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Educational aims

This diploma allows you to combine the study of two modern languages (from French, German and Spanish) or English language studies with one modern language.

If you complete the diploma you will have developed an understanding of the structure of language, how language varies and changes and how it is used in different contexts.

Each of the modern language strands provides you with opportunities to learn how to communicate effectively in a language other than English, both in speech and in writing, and to gain knowledge of the societies and cultures in which that language is used.

The English language strand aims to provide you with an understanding of the history of English, its development as a global language and its contemporary use in a range of social contexts. You will learn of different theoretical approaches to the study of language and have opportunities to analyse the English used in a variety of media.

When you have completed the diploma you will also have had opportunities to explore and develop your cognitive skills, to become an independent learner, and to develop other transferable skills and attributes.

Your study experience will be equivalent to the first two years of honours degree level study. This Diploma provides a pathway to the BA (Honours) Language Studies (Q30).

Learning outcomes

When you complete your studies you will be able to demonstrate that you can:

Knowledge and understanding

  • communicate fluently and appropriately with competent speakers of at least two languages in a broad variety of oral and written contexts including academic ones, maintaining a high degree of grammatical accuracy and appropriate style
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of aspects of the societies of the countries where each language is spoken (including aspects such as literatures, cultures, linguistic contexts, politics, geography, and social and economic structures)
  • show intercultural communicative competence, including a reasoned awareness and critical understanding of the cultures and societies associated with each language and the ability to describe, analyse and evaluate the similarities and dissimilarities between cultures and societies with your own
  • recognise the relationship between language and social and political processes, as well as debates surrounding the historical and contemporary relationships between other languages
  • recognise how language develops, works and changes, and how it is used in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes
  • understand the nature of linguistic evidence and the different methods used in the collection, description and analysis of language data. (This learning outcome only relates to the pathways which include English Language)
  • understand the communicative processes associated with a range of spoken and written academic and/or literary genre. (This learning outcome only relates to the pathways which include English Language modules).

Cognitive skills

  • make use of a wide variety of written, spoken and multimodal texts for different audiences, employing appropriate reading and listening strategies
  • interpret and critically evaluate evidence in the light of alternative explanations, arguments and theories
  • write texts of different types, following appropriate structures and conventions, selecting and making critical use of written and spoken sources
  • make spoken presentations on ¬†particular topics, using appropriate styles and techniques, and take part in a wide variety of spoken interactions, using appropriate discourse strategies.

Practical and/or professional skills

  • work independently, scheduling tasks and managing time effectively
  • gather and process information from a variety of paper, audio-visual and electronic sources
  • demonstrate analytical and problem-solving skills related to academic tasks, including collecting and analysing linguistic data (this learning outcome only relates to the pathways which include English language)

Key skills

  • recognise and use effective learning strategies
  • gather, identify, use and evaluate information from a variety of sources and in a variety of forms
  • respond to feedback in order to improve the effectiveness of written and spoken communication
  • use information and communication technologies (ICT) as a means of communication, as an aid to learning generally and as an aid to collaborative learning
  • understand, interpret and discuss basic statistical data in the form of graphs, tables and diagrams.

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

During your study, the teaching and learning will be via study materials (including study guides, textbooks, set books, audio and video material, and CD/DVD-ROMs). You will also receive individualised tutor feedback on written and oral work, and will have the opportunity to participate in optional tutorials. In the language learning strand there is at least one compulsory week-long residential school or approved alternative. Assessment of languages will be via written assignments of up to 750 words and speaking assignments of up to 5 minutes. There is also an end-of-year examination comprising a written test. Assessment of the English language strand is by way of written assignments, including essays, text analysis. There is also an end of module assessment.