Languages for All

Learn a language for free in your first year...

Languages for All (LfA) is the Aston University scheme that provides opportunities to students wishing to develop foreign language skills. It’s a key part of our commitment to internationalism in education and industry, and can help equip our students for international (work or study) placements.

Language skills are in increasing demand for employers and contribute to Aston graduates success in the national and international jobs market – as well as offering personal, cultural and social benefits that can last a lifetime. You will be taught by language instructors who are all native speakers of the language they teach. The target language will be used as the primary medium of instruction and interaction, to enable you to practise speaking, listening, reading and writing from the beginning. Multimedia materials are regularly used in class and to support teaching

You can learn:

Arabic

Arabic has become increasingly popular due to the rising employment opportunities in Arab countries and the growing tourism interest in Arabic speaking countries. Arabic is the official language in Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Yemen, Palestine and Western Sahara. Arabic is very important for Muslims across the world due to the Holy Quran being written in Arabic. The English language includes a lot words derived from Arabic vocabulary, for example they have words like admiral, alcohol, algebra, algorithm, alkaline, amber, assassin, candy, coffee, tariff, hazard, lemon and many others.

Tutor: Ghizlane Lafdi | g.lafdi@aston.ac.uk

French

French is the official language of France with up to 88% of the population speaking French as their first language. French is also spoken in other countries like Monaco, Luxembourg, some parts of Belgium and Switzerland, parts of North and Central Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia and Madagascar. French is the second most widely learned foreign language in the world making it a favourite amongst students.

Tutor: Dr Nathalie Mrgudovic | n.mrgudovic@aston.ac.uk

German

German is a very descriptive language and is among the most widely spoken languages around Europe. German is the official language in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland and is also widely spoken around other parts of Europe such as Eastern parts of Belgium and Northern Italy.

Tutor: Dr Claudia Gremler | c.gremler@aston.ac.uk

Mandarin Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is spoken by more than one billion people around the world. Mandarin is the official language of Mainland China and Taiwan and is also widely spoken in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Macau and Indonesia by people of Chinese origin who also speak Cantonese and Hokkien. Understanding Mandarin will allow you to communicate with most likely anyone in China and Taiwan.

Tutor: Dr Qiaochao Zhang | q.zhang9@aston.ac.uk

Spanish

Spanish is the official language of Spain. It's also primarily spoken in countries like Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba, Bolivia, Honduras, Paraguay, Costa Rica, Panama and Uruguay. Those who speak English tend to find it easier to learn Spanish as English and Spanish share many words of Latin origin. Spanish is known to be a romance language as it belongs to the Latin origin. Languages belonging to the Latin origin often share a very similar grammatical structure and have many similarities in vocabulary. Learning Spanish will help you learn and understand other Romance languages such as French, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan and Romanian.

Tutor: Dr Stephen Fay | s.fay@aston.ac.uk

An introduction to Languages for All

Hear from the Director of the Languages for All programme, Dr Elisabeth Wielander

Courses are available at three language levels:

  • Level 1 (Beginners) classes are meant for complete beginners but may include false beginners with minimal experience or no formal qualification, up to students with a GCSE grade C or below.

  • Level 2 (Improvers) classes are open to holders of a GCSE A-B or equivalent, and to students with AS level grade C or below.

  • Level 3 (Intermediate) classes are open to holders of AS level A-B or equivalent.

The Course Director will determine which level of study is appropriate for each student, based on the information that you supply on your application form. if you are enrolling on a Level 2 or 3 module, you may be required to take a test to check your language level.

For module details, please contact languages_for_all@aston.ac.uk

First yearsSecond or final years
If you are in your first year and would like to study a language alongside your degree for free, you should apply through MAP.If you are in second or final year and would like to study a language alongside your degree, you can do so via our paid route and should apply via Aston's online store. Applications open around a month before the start of Teaching Period 1 and close at the end of the first week of teaching. The course fee for a full year of tuition is £250 at any level (excluding any additional teaching materials). Scholarships funded through generous alumni donations are available to those wishing to continue to the next level.

We offer two study options:

Study a language outside of your degree

This option is available for eligible first year fee-paying undergraduate students. All these modules are free of cost and taken for a full academic year (two hours of teaching per week).

Taking Languages for All modules outside your degree won't affect your final degree classification or earn you degree credits. However, upon successfully completing the programme you will be given an Aston Modular Award.

The modules are available in your first year of study, and cannot be transferred into subsequent years of study.

If you are in second or final year and would like to study a language alongside your degree, you can do so via our paid route and should apply via Aston's online store. The course fee for a full year of tuition is £250 at any level (excluding any additional teaching materials).

International students - are you eligible?

If you are an international fee-paying student, enrolling on an undergraduate degree, you are eligible to apply for the Languages for All programme in your first year of study if you meet the following English language requirements:

  1. You are a national of a majority English-speaking country (as defined by the UK Borders Agency): Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, The United Kingdom or The United States of America. Your school of study will ask for evidence of your English Language ability at the time of your initial application (for example a grade 4/C in GCSE English Language for UK nationals or a specified grade in your High School Diploma/APs for US nationals).
  2. You have achieved one of the English language qualifications:
    • IELTS (academic) 6.5
    • TOEFL IBT 115
    • Pearson (academic) 79
    • Cambridge Advanced (CAE) Grade B
    • Cambridge Proficiency (CPE) Pass at grade A, B or C
    • GCSE English Language (first language only) grade C/4
    • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma English Standard Level 5

How do I apply?

If you are about to start your first year, please apply through MAP.

If you are in second or final year and would like to study a language alongside your degree, you can do so via our paid route and should apply via Aston's online store. The course fee for a full year of tuition is £250 at any level (excluding any additional teaching materials).

If your qualification does not appear in the list above please contact languages_for_all@aston.ac.uk for advice on the suitability of your qualification.

If you do not meet the English language requirements listed above, you are eligible for free English language tuition instead.

Study a language as part of your degree

This route is available to all current Aston students who have the option to choose a language module as part of their degree. All languages modules award either 15 credits or 20 credits, depending on your programme of study, and are taken for the full academic year (two hours of teaching per week).

Before you apply for an optional language module, you should check with your department that your programme of study allows you to take a language module for credits.

Am I eligible?

If you're a student from the College of Business and Social Sciences, you may be entitled to take a Languages for All (LfA) module as part of your existing studies for credits towards your degree. Please make sure you check the below information carefully before applying to study a language alongside your degree, the listed degrees are the only ones which entail a language stream. If your degree is not listed below, unfortunately, you will not qualify to study a Languages for All module for credits. Further information can be found below or by contacting the Languages for All team.

Students from the following courses can take the Languages for All module as part of their programme at no extra cost:

First YearSecond YearFinal Year

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages French

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages Mandarin Chinese

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages Spanish

BSc (Hons) Politics with International Relations

Double MA Europe and the World

Double MA Governance and International Politics

MA International Relations and Global Governance

BSc (Hons) History and French

BSc (Hons) History and Spanish

BSc (Hons) International Business and Management

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages French

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages Mandarin Chinese

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages Spanish

BSc (Hons) International Relations and French

BSc (Hons) International Relations and Spanish

BSc (Hons) Politics with International Relations

BSc (Hons) Sociology

BSc (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy

BSc (Hons) History and French

BSc (Hons) History and Spanish

BSc (Hons) International Business and Economics

BSc (Hons) International Business and Management

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages French

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages Mandarin Chinese

BSc (Hons) International Business and Modern Languages Spanish

BSc (Hons) International Relations and French

BSc (Hons) International Relations and Spanish

BSc (Hons) Politics with International Relations

BSc (Hons) Sociology

BSc (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy

For students who are not eligible to take a language module through the Languages for All scheme, you can study a language from a wide selection of languages available at the Brasshouse.

Hear more about what our students have to say...

Amina Khan, Arabic Beginners
Languages for All student Amina Khan

I decided I wanted to study Arabic as it is a language that I have always loved and wanted to learn for a long time. I have really loved the course and found it so enjoyable. I can now put together short sentences and have a simple conversation with someone in Arabic about a variety of different things from just a few months of learning. I was a little apprehensive due to Covid however the lessons have been so interactive and fun and I have been really impressed by the teaching. If you’re thinking about doing this course, don’t think any more, just sign up!

Amina Khan, Arabic Beginners

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Ayaan Kirmani, Arabic Improvers
Languages for All student Ayaan Kirmani

Studying through Aston's Languages for All programme enables me to learn more than my main degree. It is an amazing experience and also gives me the opportunity to learn a language I am interested in. I like that instead of just learning vocabulary, the course is much more engaging, listening and talking to your peers really helps improve the vocabulary in a less forced way than trying to self-teach yourself a language. I would recommend this to students because it does not take a huge portion of your time and it opens a door to more opportunities. If you are interested in a language and have not been able to study it previously, this is great opportunity!

Ayaan Kirmani, Arabic Improvers

BSc (Hons) Neuroscience

Zainab Raza, Arabic Improvers
Languages for All student Zainab Raza

I studied Arabic through LfA because I enjoy learning new languages and I wanted to learn an additional language alongside my French and German degree. I liked how the content was not too difficult to understand but challenging enough that it wouldn’t be boring, and I was able to see the similarities between Arabic and other languages. I would definitely recommend LfA to other students as it is a way to learn an extra language for free and gives you additional skills that can be beneficial for your career while being not as demanding as your other classes.

Zainab Raza, Arabic Improvers

BSc (Hons) French and German

Ming Ing Chew (Adan), Arabic Intermediate
Languages for All student Adan Chew

I am Adan, one of the students studying Medicine at Aston University. I initially wanted to learn Arabic just for fun with a friend, but I ended up liking the language, culture and the lessons. I'm now on my third year learning Arabic with the Languages for All programme! I really enjoy the teaching as our tutor, Ghizlane, is very patient and always pushes us to go the extra mile while being interactive and fun at the same time. University is a new start for a lot of us, so why not try and learn a new language whilst you're here? It's a great chance to develop your skill-set in an increasingly globalised world too! Who knows, you might end up settling in a country whose language you learned at university!

Ming Ing Chew (Adan), Arabic Intermediate

MBChB Medicine

Emily Rolt, French Intermediate
Languages for All student Emily Rolt

I have always been interested in languages and I thought that this would be a great way to improve my French, which I had learnt the basics of for my GCSE. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be as good as the others as I hadn’t spoken French for years, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. LfA offered me the opportunity to improve both my spoken and written French skills in a fun and entertaining way, allowing me to take a break from my course each week and open my mind to something new. Languages open so many doors in the real world and I am certain that my experience with the Languages for All programme will help me in the future.

Emily Rolt, French Intermediate

MEng Biomedical Engineering

Caroline Tanner, German Beginners
Languages for All student Caroline Tanner

I wanted to learn a second language and had been looking into learning German when I saw Aston's Language for All programme and signed up. The course has been great, easy to follow and flexible to fit in around other commitments.

Caroline Tanner, German Beginners

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Rhys Westley, German Beginners
Languages for All student Rhys Westley

During my first year of study at Aston I decided to participate in the LfA scheme to expand my skill set and gain the basics of an additional language. I have enjoyed the easy-to-follow self-study sessions along with putting it into practice with the weekly tutorial sessions of which are flexible around my current course. I would highly recommend the course to anyone who is interested in learning a new language or improving a language they already know, and it is great way to make new friends.

Rhys Westley, German Beginners

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

Toby To, German Beginners
Languages for All student Toby To

Studying a new language is like the key that unlocks the door to a new culture. Studying German through Languages for All was like obtaining a key to unlock the door to German culture. Behind it are supportive teachers and fun interactive learning activities with other students. If you want to learn a new language and be confident in using it, I would recommend Languages for All.

Toby To, German Beginners

MSc Business Analytics

Amy Walshaw, German Improvers
Languages for All student Amy Walshaw

After my placement year in Germany, I really wanted to further my German language learning, so I joined the LfA course. It's been a great, interactive experience, where content is delivered in an interesting and engaging way, and you learn more than just grammar and vocab. I would definitely recommend learning a language. Not only is it a great employability skill, but it enables us to feel closer with our European neighbours.

Amy Walshaw, German Improvers

BSc (Hons) International Business and Management

Lillian Ebhodaghe, German Improvers
Languages for All student Lillian Ebhodaghe

I am studying German to improve my language knowledge and skill. I have enjoyed learning more about German culture and comparing it to English traditions. I have enjoyed communicating with those in class as we all help each other to improve. I would recommend it to other students who have a passion for German and a zest for different cultures.

Lillian Ebhodaghe, German Improvers

MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy

Nikki Ngombe, Spanish Beginners
Languages for All student Nikki Ngombe

I’m a PhD student enrolled in the Spanish for Beginners course. My tutors are lovely and quick to respond to any queries (and offer great Netflix recommendations to practice your Spanish). You’ll also have access to countless videos and quizzes to practice in your own time. So, I’d recommend giving it your all – make use of all the resources and class time. Also, you might enjoy a fun (yet productive) weekly break from the stress from your course and get more out of your next vacations!

Nikki Ngombe, Spanish Beginners

PhD Health and Life Sciences

FAQs

Find answers to our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) below. If you have a question that isn't answered below, please email the Languages for All team.

Can I choose to go to a different group if I think the group allocated isn’t convenient for me?

We try our best to put you in a group which doesn’t clash with your core modules however if you believe a different group time/day would be better for you please don't change your group yourself, get in touch by emailing languages_for_all@aston.ac.uk and we will change your group depending on availability and group size.

I have missed my assessments, will I be withdrawn from the module?

No, as assessments aren’t compulsory for Languages for All students. If you have missed your assessment/exam you will receive an automated email notifying you that you did not attend the exam or failed to submit the assessment. Please ignore this email, it will not affect your academic average in any way. If you choose to only attend classes and not take the assessments you will simply not be awarded a certificate at the end of the year. However, if you are taking a language module as part of your degree you will need to pass all your exams and assessments as the marks count towards your degree.

I did not take my assessments in teaching period 1 but I intend to take them in teaching period 2 – will I get a certificate

Yes, if you are taking the module as an extra optional module, assuming you pass your TP2 assessments you will be awarded a certificate for work covered in TP2. Those who have completed and passed assessments for both TP1 and TP2 will get two certificates, one for TP1 and one for TP2.

For credit-bearing students you need to take all exams and assessments in TP1 and TP2 as the marks count towards your overall year average.

I will be missing a few classes due to other unavoidable commitments, will I be withdrawn?

If you fail to sign the register for three consecutive weeks, we will email you. If you don’t get in touch with a valid reason for non-attendance you will be withdrawn. However, if you miss classes due to health issues or other valid reasons, you need to inform languages_for_all@aston.ac.uk or get in touch with your tutors who will make a note of this on the class list.

Students taking the module for credits will need to make sure they attend all classes. However, if for valid reasons you have to miss a class,it is important you catch up with your missed work and inform your tutor.

If I stop attending will I automatically be withdrawn?

No, you need to contact languages_for_all@aston.ac.uk who will then be able to process your withdrawal. If you don’t inform us, you will still be enrolled onto the module and therefore any missed classes will be recorded as unauthorised absence.

Can I be enrolled on more than one language module?

We don’t recommend you take on too much as it can be quite overwhelming. Students taking a language as part of their degree can choose to benefit from the Languages for All scheme in their first year and select a second language,however students only taking the option module will only be allowed to enrol on one language class (depending on availability).