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Online Languages for All courses

General information

We have increased the number of courses available online in response to positive feedback from previous programmes. Many learners have told us that they find online courses as effective as in-person courses, whilst also offering flexibility and ease of access for those who have other commitments or live outside the local area. In addition, online delivery enables us to offer and sustain courses in languages and levels which tend to be in lower demand.

Technical requirements

The course for which you have registered includes teaching sessions scheduled at specific times, along with directed self-study.  To gain most from the course learners should be using a computer of some form (desktop or laptop). Learners can access the taught sessions using a tablet or mobile phone but it will not be possible to effectively follow the course if a learner has access only to a mobile phone. 

Part of the first session will inevitably involve checking that all participants have a reliable and stable internet connection and familiarise themselves with the functions used in class. 

All language learners must have access to a camera and a microphone. 

Teaching platforms

Durham University has three main platforms that we use for on-line teaching: BlackBoard Collaborate Ultra, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. As far as language learning is concerned, each of these has its advantages and disadvantages. Your teacher(s) will send a unique link to access the course.

Break-out rooms

A natural part of language teaching involves teaching aspects of the target language to the whole group and to small groups and pairs. Online teaching spaces support this through use of break-out rooms. These are controlled by the teacher, and their use will be demonstrated as part of the first class. For those unfamiliar with online teaching, break-out rooms can feel quite surreal at first, but you will be guided through them at all times.