New beginner Language courses

New beginner language courses for Chinese, French, Italian, Italian, Spanish starting in Trinity Term! Apply on our website ! 🙂

New beginner Language Course

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My ERASMUS+ experience Hilary Term 2018

Erasmus+ Hilary Term Library Trainee

I have had the opportunity to work as a trainee at the Oxford University Language Centre from 15 January 2018 to 16 March 2018. Here I would like to describe what it was like for me to apply for the traineeship and how grateful I am for having this unique opportunity.

My university colleagues were always ready to travel the world with the Erasmus programme. Some of them travelled even multiple times. But it never appealed to me and I never felt the drive to go anywhere outside the Czech Republic. I liked Prague a lot and intended to stay there.

I am really not quite sure why I changed my mind on that day. It was 15 February 2017 when I received a traditional “Erasmus opportunities spam” email. I was about to dismiss it but for the first time the heading got my attention. It said: “Unikátní příležitost – stáž v knihovně v Oxford University” (transl. Unique opportunity – internship at Oxford University library). At the instant moment I knew I had to apply. I am a student of Library and Information Science at the Charles University in Prague and this was the perfect opportunity to put theory into practice in an elegant and cool way!

Even though I remember I had a beaming headache that evening, I sat down to my laptop and forced myself to read through the advert. After sending my letter of application and CV I had a mysterious feeling of completion.

The next day I got an email from the Language Centre Librarian Lucile who thanked me for my application and informed me that she will contact me in a month.

Not even a month later, on 6 March 2017 I got an email from Lucile saying that I had been short-listed for the post and that she would like to have a Skype interview with me! I was very excited and we agreed on 10 March 2017.

On that day I was nervous, even though I had been preparing for the call beforehand. Nevertheless the interview went quite smoothly. And shortly after the Skype call Lucile sent me an email saying that I had been chosen for the Library Trainee post! I couldn’t believe it, my first and only Erasmus application ever and it worked out!

After almost one year I arrived to Oxford and started working at the Language Centre. I met many people and learned many things. The previous Erasmus Trainees before me wrote about the work at the Language Centre rather thoroughly on this blog so I won’t go into much detail. But I would like to pinpoint a few great things that I experienced here:

During my stay I visited 5 other Oxford libraries (Weston, Bodleian, Worcester, St Anne’s and Oxford Internet Institute) and had VIP tours in all of them with the librarians themselves as my guides! That was something absolutely amazing! I had a unique once in a lifetime opportunity to see many behind-the-scenes places and to understand how the libraries operate!

The other pinnacle of my stay here was my University ID card. As a full member of Oxford University I had access to many facilities for free. For example I could visit some colleges, attend some events for free, have access to online courses at and of course – visit many libraries! If I were to recommend one single most picturesque place of all, I would probably recommend to visit the Taylor Institution Library. But other places were nice also – I enjoyed walking through the town a lot and I took many pictures (some of which you can see here).

And now for the last words and expressing my gratitude: Hereby I would like to thank all the people who I have met and communicated with, in particular Lucile Deslignères, the Main Librarian. Lucile’s kindness and hard-working are an inspiration to me! Mostly I admire Lucile’s passion and joy for the library work which I think many librarians nowadays lack! And I will never forget the loud laughs 🙂 we had together when going through the donated material and deciding which books to keep and which ones to give away to charity. So again, thank you for being an inspiration to me and to others!

Thank you Oxford University Language Centre for this amazing opportunity and many, many well wishes!

Pavel Samec

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Easter opening times

We are happy to say that this year we are almost open all the time during Easter vacations.

So we will be open from 8.45 am to 5 pm till Wednesday 28 March.

Then the Language Centre will be closed from Thursday 29th March to Monday 2nd April 2018 inclusive.

The library will be unstaffed from Monday 26th March till Wednesday 28th March 2018 inclusive. Sorry! Some basic help will be available at reception. There are no special vacation loans as we are closed for just a few days. Don’t panic: there are no fines!

If you are a Modern Language finalist, you should have received an email from me, telling you about the examinations. Some of them are on WebLearn but the whole collection is available, for reference only, in the library (listening comprehension and discourse topics below the magazine’s table -Welsh and Russian mags, and listening comprehension CDs in the CD collections at the end. Italian videos at the end of the video collection). Good luck to you!

Lucile and the LC teamplants downstairs

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Bad weather: sorry we are closing tomorrow

All German classes with Philip are cancelled today. All other classes running so far, but check your emails before travelling.

Tomorrow (Saturday 3 March), however, we will be closed! Our apologies!

Best wishes,

Lucile and the rest of the Language Centre teamwinter 2016 001.JPG

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Copyright training

Copyright and teaching: Keeping on the right side of the CLA

The University of Oxford purchases a CLA Higher Education Licence which permits copying of most copyright material.  This short session will explain the specific requirements for sharing material and how you can protect yourself, your department, and the University from copyright infringement.

22/02/18 – 12:30-13:30

Copyright and research data 

Sometimes we want to share our data and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we want to use others’ data, and sometimes we can’t. This session will help you navigate copyright issues with particular reference to research practice and research data, looking at initiatives such as open data licensing and Creative Commons.

01/03/18 – 12:30-13:30

The IT Learning Centre Team

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ERASMUS 2018-2019 for Library Trainees (2 posts)

We are inviting eligible students from European universities to apply for placements under the Erasmus + mobility programme for Library school student (undergraduate or postgraduate level) or students with a strong experience or interest in working in libraries

Please note

Given the high level of responses, we will only answer to students who are library school students or have a strong interest/experience in library work.

Job Description for Erasmus students at The Oxford University Language Centre

Planned period of engagement:

One full Oxford University Term (either 7 January to 23 March or 22 April to 22 June 2019). Some flexibility allowed in dates. 

Number of working hours per week: 30 hours

About the Language Centre

The Oxford University Language Centre provides language learning services for all members of the University and its employees through the provision of taught classes, access to its library and study areas, language exchanges and independent study opportunities.  The library’s collection includes audio, video and computer assisted language learning resources as well as books in 200 languages. The library is a lending library using a self-issue/return machine.

The 10 classrooms are on three floors and teaching during term time takes place from 9.00 – 20.00 Monday to Thursdays and 9.00-19.30 on Fridays. Further details about the department and its activities can be found on the website: . Information about previous trainee post can be found here:

 Traineeship title: Library Trainee (with some IT and administrative duties)

Language competence of the trainee

  • We require the trainee to have reached at least level B2 in their English language competency before the start of the traineeship. The student will have the opportunity to take part in weekly Academic Writing and Communication Skills classes at the Centre. Please note that these are not general English as a foreign language classes, but specialist classes for existing university students.

Detailed programme for the traineeship period

ď‚· Support the Librarian (about 80% working time)

A learning programme will be organised, including visits to other Oxford libraries and a weekly theme (circulation, acquisition, cataloguing etc..)

  • In charge of the library during the librarian’s lunch hour and any other time in the librarian’s absence.
  • Give library tours to students and staff
  • Register new readers on library system, help readers find material and assist them in the use of audio-visual equipment and the self-issue machine
  • Shelve and reorder library material
  • Process the returned items on the self-issue/return machine and help with usage statistics
  • Process new items for circulation (shelfmark, label, barcode and RFID tag)
  • Evaluate language learning material (print and online)
  • Sharing of experience on the Language Centre blog and personal blog
  • Do a research project in relation with the Language Centre or in relation with your librarianship studies.
  • Any other tasks requested by the Librarian

ď‚· Support the Modern Language and the Academic English Directors (5% working time)

  • research and collate material
  • Any other tasks requested

ď‚· Support the Departmental and the OPAL Administrators (10% working time)

  • Accompany members of staff to conferences/events and provide information to potential students
  • Create timetables, update the student database, send out emails
  • Help the courses administrators during busy registration periods, by entering student data in the database, photocopying and filing.
  • Any other tasks requested by the Administrators

ď‚· Help the IT Officer (5% working time)

  • Helping with the Centre’s VLE
  • Helping with the Centre’s VLE (virtual learning environment) language exchange, and the website.
  • Any other tasks requested by the IT Officer

Knowledge, skills and competences to be acquired by the trainee by the end of the traineeship

  • To obtain a good working knowledge of a higher education specialist library and the tasks done by library assistants and the librarian
  • To improve English language skills, both written and oral,
  • To gain an understanding of the IT and administrative functions of a university department

Working hours

  • The student will not be expected to work more than 30 hours per week. Typical working days will be 9 am to 4 pm with a one-hour lunch break with occasional flexibility in working hours (for example in the librarian’s absence).

Person specification

  • Library school student (undergraduate or postgraduate level) or a strong interest in working in libraries
  • You must be eligible to work or study in the UK, and proof of eligibility will be checked on arrival.
  • A good command of spoken and written English (at least level B2) and a good telephone manner
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Windows with accurate and fast keyboard skills and proficiency in using email and the internet
  • Evidence of attention to detail and ability to work unsupervised
  • A patient, cheerful and courteous manner appropriate to the varied user base of the centre
  • Ability to present a professional and positive image of self and the department at all times
  • Ability to lift,carry and file books and papers to a weight of approximately 5kg. Training is provided in safe manual handling.
  • Punctuality in order to ensure the handover of duties between rotas


  • Interest in language learning and/or the ability to read in a foreign language other than English and native language.
  • Previous experience of working in a lending library or similar environment
  • Familiarity with searching online library catalogues and using a library system (circulation, cataloguing)

How to apply

To apply, please write a letter of application and send a detailed CV[1] (mark your email “ERASMUS/Library Assistant post”) to: and let us know which Oxford University term is of interest to you

Please note

Given the high level of responses, we will only answer to students who are library school students or have a strong interest/experience in library work. We will also not provide certificate of sponsorship for non-EEA/EU students.

 Interviews will be carried out by skype or phone.

As this is a rolling programme of internships, there is no deadline for applications, but it is recommended that candidates apply for post as early as possible.

We are unable to offer financial remuneration to interns, but we offer the opportunity to take part in our English for Academic Studies and English Academic Writing courses. The intern is responsible for finding and funding their own accommodation and their own living costs. For up-to-date lists of house shares and room rental in Oxford, daily info and Gumtree are popular local sites.

[1] A CV (or curriculum vitae) is a list with dates of the main relevant events in your life so far. Include details of your education, any qualifications you have, and your employment experience, together with any other information which helps to show how you meet the selection criteria.

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Training for Modern Languages research

Bodleian iSkills: Effective database strategies for Modern Languages research (Tue 30 Jan 12.00-13.00 and repeated Thu 1 Feb 10.00-11.00)
(Note dates and times have been changed from original schedule)
A practical introduction to searching for scholarly materials to support your research, focusing on building a search to fit your research question, using relevant databases and evaluating your results.
Who is this session for? Postgraduates, researchers, academics and anyone interested in the topic.

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