses

Advice about language courses

What languages can I study?

Currently, the Centre for Open Studies offers courses in the following languages at levels ranging from beginner to advanced: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Danish, Dutch, French, Gaelic, German, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

What are the classes like?

The classes are designed to enable participants to speak the language they are learning. As part of normal classroom teaching, students will practise speaking the language in pairs or small groups and will also be given the option of doing written homework between classes. All of the courses can contribute to the Certificate in Higher Education. Students who enrol on any of the accredited language classes also qualify for certain student benefits.

What about assessment and accreditation?

Almost all language courses are worth 10 credits and students achieve the credits when, through normal classroom activities (not through an examination) they demonstrate a minimum level of competence expected for their particular course. Students who first enter the language programme at Stages 2, 3 or 4 and successfully complete the course will be eligible to receive credit for the lower level courses as well; e.g. a student who joins and successfully completes a Stage 2 German class would on request be credited with 20 credits.

When do the courses start and how long do they run for?

Unless otherwise stated all courses run for 2 hours per week over 20 weeks, commencing in October. Classes take place Mondays to Thursdays (day and evening) and also Friday daytime and Saturday mornings.

Do I need to take a test to know what the right stage is for me?

No. You can consult the course description sheets which are designed to help you choose the Stage most appropriate to you. If you require further advice then please come along to the languages open evening. If you are unable to attend then please call the Centre for Open Studies on 0141 330 1817/1854 for advice.

What if I choose the wrong class or Stage?

If you discover, after attending, that your class is not suitable for you, perhaps because the level is too high or low, then we will try to find you a class more appropriate to your needs. Please note, however, that we cannot always guarantee this as many classes reach the maximum number. Should this be the case then we will put you on a waiting list and contact you as soon as a place becomes available. If you feel that you are in a class which does not meet your needs then please contact the Language Coordinator in the first instance on 0141 330 1817.

Am I expected to buy a coursebook or other materials?

That depends on the course(s) you’re enrolled on. Many tutors recommend that their students buy a particular book, very often for homework and self-study purposes. Please check the particular course(s) you’re interested in to find details of any book(s) required.

I’m worried about grammar, do I need to study it?

No, as already mentioned, the emphasis will be on speaking and listening. Of course grammar will not be ignored but it will not be the main purpose of the class.

Will I be given homework?

Tutors will normally give homework on a weekly basis. However this should be ‘negotiated’ with the class as we realise that not all students can find the time to complete it. However, as classes are usually just 2 hours per week, it is important to try and do some work outside the class to help maintain the language.

Can I get some advice and tips about studying languages?

We’ve compiled some notes to help you called ASPIRIN - these will be sent with your enrolment letter.

Do I have access to the University Language Centre Library?

Yes - all students taking a language course for credit have access. The Language Centre Library is a rich source of materials for students and tutors alike. Materials include: books, CDs, DVDs, satellite TV, foreign newspapers and magazines. For full information check out the Language Centre Library website.

Can I enrol for more that one language class at a time?

Yes. However, you should be sure that you have the time and commitment to keep it going.

What if I can’t attend all the classes?

If you feel that there will be occasions when you can’t attend all the classes, for instance due to work or family commitments, then it is important that you let the class tutor know as early as possible. Don’t worry! Our tutors are used to dealing with adult learners and, although it would be great if you could come to all the meetings, we appreciate it can be very difficult. If you feel you may have problems with attendance please discuss it with your class tutor.

What classes tend to be the most popular?

Certain languages and certain times of the day tend to prove popular. Judging by recent years, Spanish and Italian are clearly the most popular languages. In fact over half of our language students choose one of these two to study. Evening times tend to be the most popular class times, although we have noticed an increased demand for daytime classes in recent years and also Saturday mornings.

Should I enrol early or just go along to the first meeting?

We would always recommend that students enrol as early as possible, but definitely before the first meeting. Our decision on whether or not a class will run is based entirely on the number of students who have pre-enrolled. Put simply, if it looks like a class is not going to attract sufficient numbers it will be cancelled with students being given the option of enrolling on another course or taking a full refund.

Is there a maximum or minimum number of students per class?

Enrolment limits are currently set at 25 for Stages 1 + 2 and 20 for Stages 3 + 4.

Where exactly will my class be held?

At the moment we cannot say exactly where. When you receive your letter confirming your enrolment it will detail where the class will take place.

Are there any classes run outside Glasgow?

Yes - we also offers languages classes in areas outside Glasgow.

What if I want to study a language that isn’t included in the programme?

We regret that we would not be able to offer a new language at short notice and without viable numbers. However if there is sufficient demand for a particular language and we have a suitable tutor available then we would consider offering it. If you have a specific requirement to study a language we don’t offer then it may be worth consulting The University Language Centre Library.

How much do courses cost & are there any discounts available?

Currently, all language stages cost £210.00. There may be funding available to you depending on your personal circumstances, please check with the office on 0141 330 1835 or refer to How to enrol.

Will classes continue after Easter?

We normally offer a short 6 week ‘consolidation’ course after Easter in the most popular languages only. Our decision to run a continuation course will depend entirely on student demand. Around the middle of the second term (week 15 or 16) your tutor will receive information from us about continuation classes. Depending on his/her predictions we’ll make a decision.