Cardiff University students can study a foreign language for free alongside their main degree through Languages for All. We spoke to Languages Advisor Victoria Ucele to find out more about the programme.

Why does Cardiff University offer these free language classes?

The university offers these classes to give students who have previously studied a language the chance to continue, or the opportunity to try a brand new one. It doesn’t compete with the academic courses offered through the School of Modern Languages, but focuses instead on practical language skills. Weekly classes are available during the semester, and intensive classes take place in the summer and winter breaks. We also offer an independent study option, which can be studied on its own or alongside a taught course.

How can students benefit from Languages for All?

There are a number of benefits to be had from learning another language. It offers opportunities to work or study abroad, or just to make contact with another culture. As well as Languages for All classes, which offer a selection of nine languages, all students can take advantage of free online language courses through Rosetta Stone that they can do in their own time. The Senghennydd Library also has a Languages Hub where students can use and borrow resources like language learning guides, music CDs, and films on DVD.

How can students get the best out of their language courses?

Of course being in a classroom for two hours a week will help you progress in the language to some degree. However to make real progress it’s important to get exposure to the language outside of the classroom. You can do this by using the resources offered by the university, and by reading, speaking and listening to the language as much as you can in your free time.

What does the university offer to people who are not students?

‘Choices’ language classes for members of the public are available through the university. By taking a class students also have access to all the resources in the Senghennydd Library, as well as the online courses. In addition, Languages for All runs a Language Café during the semester. Everyone is welcome and we are keen to see more English speakers in attendance!

Are you a language learner, and do you have any language-learning advice for others?

I learned French in school, and have also taught English in a number of countries. As a result, I have picked up Mandarin, Polish and Russian, and am currently learning Turkish. The one piece of advice I would give is that you have to make the effort to live in the language and get as much exposure as possible!

Cardiff University students can now sign up for weekly language classes during the spring semester through SIMS. The deadline to register is 6 January.

If you are not a Cardiff University student but still want to study a language, check out the ‘Choices’ language classes.

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