Languages for all – Portfolio course

Ever wanted to study a language but never got round to it? Already speak a few languages and want to get another under your belt? Well then why not take a Languages for all course! This blog will focus on the language portfolio course, as I know that Sharmila has already written a great blog focusing on language express.

What is Languages for all?

The Languages for all programme offers all University of Essex students the opportunity to learn a language alongside their degree. Any course is absolutely free for one year!

Differences between language express and language portfolio courses?

I currently study German on the language portfolio course. Language portfolio is an online course; I get weekly lessons assigned to me, all taking around 2-3 hours. I log in through my Moodle account and my German module is linked up to Rosetta Stone software that I work from. There is also the option of the language express course, this is taught through one evening class a week (usually 6-8pm). The language express course is more structured due to it being a taught class, but I like that I can do my German lessons any day of the week.

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What languages can I do?

The languages that are available vary depending on campus and course.


Language Express – Arabic, French, German, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, or Spanish.

Language Portfolio – French, German, or Spanish.


Language Express – French, German, or Spanish.


Language Express – French (beginners only)

When do I do it?

Language portfolio can be done any day of the week. I recommended splitting each lesson over a few nights as this will help you remember it (it’s Psychology I swear). Your tutor will check your progression on your Rosetta stone profile, but it’s not just to check up on you! My tutor will often email me offering advice on a topic she can see I have found difficult, or just congratulating me on getting the work done every week.


IMG_3980How do I know if I am a beginner or advanced?

You will have an initial assessment to establish your level and then your language lecturer will develop a tailor-made learning programme for you. During this session you will also be given a headset to use during your lessons –  don’t worry, you don’t have to talk to anyone, it’s just to test your pronunciation! I still haven’t quite got my German accent perfected! The initial induction session also gives you the chance to meet your lecturer and learn how to use the Rosetta Stone software

Is it hard?

If you split the work, then no. I would say that the only difficult part is fitting it in when you have a busy week, but half an hour here and there all adds up and helps to get it done.


Are there exams?

There are two assessments for the Language portfolio course. One test is a written test that takes part in the first term (hopefully I did well!) and one is an oral test that you do in the second term. Your lessons on Rosetta stone are also taken into account, but you can revisit these whenever you like. Both the assessments and the portfolio will consist of different tasks designed to determine your overall language proficiency in different areas of language learning.

What if I want to do more than a year?

All students are entitled to one fully-subsidised Languages for All module alongside their degree course regardless of their year of study. If you would like to learn more than one language on your first year with LfA, or continue learning in subsequent years then a fee is payable, for 2015-16 this was £250 per module.

What do I get from it?

Not quite a trophy, but if you pass your course it will be written on your transcript. Language skills also greatly improve your employability. When I was looking into learning a language, I was surprised to learn that companies in the UK are struggling to find graduates who can speak more than one language, resulting in a yearly financial loss of £48 billion.

So learning a language could really help your CV shine.

Applications for Languages for all are closed for this academic year, they will reopen just before the next academic year. More information can be found here.


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