By Holly Pennal, Language Resources Centre Assistant
The Language Resource Centre is a dedicated centre for language learning available to ALL Newcastle University students and staff. Awarded the Government’s Customer Service Excellence award, the members-only centre (register your smartcard at: ncl.ac.uk/language-resource-centre), is always staffed and has a Language Learning Support Officer on duty Monday to Friday.
- As well as 110 work stations with 90 PCs, the LRC has bookable spaces including a Meeting Room, a 16-Seater PC cluster with teaching area, and three glass Talk Shops – perfect for group study or to watch films. These can be booked at reception, as well as one-on-one self-study advice appointments with our Language Learning Support Officer if you need some advice on how best to start learning – or improve – your target language. With most of the materials within the centre now being loanable, we also have a feedback box for any suggestions of new resources.
- The LRC runs the university IPTV (Internet Protocol TV) site: a world TV and film video streaming service, available for FREE to all Newcastle University students and staff. It hosts a large database of over 3000 foreign & English language films, viewable on demand, and over 20 Satellite TV channels in languages from all over the globe.
- Also available for free to all NU students and staff is complete access to the UTalk app, where over 150 languages are available to learn and practise. The LRC also holds licences for Transparent Languages, with log-ins available at reception to use within the centre. Other software available in the centre includes English language learning applications such as ‘Read-Up, Speed-Up’, ‘Clarity’, ‘Top Tips for IELTS’ and ‘Sanako Pronounce’ – to check and practise pronunciation in not only English, but other world languages including Chinese; perfect to use before any presentations!
- The LRC hosts UWLP surgeries for 10 languages (FR/GER/SPA/ITA/POR/JPN/CHI/RUS/KOR/ARB), and runs weekly conversation groups (FR/GER/SPA/ITA/CHI/JPN/RUS) led by native students. There is a tandem scheme within the centre where students and staff can find a native speaking partner on campus to practise conversing in their target language. Parallel to this this scheme, the centre runs online Tandem schemes with the Universities of Salamanca, Lorraine and MLU Halle-Wittenburg – giving students (and staff in the case of Spanish – ask LRC staff for details on how to join) the opportunity to practise their languages with people all over Europe.
- Taster sessions run throughout the year offering free introductory language classes. Free to attend, register at NUSU.co.uk or see the LRC blackboard page – all of these and our other events are advertised here and on our social media pages (FB:@langcen , Twitter:@LRCNewcastleUni).
- The centre also holds Linguacast days and Routes into Languages events, where we invite groups of secondary students to see what language learning is like at 3rd level and enjoy a full day of scheduled language related activities. School of Modern Languages students work at these events and have the chance to gain paid work experience while at the same time using their language skills.