Welcome to the library !

Spanish first years! This is a small presentation for you.


French second years! A presentation for you

And French last years! Here you are.



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FAQs from Registration Week so far…

As ever, this is the time of year when things start to get really busy at the Language Centre – it’s Freshers’ Week, registration is open for all our courses and we feel like we have students’ queries coming out of our ears!

With our website’s new design, we hope that it’s much easier to find the answers to your questions, and of course you can always contact us by email or phone if you can’t find what you need – but we thought we’d also include a list of our most commonly asked questions:

  • How do I register?

Registration is now based completely online, though we have a communal PC set up in the reception area of the Language Centre if you do want to do it here.

The LASR and EAS registration form can be found here and the OPAL registration form is here.

  • Is it first come, first served?

NO! We’re aware that lots of people think that they have to register as quickly as possible once registration opens, but that actually won’t necessarily increase your chances of getting a place. OPAL registrations are decided upon the strength of your personal statement as well as filling status quotas, and LASR and EAS places are allocated through a lottery system, with students and staff placed in classes first.

  • For English courses, if I select one group, am I guaranteed a place in that class?

Unfortunately NO, this is not the case. The more groups that you can attend, the easier it will be to find you a place, so be sure to tick all the groups you could make! It is decided by a lottery system after the registration period ends. Please do not assume that just because you have filled out the registration form you then automatically have a place in that class! You must wait for a confirmation email from the Courses Administrator (Scarlett Nash) before attending a class.

  • What are the most over-subscribed courses?

Our Beginners courses are always popular, especially French, Spanish and German. Arabic and Chinese are also usually oversubscribed. If you really want to take up a new language, you would have a good chance of getting a place for Italian, Georgian, Greek, Portuguese and Welsh. Don’t be afraid to try learning a slightly more unusual language!

  • What happens if I don’t get placed in class and am put on a waiting list?

Don’t give up hope! We always have a certain amount of dropouts, no shows and mind changes at the beginning of term, and we keep a close eye on class registers and attendance so we do try to call up those on the waiting list as soon as possible. We also run intensive Week 9 classes for our most popular languages and levels at the end of Michaelmas so you could look to join that, ready to slot into the corresponding LASR class in Hilary Term. Please don’t email us to ask where you are on the waiting list, as we are very busy and simply don’t have the time to answer queries from everyone! Pity our poor cramped up fingers from so much typing…

  • How do I know which level I should apply for?

We do have basic placement tests for several courses on the website, so be sure to check these out if there is one the language you’re applying for. Also, do look at the syllabi for the courses on the relevant course pages on our website. If you have any particularly specific queries, the course tutors’ email addresses are on our website here and they are happy to advise on level.

There is also a certain amount of flexibility in the first few weeks of term, so if you did find a class too easy/hard, there’s usually the possibility of moving up or down a level. This would have to be approved by the appropriate tutors, and would be dependant on space in the relevant classes.

  • For classes that have more than one group, can I swap between the groups in different weeks?

No! We do ask that you attend the same group throughout the term, as it is disruptive and confusing for staff and tutors if students move around like this. It also makes the registers super messy and this irks the Course Administrator’s need for things to look tidy. Our tutors are always very helpful and can let you know what material is covered if you have to miss a class. Often they can let you know specific pages and exercises to do in the coursebook so you can get up to speed on your own.

  • What if I desperately need a certain language for my studies/research?

In this case you would be a priority applicant for a LASR course (this process only applies to LASR courses), and you should fill out the priority form found on our website. You will also need to register online as normal, and the deadline for forms to come back to me is Wednesday 14th October (the normal LASR/OPAL deadline). If you think you will have to be late, please let the Admin team know at admin@lang.ox.ac.uk so that we can make a note of this on your application and your place in class will be secured.

  • How can I pay for the courses once I get a place?

There will be instructions in your place confirmation email, but you can pay by cash or cheque at the Language Centre Reception, or online via the Online Store link that will be sent to you. We can’t take card payments at Reception, so please pay online if you want to pay by card!

We may add to this list as the registration period continues, but these are probably the most popular questions so far. Do bear in mind that a lot of this is also covered in the LASR Guide and OPAL Guide on our website. When you register you are asked to confirm that you have read these guides – so don’t forget to do this!

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Changes in the library

This summer, we have been quite busy revamping the library space and modernising the collections.

No more cassettes as they have all been replaced by CDs and I have bought new edition of many languages less commonly taught, such as Albanian, Kazakh and many more. The shelves have been adapted to accomodate CDs.

DSCF1806 Continue reading

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UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD UNDERGRADUATES REQUIRED for a study on Language History and Novel Symbol Mapping Ability

(Ethical approval granted under MSD-IDREC-C1-2015-183)

at the Department of Experimental Psychology, 9 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD

The below is posted on behalf of Helgi Clayton McClure, a 3rd year Psychology and Linguistics student

The study is part of my undergraduate research project on language history and symbol learning. The project looks at whether there are differences in ability to associate new symbols with given number values, depending on participants’ language history. The project is innovative, investigating a new potential link between the traditionally separate research areas of language and numerical cognition.

I need undergraduate volunteers from among the population of the University, representing a wide range of linguistic backgrounds. This means people with various first languages, as well as any additional languages acquired at home, while living abroad or through formal teaching – even just to a basic level. The only absolute requirement is that you speak some English, as the experiment will be carried out in English (if you’ve read this far, you’re in!)

The study will take approximately 45 minutes to complete and all participants will be entered into a CASH PRIZE DRAW as a thank-you for your participation. Please contact Helgi Clayton McClure at helgi.claytonmcclure@st-hildas.ox.ac.uk or on 07722 208815 for further information and to arrange a study slot.



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Green Impact Report – our score

We were excited to get the official Green Impact Report through this morning, and we are proud to have achieved a Silver award for the second year in a row. Next year, we’ll be going for Gold! Don’t get too excited, but there are plans for a wormery…

Below is the chart showing our scores compared to the University average:

Green Impact chartIt’s great to see that we and the University as a whole are improving year on year, so let’s keep this great progress up!

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Open days

Yes, the Language Centre is open for the Open days so that everyone’s interested in becoming a student at Oxford University is welcome to have a look.

open days 2015 001 open days 2015 002

We also have free foreign newspapers and mags to give away from the library!

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French tutor vacancy



PART-TIME French Tutor

GRADE 5.7, £38.53 per teaching hour

We are looking for a qualified and experienced French tutor (or tutors) to teach a variety of daytime, evening and departmental courses. Classes are taught during the 8-week university terms, starting week beginning 11 October 2015.

LASR classes (Languages for Academic Study and Research) are intended for students who want to continue with a language they have studied previously, learn a new language either for study and research, or for pleasure. There are no exams, progress tests or certificates. Classes start in week 2 of Michaelmas Term (October 19) and continue in Hilary and Trinity Term.

OPAL (Oxford Programme of Languages) is our very popular late afternoon and evening programme of languages. It is fast-paced and suits students who have previous experience of learning languages. The course is taught over two terms with an optional third term where students are given 1:1 tutor support to culminate in an examined oral presentation in week 6 of Trinity Term. The course has a progress tests at the end of Michaelmas and a final exam at the beginning of Trinity Term (late April).

Humanities and Maths courses are taught to Undergraduates. Both courses are taught for two hours a week during Michaelmas and Hilary terms, with an end-of-course exam for Maths students only.

We currently have vacancies to teach the following courses:

LASR Beginners 1 Monday 12.00-14.00
French Lower Intermediate for Maths Monday 18.00-20.00
LASR Beginners 3 Tuesday 14.00-16.00
French Upper Intermediate for Maths Tuesday 18.00-20.00
LASR Intermediate 1 Wednesday 12.00-14.00
OPAL Basic 2 Wednesday 16.00-18.00
OPAL Vantage 2 Wednesday 18.00-20.00
French false beginners for Humanities Thursday 14.00-16.00
LASR Lower Intermediate Friday 11.00-13.00
LASR False Beginners Thursday 15.00-17.00

There is some flexibility in the days and times and you can apply to teach all or just some of the courses. Detailed information on our programmes can be found at www.lang.ox.ac.uk/OPALcourses and http://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/courses/special_courses.html and http://www.lang.ox.ac.uk/lasrcourses/index.html
You will be a native or near-native speaker of French with a relevant degree and experience of teaching French as a foreign language in the tertiary or higher education sector.

To apply for this post, please send your curriculum vitae, together with contact details of two referees, to the Director of the Language Centre, Dr Robert Vanderplank, robert.vanderplank@lang.ox.ac.uk . Further details are available from admin@lang.ox.ac.uk, telephone 01865 283360. The closing date for applications is noon on Monday, 20 July 2015.

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