General Pathway: Course Guide 2023/24

Key Information


General courses are our most popular pathway and are designed to enable Oxford students and staff to fit language-learning into their busy schedules. General courses run in every language on a termly basis. To maximise access and flexibility, we also offer the most popular languages in an intensive format at the end of each term (Weeks 9-10). Stages offered are conditional on there being sufficient demand.

It takes one year to complete one Stage. Each Stage is made up of three Parts: Part 1 in Michaelmas term, Part 2 in Hilary term and Part 3 in Trinity term. Unless you are a complete beginner, you may join a course flexibly in Part 2 or in Part 3. Our tutors will recommend the best available entry point for you after you have taken our Language Evaluation Test.

 

Course duration Six weeks
When Weeks 2-7 of each term
Class frequency 1 class per week
Length of class 1 hour 30 minutes
Online learning pathway and private study c.2 hours per week
Total   This represents a guided learning programme equivalent to approximately 2 hours of asynchronous learning plus 1 hour 30 minutes of live interaction each week.
Enrolment basis First come, first served
Funding for Oxford University students Fully funded option available via the Priority Funding scheme

 

The General pathway covers all four language skills (speaking, listening, writing and reading), with the main focus being on communication.  The course also focuses on language-learning strategies and cross-cultural competences. Courses follow the progression of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and are available from Stage 1 (total beginner, with CEFR level A1 as the intended learning outcome) to Stage 7 (advanced, with CEFR level C1 or above as the intended learning outcome) depending on levels of demand. Please note that your CEFR level outcome may vary depending on the language that you are learning and on your own progress.  Our certificates of course completion, issued in Trinity term, include a CEFR indicator based on your progression and on your performance at the end of the course.

General courses run in every language on a termly basis. Stages offered are conditional on there being sufficient demand.

 

Stage 1

Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 6/7
or 7
Arabic              
Dutch              
French              
German              
Greek              
Italian              
Japanese             Stage 8
Mandarin              
Portuguese              
Russian              
Spanish              

 

Our approach to teaching languages is action-oriented, needs-based and uses meaningful and authentic documents as much as possible to support you in developing the necessary skills to achieve a higher level of competence in line with CEFR benchmarks.

Our approach aims to be informed by research and scholarship in the fields of Applied Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition and Educational Technology. We work closely with the learning framework developed by the Association of University language Communities in the UK and Ireland (AULC) and with the Flexible and Inclusive Teaching (FIT) framework of the University of Oxford’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. We aim to be inclusive, helping learners from a wide variety of backgrounds develop or maintain their foreign language skills, employing the most up-to-date practices grounded in cutting-edge scholarship.

We teach our courses through a flexible and inclusive mode of delivery.

Each week of your General course you will:

  • Complete an online learning pathway focusing on language instruction, exercises and drills, and communicative collaborative activities using Canvas (the University's Virtual Learning Environment). Each learning pathway aims to prepare you and support you to fully engage in the classroom activities.
  • Attend a 1-hour 30mn conversation class in groups of normally up to ten students (online) or 16 students (in-person). Conversation sessions are scheduled at various times of the day, including early evening, and take place either online via MS Teams or in person at the Language Centre.

This mode of delivery enables you to:

  • Work flexibly at your own pace.
  • Have access to a complete set of learning materials before each class and beyond the life of the course to master and review (you will retain access to the materials in Canvas until the start of the following course).
  • Get high quality generic and individual feedback
  • Use class time to interact with your peers and tutor, which gives you an excellent opportunity to put your weekly learning into practice.  If you enrol on an online course, the conversation classes on MS Teams are recorded to enhance learning and support efficient feedback from your tutor. The recording will only be available to students registered for the class.

Our end-of-term intensive courses mirror the six-week courses that take place during term, but are condensed into a three-week period.

Course duration Three weeks
When Weeks 9-10 each term
Class frequency Three classes per week
Length of each class 1 hour 30 minutes 
Online learning pathway and private study c. 6 hours per week
Total This represents a guided learning programme equivalent to approximately 6 hours of asynchronous learning plus 4 and a half hours of live interaction each week.
Enrolment basis First come, first served
Funding for Oxford University students Fully funded option available via the Priority Funding scheme.

Enrolling on a course at the right level for you is important and can be a little difficult to get right. If you already have some prior knowledge of the language you wish to study, you will need to take a language level evaluation test before you enrol to check which Stage matches your current learning needs by visiting our dedicated 'assess your level' webpage below:

ASSESS MY LEVEL

If you have no prior knowledge of the language, you may enrol directly onto Stage 1 Part 1.

If you are continuing from a previous course run by the Language Centre, please see the Stage Progression section below for guidance.

Once the course has started your tutor will be ensuring that all learners are studying for the Stage that most suits their needs.

 

We have designed all our courses to enable learners to progress as far as possible. However, the highest stage we can offer in a language is conditional on sufficient levels of demand.

Progression from Stage 1:
You do not need to have taken or passed the end of Trinity term optional assessments to progress to Stage 2, but it is highly recommended that you make sure that you have completed Stage 1 Part 2 and Part 3. You can do this either as a term time course or through the online intensive course we offer at the end of term. If this is not possible and you wish to continue with the next Stage up please seek advice from your tutor. Please note that if you do not enrol for a course beyond the completion of one Part, you will no longer have access to the materials for the course on Canvas when the next Part starts.

Progression from other Stages:
To progress from one Stage to the next, you do not need to have completed or passed the optional assessments – and you do not necessarily need to have attended the Part 3 course of the previous Stage. If you have not been able to attend Part 3, but intend to progress to the next Stage, you should contact your tutor to obtain advice on the required structures and vocabulary you would need to learn independently.

Progression from a General course to the Fast Track pathway:
Our pathways are designed to give you maximum flexibility in terms of changing the course and intensity of your learning journey. If you wish to progress from a General course to a Fast Track course, you simply move up to the next couple of stages:

If you have finished... You can progress to...
General Stage 1 Part 3 Fast Track Stage 2+3 (selected languages only)
General Stage 2 Part 3 Fast Track 3+4 or A2
General Stage 3 Part 3 Fast Track Stage 4+5 (selected languages only)
General Stage 4 Part 3 Fast Track 5+6 or B1

 

It is also possible at the end of Stage 1 Part 3 to progress to Stage 2 Part 1 of the Academic pathway and change the focus of your learning to academic reading skills. At the end of the academic year or at the start of the enrolment period, contact your tutor and seek further advice on the options they would recommend for you.

 

In line with the Association of University Language Communities (AULC) our learning framework recognises the different pace of progression to CEFR C1 depending on the language. The learning outcomes of a given stage in different languages take the different pace of progression into consideration, whilst tutors also consider individual learner performance at the point of course completion. 

For Arabic, Japanese, Mandarin and Russian:

Table of CEFR/Stage equivalences

 

For Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish:

Table of CEFR/Stage equivalences

Please note that for Stage 7 in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish as well as Stage 8 in Japanese, these high-level courses which can be repeated in order to maintain and further enhance competences, the programmes and the intended learner outcomes will be learner specific and learning will be organised in a negotiated needs driven project-based structure. 

For members of Oxford University with a Single Sign-On, to enrol simply visit our language pages and click 'enrol' next to the class that you wish to join on the timetable. Before you click through to complete your booking and pay, do double-check that you have selected the course running on the day and time that suit you. Also note that the default price until you reach the payment page is set at the staff rate – the system will auto-correct the price to the student fee based on your SSO status before you are asked to input your credit or debit card details.

If your course is being paid for via the Priority Funding scheme – either by your college or by your faculty/department, the admin team at the Language Centre will enrol you onto your course once approval has been received. Students applying for Priority Funding must not book themselves onto a course – those who do will not be refunded.

 

If you do not have a University Single Sign On (SSO), please email admin@lang.ox.ac.uk with the following details:

  • Full name
  • Email address and phone number
  • The name of the course you wish to study (including Stage and Part)
  • The start date and time of the course
  • Your connection to Oxford University, if any (to determine course fee)

We will then provisionally enrol you onto the course and send you a link to the Oxford University Online Store for payment. Once payment is received, we will confirm your place on the course.

Please note that in accordance with the Terms and Conditions, you have the right to cancel your course booking at any time within 14 days of payment. Unless the course has started, you will receive a full refund of any payments you have made and no administration fee will be charged. For cancellations after 14 days, or for cancellations made after the course has started, please see our Terms and Conditions. If you have an Oxford SSO you can cancel your place via your CoSY account. If you don't have an SSO, please email admin@lang.ox.ac.uk with your cancellation request.

 

All Language Centre courses make extensive use of Canvas, the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). All our courses are developed on an inclusive and flexible blended learning model, which rests upon multimedia pathways designed by our tutors for you in Canvas. 

In addition to this, we will usually ask you to purchase a textbook. As far as possible we endeavour to ensure that textbooks are economical and readily available, by liaising with specialist bookshops and publishers.

Blackwell's offers a 15% student discount at the beginning of each term for orders placed by phone or in the shop in Oxford (this does not apply to online orders). Please note that the Blackwell's buy-back scheme is no longer available.

We also host a second-hand textbook forum on the Virtual Language Centre in Canvas to help our community of learners sell and acquire textbooks. To check the availability of a given textbook or to sell one, please register on our Virtual Language Centre site on Canvas and follow the link to second-hand books.

 

JOIN VIRTUAL LANGUAGE CENTRE

Textbooks for 2024-2025

Course Textbook ISBN

Stage 1

Part 1

Ahlan Wa Sahlan Letters and Sounds of the Arabic Language (3rd edition)

9780300233735

Stage 1

Parts 2 & 3

Ahlan wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners (3rd edition)

9780300233711

Stage 2

Ahlan wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners (3rd edition)

9780300233711

Stage 3

Ahlan wa Sahlan: Functional Modern Standard Arabic for Beginners (3rd edition)

9780300233711

Stage 4

Lughatuna Al-Fusha: Book Three - A New Course in Modern Standard Arabic

9789774165658
Stage 5

Lughatuna Al-Fusha: Book Four - A New Course in Modern Standard Arabic

9789774165832
Stage 6 Lughatuna Al-Fusha: Book Five - A New Course in Modern Standard Arabic

9789774166198

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1 No textbook required  
Stage 2 Routledge Intensive Dutch Course 9780415261913

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1

Edito A1, DIDIER FLE (2016)

9782278083183

Stage 2

Edito A1, DIDIER FLE (2016)

9782278083183

Stage 3

Edito A2, DIDIER FLE (2016)

9782278083190

Stage 4

Edito B1, DIDIER FLE (2018)

9782278087730

Stage 5

No course book required

 

Stage 6

Edito B2, DIDIER FLE (2015) (Units 7-12)

9782278080984

Stage 7 No textbook required  
Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1

No textbook required

 
Stage 2

Menschen A2, course book and workbook

Kursbuch: 9783191019020

Arbeitsbuch: 9783191119027

Stage 3

Aspekte|neu B1.1 plus, Teil 1

Lehr- und Arbeitsbuch: 978-3126050180

Stage 4

Aspekte|neu B1.2 plus, Teil 2

Lehr- und Arbeitsbuch: 978-3126050197
Stage 5

Aspekte|neu B2.1, Teil 1

 

Lehr- und Arbeitsbuch: 978-3126050272
Stage 6 No textbook required  

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1

Communicate in Greek for Beginners

Communicate in Greek for Beginners Workbook 1

Communicate in Greek for Beginners Workbook 2

Textbook: 9789607914385

Workbook 1: 9789607914392

Workbook 2: 9789607914408

Stage 2

Communicate in Greek for Beginners

Communicate in Greek for Beginners Workbook 2

Communicate in Greek 2

Communicate in Greek 2 Workbook 1

Textbook: 9789607914385

Workbook 2: 9789607914408

Textbook 2: 9789608464148

Workbook 1: 9789607914231

Stage 3

Communicate in Greek 2

Communicate in Greek 2 Workbook 1

Textbook: 9789608464148

Workbook: 9789607914231

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1 No textbook required  
Stage 2 No textbook required  
Stage 3

Da Capo 7th edition

9781428262744
Stage 4 Da Capo 7th edition 9781428262744

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1

Minna no Nihongo Shokyu, vol. 1 Kaite Oboeru Bunkei Renshucho (2nd edition)

 

Minna no Nihongo Shokyu I Textbook (2nd edition)

 

(Optional) Minna no Nihongo Shokyu I, Translation & Grammar Notes – English (2nd edition)

9784883196074

 

9784883196036

 

9784883196043

Stage 2

Minna no Nihongo Shokyu I Textbook (2nd edition)

 

Minna no Nihongo Shokyu, vol. 1 Kaite Oboeru Bunkei Renshucho (2nd edition)

 

(Optional) Minna no Nihongo Shokyu I, Translation & Grammar Notes – English (2nd edition)

9784883196036

 

9784883196074

 

9784883196043

Stage 3    
Stage 4

Minna no Nihongo Syokyu II Textbook (2nd edition)

Minna No Nihongo Shokyu vol. 2 Kaite Oboeru Bunkei Renshucho (2nd edition)

(Optional) Minna no Nihongo Syokyu II Translation & Grammatical Notes – English (2nd edition)

9784883196463

9784883196708

9784883196647

Stage 5

Minna no Nihongo Syokyu II Textbook (2nd edition)

 

Minna No Nihongo Shokyu vol. 2 Kaite Oboeru Bunkei Renshucho (2nd edition)

 

(Optional) Minna no Nihongo Syokyu II Translation & Grammatical Notes – English (2nd edition)

9784883196463

 

9784883196708

 

9784883196647

Stage 6    
Stage 7 QUARTET: Intermediate Japanese Across the Four Language Skills Textbook 9784789016957
Stage 8 No textbook required  

 

Textbooks can be ordered from JP BOOKS Online shop. Please use the code OXFORDLC2023W at the checkout to receive a 15% discount (valid until 31 May 2024).

 

Course

Textbook

ISBN

Stage 1

Discover China Student Book 1 (Units 1-6)

9780230405950

Stage 2

Discover China Student Book 1 (Units 10-12)

9780230405950

Stage 3

Discover China Student Book 2 (Units 1-8)

9780230406391

Stage 4

Discover China Student Book 3 (Units 1-9)

9780230406414

Stage 5

Discover China Student Book 4 (Units 1-9)

9780230406438

Stage 6/7

No textbook required

 

 

Course

Textbook

ISBN

Stage 1

Português XXI Nível 1 (Chapters 1-6)

9789727579273

Stage 2

Português XXI Nível 1 (Chapters 7-12)

9789727579273

Stage 3

Passaporte para Português 2, Nível B1

9789897521959

Stage 4

Passaporte para Português 2, Nível B1

9789897521959

Stage 5

Português em Foco 3, Nível B2

9789897522772

Stage 6

Português em Foco 3, Nível B2

9789897522772

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1

Beginners’ Russian with Interactive Online Workbook

9780781812511

Stage 2

Russian: 5 Elementov (elements), Level A2

9785865477525

Stage 3

Russian: 5 Elementov (elements), Level B1

9785865473725

Stage 4

Russian: 5 Elementov (elements), Level B1

9785865473725

Stage 5

 

 

Stage 6/7

No textbook required

 

 

Course Textbook ISBN
Stage 1 Frecuencias A1 - Libro del Estudiante 9788491790495
Stage 2 Frecuencias A2.1 – Libro del Estudiante (Parte 1) 9788491795407
Stage 3 Frecuencias A2.2 – Libro del Etudiante (Parte 2) 9788491795414
Stage 4 No textbook required  
Stage 5 No textbook required  
Stage 6 No textbook required  

 

A learning pathway is a unit of learning leading to a live language conversation class. Learning pathways typically include the sort of activities and tasks that are normally covered in a traditional face-to-face language class – or as part of the preparation towards that class – and which learners can do independently or collaboratively without necessarily being together at a given point in time.

For example, in a face-to-face class, the teacher usually explains new linguistic structures: grammar instruction is a good example of classroom learning that a tutor can prepare and include in a learning pathway. Below is an example that follows very closely what would have happened in the classroom:

  • Using a screencast video the tutor explains the use of different structures to express needs and preferences in Spanish and then learners can do a variety of exercises to apply / practise this new knowledge.
  • You may play the recording as many times as you wish and if you are unsure about anything we include numerous opportunities for learners to sort out questions between themselves or to ask their tutor.
  • In the learning pathway, learners may have to reflect about language use themselves first – through a quiz, for example – and the tutor may then provide the explanation based on the learners’ responses
  • In addition to language instruction and practice quizzes, the learning pathways include reading, listening, and communicative tasks using discussion tools (text or voice or video)
https://screencast-o-matic.com/player/c3QDIXVOu2n?width=640&height=328&ff=1&title=0&bg=transparent

You can request a certificate of attendance if you have attended / engaged with at least 80% of the course

In addition, all our courses give you the opportunity to obtain a certificate of course completion issued by the Language Centre and following an optional summative assignment at the end of the third term of the course. Certificates are awarded as a broad indicator of competence at the corresponding level of the CEFR.

To be eligible you must:

  • Have attended all three parts in a given academic year in the same language (French Stage 1 Part 2 and French Stage 1 Part 3, for example) – this could be over two terms or where applicable, one or two intensive courses in Weeks 8-10. One of these courses must be the Part 3 course running in Trinity Term. There will be no assessment opportunity provided at the end of Trinity term online intensive courses although it will still be possible to obtain attendance certificates upon request.
  • Have engaged with the course satisfactorily – alerting your tutor if you cannot attend a class and having done all the necessary tasks set by your tutor
  • Take the end of Trinity Term summative assignment – for Stages 1 to 4 this will be a one-hour test done online via Canvas, for Stages 5, 6 and 7 it will be a video presentation followed by a class discussion.

Certificates will normally be emailed to you two to three weeks after the end of Trinity term.

If you wish to make progress in the language you are studying, regular engagement with the tasks and activities and participation in our weekly classes are both very important. We understand that it may not always be possible for our learners to attend their classes every week. If you know you will be absent, please inform your tutor.

If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to catch up on the work you have missed. All materials, and for online courses recordings, are available on Canvas. Feedback as well as the tasks set by the tutors to recap on a class and to prepare for the next one are all made available in advance and will help you prepare for the next class. If you are struggling to catch up after having missed a session, you may post a question on Canvas to seek help from our community of learners, or you may raise this with your tutor by emailing them via Canvas.

Remember that in languages regular practice is important – if you miss a class, particularly on a lower-level course, you may have missed a lot of important new structures and explanations. Not keeping up with the pace of the course may also be disruptive to the quality of the course. It is your responsibility to remain engaged and seek support in a timely manner if needed.

All our courses are subject to quality monitoring and annual review cycles.

We collect feedback from our learners informally during the course and formally at the end of each term. We review your feedback and where possible adjust our courses and systems in light of your experience at the Language Centre. For example, following feedback from our learners, we have taken a wide range of steps including changing textbooks where those proved unpopular or too expensive, developing further resources for learners to engage with the language between courses. For the academic year 2021/22 we increased the duration of the classes from 30 minutes per week to one hour per week.

Over 96% of our respondents tell us they would recommend our courses to someone else. Below are just a few examples of comments made by our learners:

 

'An opportunity to broaden the mind too good to miss while at Oxford.'

'The course is very useful and enriches both one's language skills and cultural knowledge.'

'The course isn't just verb tables and vocab lists. Each week feels like a relaxed conversation with friends, in which we address relevant contemporary issues all in the native language. By the end of the semester, not only have your linguistic skills flourished, but your confidence too.'

'So brilliant and refreshing to start learning a new language from scratch! It feels mind-expanding!'

'I really enjoyed the course offering. If there had been the option to continue over the summer I would have done so.'

'I have LOVED this year at OULC! Great teachers, dynamic, fun, creative, encouraging. Good content. Excellent pace. Six weeks always feels too short!'

'I was very glad to have the opportunity to take this course online and fit it in amongst other commitments - it was a great refresher of my rusty French skills and I am considering taking a further course next academic year.'

We very much hope you enjoy your course at the Language Centre but should you be dissatisfied with any aspect of your learning, your first port of call should be to raise the matter directly with your tutor. Where you feel that this is not possible, you should follow our complaints policy.

For online or any hybrid delivery courses, there may be a weekly live session delivered through MS Teams or Zoom: this session may be recorded and saved to enhance learning, allow catch up/revision and support efficient feedback from your tutor. The recording will only be available to learners registered for the course, your tutor and any supporting administrators. Recordings are kept for up to one year then deleted.

Recording retention policy: information for learners

Language Centre online live teaching sessions may be recorded and saved to enhance learning, allow catch up/revision and support efficient feedback from your tutor. As the organiser of these meetings, the Language Centre and its tutors follow the University’s best practice guidelines, as below:

  •     Consideration is given to the classification and sensitivity of any material being discussed.
  •     Learners are advised that recording is taking place, with MS Teams/Zoom automatically displaying a message informing all those in the teaching session that the class is being recorded. Learners are also advised in advance through the course guide and our terms and conditions.
  •     The tutor is responsible for the onward sharing to participants, dissemination, retention and deletion of recorded teaching sessions, which are stored within the Canvas VLE. Recordings are kept for a maximum of one year and are then deleted.
  •     The tutor ensures that the recording complies with the University’s Regulations for the Administration of Intellectual Property.
Class participants
  •     Any participants who have concerns about being recorded are asked to discuss these with their tutor in advance.  
  •     Participants should ensure they have muted their microphone if they do not wish to be recorded.
  •     Participants may not use third-party video or screen capture services (or a separate recorder) to record the meeting unbeknown to the organiser or other attendees. Any participant who records a session without explicit authorisation to do so will be in breach of University policy and subsequently the IT regulations.

 

If a participant has a concern or query regarding matters relating to recorded personal information, this should be referred in the first instance to the Language Centre’s Admin team: admin@lang.ox.ac.uk.