UNIVERSITY WIDE LANGUAGE PROGRAMME (UWLP) School of

UNIVERSITY WIDE LANGUAGE
PROGRAMME (UWLP)
School of Modern Languages
STUDENT HANDBOOK
2014-2015
Hello and welcome to the School of Modern Languages!
The University Wide Language Programme (UWLP) offers all Newcastle University
Undergraduates and Taught Postgraduate students the opportunity to learn a
foreign language for free. All modules offered are worth 10 credits and run for one
semester only. Students can take these modules for ‘extra credits’ (aka
‘supernumerary credits’). This means that the module(s) you study will be of the
same standard as any Newcastle university module, but that the marks you obtain
will not count towards your degree results. The credits you obtain by successfully
passing the modules will simply be acknowledged on your marks transcript.
This handbook is designed to answer most of the questions you may have about the
programme. Please study it carefully and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have
any further queries. We are here to help!
We look forward to working with you and hope you enjoy studying languages with
us!
Dr Franck Michel, UWLP Director
email: uwlp@ncl.ac.uk
CONTENTS
1. What modules can I take?
2. How do I register?
3. What will I learn?
Beginners
Elementary
Lower Intermediate
4. How are the modules structured?
5. What is expected from me?
Attendance & Classroom etiquette
Independent Study
Assessment and deadlines
6. How can the School of Modern Languages help me?
The Language Resource Centre (LRC)
Tandem Learning
Teaching Quality
Teacher Support
Problems
How to contact us
7. Further Information
What is Tell Me More® and how to access it
Recommended Materials
Useful online resources
Tips for language learning
8. Frequently Asked Questions
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1. WHAT MODULES CAN I TAKE?
The UWLP offers a range of 10-credit modules in Chinese (Mandarin), French,
German and Spanish. If you are not an absolute beginner, you will be placed in the
module most appropriate for your level. If unsure, you can test your level for free
here or contact uwlp@ncl.ac.uk
The 2014-15 programme is detailed below. Please note that this programme only
launched last year and we are building it up gradually. This explains why not all levels
(in particular upper intermediate and advanced) are currently being offered.
All the modules listed below are worth 10 credits
UWLP modules consist of three weekly contact hours running between the hours of
5 and 7pm. More details can be found under section 4 (How are the modules
structured?).
SEMESTER 1
Module code
LPC1001
Module Title
Chinese Beginners 1
LPF1001
French Beginners 1
LPG1001
German Beginners 1
LPS1001
Spanish Beginners 1
LPF1101
French Elementary 1
LPF1101
German Elementary 1
LPS1101
Spanish Elementary 1
LPF1201
French Lower
Intermediate 1
1
Level / Entry requirements
Absolute beginners
You can only take these modules if
you have NEVER studied them at
all before, whether at school or by
yourself.
- Level A1 on the CEFR: 1
- A Pass in a LP1003 module, or
- A poor or rusty GCSE, or
- Some notions in the language
- Level A2 on the CEFR (see above)
- A pass in LPF1103, or
- A good GCSE in French or
equivalent.
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. See: http://tinyurl.com/qwlem
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SEMESTER 2
Module code
LPC1002
LPC1003
Module Title
Chinese Beginners 1
(repeated from Se 1)
Chinese Beginners 2
LPF1003
French Beginners 2
LPG1003
German Beginners 2
LPS1003
Spanish Beginners 2
LPF1103
French Elementary 2
LPG1103
German Elementary 2
LPS1103
Spanish Elementary 2
LPF1203
French Lower
Intermediate 2
Level / Entry requirements
Absolute beginners
Second part of the LP1001
modules. You may attempt these
modules directly if you have some
distant notions in the languages
but don’t quite fit the profile for
the Elementary modules.
Second part of the LP1101
modules. You may attempt these
modules directly if you have a solid
GCSE in the languages but don’t
quite fit the profile for the Lower
Elementary modules (currently
only available in French).
Second part of LPF1201. You may
attempt this module directly if you
have a near B1 Level in French on
the CEFR (see footnote page 2)
2. HOW DO I REGISTER?
Before you register, please consider the following points:





What language would I like to study?
Which level would suit me best? (take the free placement test here or ask
uwlp@ncl.ac.uk if unsure)
Am I prepared to dedicate 3 hours per week (plus personal study time of
about 4-5 hours per week) to the study of a foreign language in addition to
my degree?
What are the regulations in my own School regarding supernumerary
modules? (If necessary, consult your Degree Programme Director to ensure
you are allowed to take a UWLP module).
Will I be available during the times of 5 and 7pm to attend the classes?
Expression of interest
Should you decide to go ahead, please register your interest by filling out the
application form located here or on the website http://www.ncl.ac.uk/uwlp.
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You will need to provide:
 Your name, student number, degree title and stage
 The language module(s) you would like to take – you can express up to three
choices, in order of preference (please study the list of modules offered
before you fill in the form.
 Your availability (semester 1, 2 or both).
You will also have the opportunity to ask questions which we’ll endeavour to answer
within a maximum of 3 working days.
What happens next?
May-August
Once you have expressed your interest in a UWLP module by filling out the
application form, we’ll provisionally allocate you to one of your choices (pending
availability) or add you to the waiting list. For logistical reasons, there are a fixed
number of places on UWLP modules, which will be allocated on a first come, first
serve basis.
September
Once new (stage 1 UG and PG) students have also had a chance to express interest in
the UWLP modules, we will start registering students on the modules. If you have
been allocated a place, you will be sent an email asking you to confirm whether you
are still interested. If we do not hear from you or you are no longer interested, your
placed will be allocated to a student on the waiting list.
Once you have confirmed your interest, you will be issued with a Tell Me More®
(TMM) login and password by email so you can access the language learning
software used during the Guided Independent Learning sessions. For more
information about TMM, please go to section 7 (What is Tell Me More® and how to
access it). When you receive your TMM login information, please do not try to login
by yourselves as there is a specific protocol to follow: this will be explained to you
during your first Guided Independent Learning session.
Once we have registered you on a module, you will also have access to its
Blackboard page which will include useful contact information as well as teaching
materials and details about classroom activities and homework.
Still unclear about the process? Why don’t you drop us an email at uwlp@ncl.ac.uk?
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3. WHAT WILL I LEARN?
The following module outlines will give you a general idea of the aims, objectives
and contents of the modules, although there may be slight variations between the
languages taught. Language-specific information will be provided by teachers at the
beginning of each module.
Each level is split into two 10-credit modules which together form one unit.
BEGINNERS
Aims of the module:
The aim of the Beginners modules is to provide you with:
 the ability to survive in the most typical situations met by visitors when
travelling abroad for a few days
 an awareness of the nature of language and language learning
 an interest in the countries where the foreign language is spoken and their
people
Objective:
By the end of these modules, you should be able to carry out the following tasks.
Speaking:
1. Introducing yourself: spelling your name, saying where you come from, what
your occupation is, etc. (and understanding other people when they do the
same)
2. Locating things, asking for and understanding instructions e.g. finding the
nearest bank, post office, etc.
3. Shopping: counting, but also finding out what is available, saying what you
like or dislike, etc.
4. Describing your daily routine: including days and times, favourite hobbies,
etc.
5. Describing other people: talking about family and friends, describing people
physically, etc.
6. Describing objects used in everyday life
7. Expressing simple feelings
8. Making requests: ordering food in a restaurant, asking for assistance, booking
a room, buying tickets, etc.
9. Referring to past and future events: Talking about your last or next weekend, etc.
Listening:
You should be able to understand native speakers in situations similar to the listed
above, provided they speak fairly slowly, addressing you directly and with a
reasonably clear accent. You will also understand carefully selected off-air materials
related to similar topics.
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Writing:
You should be able to write simple compositions such as short notes, email
messages, order forms, etc. based on the topics and situations listed above.
Reading:
You should be able to understand relevant information from tourist leaflets,
common public notices, menus, timetables, instructions for use, etc.
Assessment:
Please refer to the assessment information in this booklet (section 5).
ELEMENTARY
Aims of the modules:
You should now be familiar with the very basic structures of the language and
survival vocabulary (numbers, days of the week, etc.). However, you may still feel a
little insecure and will only be able to form very simple sentences. The aims of the
course are to consolidate what you already know through systematic revision and to
provide you with the following:

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Basic communication skills for coping with simple, though not completely
stereotypical situations in everyday life in the foreign country
More confidence than would be expected from simple beginners
A basic awareness of your own language learning strategies
A personal interest in the countries where the foreign language is spoken and
their people
A level of language proficiency roughly comparable to GCSE
Objectives:
By the end of this course, you should be able to carry out the following tasks:
Speaking:
1. Talking about yourself (age, address and further details)
2. Asking for/giving directions: finding your way in a city, enquiring about
transport, etc.
3. Shops and services: comparing products and services, assessing quality, price,
etc.
4. Socialising: making appointments, making/accepting/declining invitations
5. Talking about other people: family relationships, personal qualities, etc.
6. Expressing opinions: agreement and disagreement (total/partial,
formal/informal)
7. Making requests formally and informally
8. Referring to past and future events (including plans, intentions and
conditions)
9. Talking on the phone in simple, typical situations of everyday life.
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Listening:
You should be able to understand native speakers in situations similar to those listed
above, provided that they speak fairly slowly, addressing you directly and with a
reasonably clear accent. You will also become familiar with the most common
phrases in telephone conversations and be able to achieve a basic level of
comprehension when listening to simple off-air material.
Writing:
You should be able to write simple compositions based on topics and situations in
the list above such as short notes, and informal letters to friends, and simple formal
letters asking for information.
Reading:
You will be able to understand relevant information from short newspaper reports,
brochures, letters, basic regulations, publicity materials, etc.
Assessment:
Please refer to the assessment information in this booklet (section 5).
LOWER INTERMEDIATE
Aims of the modules:
This is the course that you should take if you studied the language to GCSE standard
(Grade B and above preferred). However, this may have been a few years ago and a
common remark is “I have forgotten everything”. Teachers are aware of this and
include the oral revision of the basics as the necessary first step towards greater
confidence. The aim of this course is to provide you with:



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The skills of listening, reading, writing and speaking, reinforced and expanded
beyond the stereotypical, predictable situations that are presented at lower
levels through regular exposure to authentic materials (i.e. produced for
native speakers).
An awareness of linguistic accuracy and the ability to monitor your language
output accordingly.
An ability to deal with situations that you are likely to encounter when
working or studying abroad.
The ability to apply the language you know to your personal experience.
Objectives:
At the end of the course you should have learnt to cope with predictable situations
using more complex forms and registers to be able to manipulate language to some
extent. For example:
Speaking:
1. Giving and seeking information
2. Coping with common social situations
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3. Carrying out transactions that involve a moderate amount of negotiation
4. Expressing an opinion and finding out what others think
5. Stating asking about feelings, emotions and intentions
Listening:
You should be able to understand native speakers in situations similar to those listed
above as well as simple reports and interviews from the media.
Writing:
You should be able to deal with common everyday transactions, writing a short CV, a
simple covering letter, requesting and providing basic information or expressing your
views in written form.
Reading:
You should be able to read relevant authentic material, understand simple written
instructions in a user manual, simple newspaper articles and other material from the
press or the internet
Assessment:
Please refer to the assessment information in this booklet (section 5).
UPPER INTERMEDIATE & ADVANCED
These levels are not currently offered as part of the UWLP but will be gradually
introduced as the programme keeps developing over the next few years. Thank you
for bearing with us!
4. HOW ARE THE MODULES STRUCTURED?
All 10-credit modules are structured as follows:


A two-hour weekly seminar with a language teacher where language points
are introduced and practised (though speaking, reading, listening and writing
as well as grammar exercises).
A one-hour weekly guided independent learning session under the
supervision of a language advisor. During this session, you will have the
opportunity to practise and enhance your language skills via the Tell Me
More® independent learning software (go to:
http://www.tellmemorecampus.com/). You will also receive training and
advice about effective autonomous language learning and support from the
language advisor supervising your session. More information about Tell Me
More® is in section 7.
In total, you will receive three hours of language instruction per week.
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Semester 1 modules run from the week of 6th October 2014 to the week of 5th
January 2015.
Semester 2 modules run from the week of 2nd February 2015 to the week of 11th
May 2015 (with a break during the Easter period, i.e. between 13th March and 12th
April 2015).
For assessment dates and hand-in deadlines, please refer to the assessment
information in this booklet (section 5).
5. WHAT IS EXPECTED FROM ME?
Attendance
The secret to successful language learning is assiduity and perseverance. Therefore,
we expect you to attend ALL classes. Attendance will be monitored just as in any
credit-bearing module and we will write to you in case of repeated unjustified
absences. If you cannot attend a class, try to tell your teacher in advance. If you must
miss several classes, make sure you let us know. Equally, if you are experiencing
difficulties in attending the classes (for example if you are too busy, have problems
of a personal nature or simply struggle to stay motivated), then don’t hesitate to
have a word with us. If we can, we will find a way to accommodate your particular
circumstances. However, if we don’t hear from you for several weeks in a row, we’ll
reserve the right to offer your place to another student.
What to do if you miss a class?
If that happens please do one of the following two things as appropriate.
1. For occasional (“one-off”) absences, simply email your teacher with CC to
uwlp@ncl.ac.uk to let us know.
2. If you are absent from University for more than three working days in a row
you must complete a Student Notice of Absence Form (available from
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/students/progress/studentresources/regulations/Attendance/sickness.htm) and return it to your School
Office, with CC to uwlp@ncl.ac.uk as soon as you are able to return to your
studies.
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Classroom Etiquette




Please be as punctual as possible
Please be polite and friendly to your teacher and
other fellow students
Please do not use the Internet for non-language
related tasks in language labs
Please keep your mobiles phones on silent, and
do not use them during the seminars.
Independent Study
Learning a language requires a lot of practice. In addition to your classes, you will
need to work on your own or with a study partner. Your teacher will give you
regular homework and your language advisor will give you useful advice about your
learning strategy. You should also get into the habit of going through your notes
after each class and working on those areas where you feel weakest.
The estimated time that you need to spend working on your own is 5 hours per
week. Your teacher will always return coursework assignments to you within a
maximum of four calendar weeks with corrections and feedback comments (even
those that do not carry a mark). As part of your coursework requirements, you will
be expected to work independently through the Tell Me More® language learning
software during the guided autonomous learning sessions in addition to your weekly
classes. You will also be expected to make regular use of the Language Resource
Centre (LRC): see more information about the LRC in section 6.
Assessment
Assessment on all modules will include the following components.
Type of assessment
Oral test
Portfolio
Written examination
Weighting
20%
20%
60%
When set
end of semester 1 or 2
determined by the teacher
end of semester 1 or 2
Oral tests
These will take the form of a role-play or discussion where you will have a short
conversation based on situations that you have practised in the module, a text or a
given topic, depending on your module level (please refer to each module’s
assessment information on Blackboard for specific details). The oral test will
normally last about 5 minutes and you may be given some time to prepare it.
Portfolio
Throughout the module, you will be asked to carry out a number of tasks
independently (homework or independent study) and to have your work checked
regularly by the teacher. Evidence of this work and any relevant follow-up will be
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compiled in your Personal Portfolio, which you will submit at the end of the module.
It should comprise:
 Two pieces of work seen by your teacher
 A mistake analysis and corrected draft for each piece (see example on
Blackboard)
In addition to these tasks, you will also be expected to engage with the independent
language learning software Tell Me More®, and part of your portfolio mark will also
reflect this. We currently expect you to engage with TMM for a minimum of 7 hours
over the course of each module. Engagement time will be monitored automatically
by the software.
Overall, your 20% portfolio mark is divided up as follows:
 Personal portfolio: 10%
 Engagement with Tell Me More®: 10%
Written Examination
Each module will have a 90 minute written examination in a language laboratory.
Exams will take place at the end of the teaching period (see dates below)
Each exam will assess the following skills:
 reading (20%)
 writing/grammar (20%)
 listening (20%)
Task will vary depending on your level, but each task will explained to you by your
teacher and practised in class before the exam takes place.
Assessment dates and Examination deadlines
Semester 1 modules:
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
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Portfolio hand-in deadline: determined by the teacher
Oral test: week of 5th January 2015 (in class or arranged with teacher)
Written exam: week of 12th January 2015 (in class)
Semester 2 modules:
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Portfolio hand-in deadline: determined by the teacher
Oral test: week of 11th May 2015 (in class or arranged with teacher)
Written exam: week of 18th May 2015 (in class)
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6. HOW CAN THE SCHOOL OF MODERN LANGUAGES HELP ME?
The Language Resource Centre (LRC)
The LRC (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/langcen/about/) is one of the best independent
language learning centres in the UK. The LRC possesses a range of printed and audiovisual materials and resources (course books, grammar books, dictionaries, films,
newspapers) in over 50 languages. There are also PCs equipped with languagelearning software and satellite channels in 17 languages. The LRC is part of the SML
and situated on the second floor of the Old Library Building (accessible either from
the Quadrangle, opposite the Armstrong Building or via the ground floor of the Old
Library Building).
An advisory service is available (for times and appointments check with the LRC
reception desk) which you can consult if you have questions about the materials or
equipment, or if you just don’t know where to start. The advisers can also help you
set up self-study programmes if you want to improve your listening skills, extend
your vocabulary or revise any other areas.
As a Newcastle University student, you can use these facilities for free. You simply
need to have your University smartcard “enabled” at Reception in the LRC. It is
important that you do this as soon as possible. The LRC will prove a useful resource
in addition to your classroom activities.
You can access the LRC’s online catalogue here:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/langcen/facilities/catalogue.htm
The opening times are:
 Monday to Thursday - 9am to 7.15pm and Friday - 9am to 4.45pm (termtime)
 Monday to Friday – 9am to 4.45pm (University vacations)
For information on the Language Resource Centre, contact open.access@ncl.ac.uk or
ring 0191 208 7490. Summer opening times in particular may vary slightly from those
given here so it is worth ringing in advance to check.
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Tandem Learning
If you are interested in practising your conversation skills in the foreign language,
you can be paired with a native speaker who may want to improve his/her English
(or a language you know well). This is called “Tandem Learning”. You both help each
other and it is fun too! Unfortunately, it is not always possible to find a partner for
everybody. Partners will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
For further information, please contact the LRC Reception.
Teaching Quality
Teachers and language advisors themselves monitor the quality of their teaching by
mutual class-observation and regular meetings. You will also have the opportunity to
complete a feedback questionnaire at the end of each module you take, and your
views and suggestions will be taken into account for future improvements to the
module and its syllabus.
Teacher / Language advisor Support
Your Personal Tutor in your own department or school will advise you on any general
difficulties, but help with language learning is available from the UWLP team. Your
teacher is the first person to contact, as s/he knows your level better than anyone
else. You will find a list of contacts in this handbook and your teachers’ consultation
hours will normally be published on Blackboard under “staff information”.
Remember you can also ask your language advisor for advice during the directed
self-study sessions.
Problems
Again, your language teacher is the first person you should consult to discuss any
difficulties you may have with regard to your language classes. If s/he is unable to
help, you should approach the Director of the UWLP via uwlp@ncl.ac.uk. We will do
our utmost to assist you. We are here to help – don’t hesitate to get in touch!
How to contact us
Should you need to contact a member of the team, you can either contact us by
email or come and visit us during our consultation hours. We will endeavour to reply
to all emails within a maximum period of 3 working days. Individual contact details
and consultation hours will be published on Blackboard (in each module) under
“staff information”.
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7. FURTHER INFORMATION
What is Tell Me More® and how to access it?
Tell Me More® is a language-learning software
created and distributed by a company called
Auralog. Access to this software is given to you
free of charge as a supplement to the taught
component of your language module.
Once you have registered for a UWLP module,
you will be issued with a Tell Me More®
username and password so you can access the
software during your guided independent
learning sessions, but also off campus from your laptop, tablet or home PC.
Tell Me More® (TMM) will design a learning programme specifically tailored to your
needs. You will be able to use it to practise and enhance all your language skills,
including speaking, as well as to consolidate the grammar and vocabulary you will
have come across during the taught sessions.
Engagement with Tell Me More® will be reflected in the portfolio component of your
module’s assessment so it is important that you use it regularly and complete the
learning programme that has been designed for you. We believe that this software
will be a fun and engaging way to support your learning and sustain your motivation
levels so we hope you will enjoy using it. We will welcome any feedback you have
about it in the end of module questionnaires.
Training on how to access and use TMM will be provided during the Guided
Independent Study sessions. More information about the software can be found
here: http://www.tellmemore.com/edu/highered.aspx and the learning area
(“Campus Portal”) is accessed via this website: http://www.tellmemorecampus.com
Recommended Materials
The list of references for the UWLP modules can be accessed online via
http://rlo.ncl.ac.uk
All the references can be purchased from Blackwell’s located near the campus.
The LRC also holds lists of selected materials for each language and level. You can
access the LRC catalogue online here:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk/langcen/facilities/catalogue.htm
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Useful online resources
DIY Techniques for Language Learners, Maria Fernández-Toro and Francis R. Jones.
CiLT, 2001.
Study Skills for Language Learners. A Practical Guide, Sydney G. Donald and Pauline
E. Kneale. Arnold, 2001.
Success with Languages. Edited by Stella Hurd and Linda Murphy. Routledge, 2005.
Chinese
Recommended dictionaries
Xinhua Dictionary, 11th Edition (Chinese Edition)
Xinhua Dictionary with English Translation
The contemporary Chinese Dictionary (Chinese-English Edition)
Online dictionaries : http://cd.hwxnet.com/ or http://zidian.aies.cn/
Recommended websites
Language practice
http://english.cntv.cn/learnchinese/
http://www.chinesecio.com/
http://english.cri.cn/08chinese/
TV and News
http://www.cntv.cn/
http://www.xinhuanet.com/
http://www.sina.com.cn/
http://www.ifeng.com/
http://www.sohu.com/
http://www.youku.com/
FRENCH
Recommended dictionaries
The Oxford-Hachette French Dictionary
Online dictionaries: http://linguee.fr or http://dictionnaire.tv5.org/
Recommended websites
Language practice
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french
http://french.about.com/
http://www.apprendre.tv/
http://francegazette.com
http://www.listentofrench.org/
http://www.languageguide.org/french/
TV and News
http://www.tv5.org/TV5Site/7-jours/
http://www.france24.com/fr/
http://www.itele.fr/
http://www.lemonde.fr/
http://www.lenouvelobs.fr
http://www.tv5.org
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GERMAN
Recommended dictionaries
http://www.linguee.com/
http://www.dict.cc/
http://dict.tu-chemnitz.de/
Recommended websites
Language Practice
http://www.schubert-verlag.de/aufgaben/index.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/
http://www.goethe.de/
TV and News
http://www.tagesschau.de/
http://www.dw.de/
http://www.spiegel.de/sptv/magazin/
http://www.heute.de/
http://taz.de/!p3284/
SPANISH
Recommended dictionaries
Oxford Spanish Dictionary and Grammar by Butt, J., Lea, C.
and Carvajal, C.
Online dictionary: http://www.wordreference.com/
http://www.linguee.com/english-spanish
Recommended websites
Language practice
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/
http://www.todoele.net (click on Materiales Didácticos)
http://www.studyspanish.com/
http://businessspanish.com
TV and News
http://www.elpais.com/global/
http://www.elmundo.es/
http://www.rtve.es/
http://red2000.com/ (All about Spain)
Tips for Language Learning

Tips to improve your listening skills:
- Decide what you are listening out for: general gist or detailed information?
- When listening to recorded material, gather as much information as possible from the
context and the introduction to the task.
- Listen to the target language as much as possible (course material, radio, films, songs,
etc.)

Tips to improve your speaking skills:
- Try to analyse which “sub-skills” you have some competence in and which you need to
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-
-
make extra efforts to improve. These “sub-skills” include: pronunciation, intonation,
knowledge of vocabulary and phrases, fluency and confidence, too.
Intonation and pronunciation can be improved by listening to the target language with a
transcript, then recording yourself saying the same thing and finally listening to the
recording and deciding which words you can pronounce better.
Fluency and, as a result, confidence will come from practice of speaking aloud. That is
why it is so important that you make an effort to participate and use ONLY the target
language when doing oral activities in class.

Tips to improve your writing skills:
- When writing in a foreign language, do not formulate it in your mother tongue so that
writing becomes translation!
- Writing involves various stages: pre-writing (jot down ideas, useful vocabulary, main
points to include), drafting, editing (has everything that is required been included?),
checking, final version.
- Read the instructions in your task!

Tips to improve your reading skills:
- In the case of a reading assessment or exercise, look carefully at the question or task. It is
easier to read the text if you have a focus for your reading.
- Use context clues: what is the title of the text or the topic?, are there any pictures that
can give you some clues?
- Skim through the text and then scan for specific information.
- Reading for pleasure: use the Internet to access authentic material in the target language
(magazines, newspapers).
- Try to guess the meaning of words before using the dictionary, you do not need to look
up every single word to understand the general meaning.


Learning/Extending your vocabulary:
- Find out what kind of learner you are in order to choose a method that works for you. For
example, think about how you memorise best: do you use your visual or audio-memory,
practise drill-type exercise or do you learn words through association?
- For what purpose do you need your vocabulary? Distinguish between active use (speaking
and writing) and passive use (listening and reading). Your passive store of vocabulary will
be larger than your active one, since less effort is involved in acquiring it.
- Categorise vocabulary according to your needs, eg. topics like transport or travel, or
aspects of grammar like prepositions, irregular verbs, etc.
- Try to learn a certain number of words/phrases every week.
To gain maximum benefit from your corrected work:
You will need to work through your tutor’s comments and corrections and to respond to them,
deciding what to work on in the future. Set yourself realistic goals and decide how you will work
towards them.
Do not forget to give yourself “a pat on the back” when your tutor has given positive comment or
has ticked a word/phrase/section.
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8. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)
Am I eligible to take a UWLP module?
The UWLP is open to all Newcastle University Undergraduate and Taught
Postgraduate students. Staff members are not currently eligible. PGR/PhD students
may apply after consultation with their DPDs and/or supervisors but priority will be
given to UG and PGT students.
Do I have to pay anything?
No. The modules are funded by the University. All we ask is that you show your
commitment by purchasing the recommended coursebook and attending the
module regularly.
Do I have to fulfil certain criteria to be eligible?
No, as long as you are a NU student. Some academic units may impose certain
restrictions on eligibility so it is important that you check with your own school or
department that you are eligible before applying with us.
Will the UWLP modules count towards my degree?
Any credits that you gain with the UWLP will appear on your marks transcript.
However, the marks you have obtained will not count towards your degree average.
Can I pre-register for a UWLP module?
Not currently. For logistical reasons, UWLP modules are currently capped at 20
students per module. We need to retain control of the registration procedure to
ensure that it is done fairly and smoothly. We also need to ensure that new students
who cannot pre-register still get a chance to apply too.
Do I need permission from my School or my DPD before I register?
University regulations stipulate that “students wishing to take Extra Credit modules
must first seek approval from their degree programme director or PGR director.”
Therefore, we ask that you consult your DPD before you apply.
How do I apply?
The process is described in section 2. Once you have thought about it, fill in the form
here and we’ll add you to our lists. We’ll confirm whether you have been allocated a
place once we have finalised the lists at the start of the academic year.
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I don’t really know my level. How do I know which module to apply for?
If the information provided in the student handbook is insufficient, we recommend
that you test your language level for free here: https://www.cll.be/adults-20/leveltest-45.htm?lng=en


An A1 level on the CEFR means you should take an Elementary module
An A2 level means you should take a Lower Intermediate module (only
currently available in French).
If your language level is a B1 or B2 on the CEFR, then your level is close to upper
intermediate or advanced. Unfortunately, we are not currently offering any modules
at those levels.
When does the teaching start?
Teaching usually begins in the second teaching week of each semester. For specific
dates, please refer to the student handbook (end of section 4).
Some of my lectures finish at 6pm and I might miss some sessions. Can I still apply?
We would prefer it if you could attend all the hours as language learning takes a lot
of effort and it is very easy to fall behind. However, in some cases, we recognise that
we need to be flexible so we can allow you to study with us. If you are only likely to
miss one of the three weekly contact hours, then get in touch with us so we can see
how we can accommodate you. If you are likely to miss more than one hour per
week, then we recommend that you do not to take a language module.
Why are UWLP classes taking places between 5 and 7pm and not during the day?
For two main reasons: (1) for logistical reasons, as language labs are in use during
the day for Modern Languages degree classes; (2) as this is the most convenient time
for students with busy timetables. We realise that evening classes are not ideal in
terms of concentration, but this is currently the best solution for most students
across the university.
How many weekly classes will I need to attend?
Three hours per week. You will have a two-hour class with a teacher, and a separate
one-hour Guided Independent Learning session supervised by a language advisor.
What is the Guided Independent Learning session? Is it compulsory?
The School of Modern Languages and the Language Resource Centre offer a
“blended” language learning method. This means that we acknowledge the fact that
each learner is different and there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to
language learning. We also want students to take ownership of their learning and be
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introduced to a range of techniques and tips that will help them maximise their
learning potential. To that effect, the Guided Independent Learning sessions will give
you the opportunity to practise your language skills with a software called Tell Me
More® which will help you choose a learning programme specifically tailored to your
needs. A language advisor will support you through the process. In addition, a
number of guest speakers will come and give short talks about various aspects of
language learning, with the aim of helping you sustain your motivation and improve
your learning experience.
These exciting sessions are an integral part of the programme and attendance is
therefore compulsory. Remember: this programme is free and the only thing we ask
from you is your commitment!
Can I work on Tell Me More® from home instead?
Although we do recommend that you keep practising your language skills with Tell
Me More® in your spare time, we also feel that attending the Guided Independent
Learning sessions is crucial in order to achieve some significant results. Experience
shows that students who decide to skip the class in order to work from home often
end up not doing any work at all. If you are serious about learning a language, you
need the best learning environment and a robust and supportive learning
community led by your language advisor.
How are the modules assessed?
Please refer to the assessment information in section 5.
What happens if I’m unable to take the module’s assessment?
You can only gain credits for UWLP modules if you have passed them. Since UWLP
module marks do not count towards your degree, failing a language module will not
affect your degree average. However, if you have failed a module and would like to
resit it, you will have the opportunity to do so in the same way as any other
Newcastle University module.
I’d like to study a language and/or a level that you do not offer. Where can I go?
You could try the Language Centre: http://www.tlcnewcastle.co.uk/courses/
or Blah blah blah: http://www.blah-blah-blah.org
That’s all folks!
We hope that this handbook has addressed most of the questions you had about the
University Wide Language Programme, but in case not, don’t hesitate to get in
touch! We hope you enjoy studying a language with us and very much look forward
to seeing you in class!
Dr Franck Michel, Director of the UWLP / email: uwlp@ncl.ac.uk
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