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Is Brexit going to unseat English as the lingua franca?

Is Brexit going to unseat English as the lingua franca? Copyright free image Copyright free: Al-Mut
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 01 Jul 2016
With the monoglot Brits no longer trotting in to Brussels, will English start to loosen its grip on the EU - and beyond?

The Secret Life of Children's Books

The Secret Life of Children's Books Copyrighted image Copyright: BBC
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 08 Jun 2016
This two part OU/BBC co-production looks at the secret lives of 'The Five Children and It' by E. Nesbitt and 'The Water Babies' by...

What is emotive language and why is it used?

What is emotive language and why is it used? Creative commons image Les Cunliffe | Dreamstime.com under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 07 Jun 2016
Nigel Warburton helps us grapple with the nuts and bolts of thinking clearly, with the aim of presenting good, clear, logical arguments - in order...

Language variety all but disappears from the Eurovision song contest

Language variety all but disappears from the Eurovision song contest Creative commons image The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 13 May 2016
Why has the English language dominated the Eurovision Song Contest once more? Fernando Rosell-Aguilar explores what the competition holds this year.

An introduction to grammar

Featuring: Video Video
An introduction to grammar Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Introductory level Updated 24 Feb 2016
What is grammar, and how does it help us communicate? Our short video reveals all...

Shakespeare Speaks

Featuring: Video Video
Shakespeare Speaks Copyrighted image Copyright: BBC Learning English
Introductory level Updated 19 Jan 2016
Explore the English language through the phrases, plays and personality of William Shakespeare.

David Bowie: identity is creativity

David Bowie: identity is creativity Creative commons image Mike Burns under Creative Commons BY-SA 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 11 Jan 2016
Bowie's constant evolution wasn't just about changing the nature of his art - his reinventions were his art, says Frank Monaghan.

May the Forza be with you: Star Wars in other languages

May the Forza be with you: Star Wars in other languages Creative commons image The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 08 Dec 2015
Which language has Jabba the Hut's name literally translated to Jabba the Forester? How can you translate Yoda's syntax into other languages? Find...

National Poetry Day

National Poetry Day Creative commons image By spo0nman via Flickr under Creative Commons license under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 05 Oct 2015
Get your quills at the ready and your thesaurus on standby for this collection of content exploring the magical world of poetry on National Poetry...

Why is fish the translator's nightmare?

Why is fish the translator's nightmare? Creative commons image Jitze Couperus under CC-BY licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 24 Sep 2015
The blogger The Honourable Husband recalls a meal where language skills struggled to get a grip of a fish.

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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English: skills for learning

Free Course Free Course
English: skills for learning Copyrighted image Copyright: © PepitolPhotos/Istockphoto.com Updated content
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 19 Jul 2016
English: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to develop the...

Grammar matters

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio
Grammar matters
Advanced level Duration 8 hours Updated 23 Jun 2016
Grammar matters because, combined with vocabulary choice, it is our main way of making meaning. This free course introduces you to one approach...

Communication, management and your own context

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Communication, management and your own context Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 8 hours Updated 01 Apr 2016
In management the ability to communicate clearly and confidently is of key importance. This free course, Communication, management and your own...

English grammar in context

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video
English grammar in context Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 15 hours Updated 24 Mar 2016
What are the differences between spoken and written English? Is use of grammar more or less complex than it appears? This free course, English...

How to be a critical reader

Free Course Free Course
How to be a critical reader Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 7 hours Updated 14 Mar 2016
In this free course you will focus on how to be a critical reader. Reading critically is an essential skill at university. It means being aware of...

Summarising text

Free Course Free Course
Summarising text Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 1 hour Updated 14 Mar 2016
In this free course, Summarising text, you will learn how to summarise. Summarising is useful both when completing assignments and while studying.

Business English: Researching a new location

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Business English: Researching a new location Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 5 hours Updated 14 Mar 2016
Do you want to relocate to the UK? This free course, Business English: Researching a new location, will help you with the language difficulties...

Paraphrasing text

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Activity Activity
Paraphrasing text Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 1 hour Updated 14 Mar 2016
In this free course, Paraphrasing text, you will focus on the process of turning what you are reading into 'your own words', which is an essential...

Business English: Presenting the decision

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Business English: Presenting the decision Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 5 hours Updated 11 Mar 2016
Do you want to relocate to the UK? This free course, Business English: Presenting the decision, will help you with the language difficulties that...

Business English: Making decisions

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Audio Audio
Business English: Making decisions Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 5 hours Updated 11 Mar 2016
Do you want to relocate to the UK? This free course, Business English: Making decisions, will help you with the language difficulties that can...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

Course Course
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 1200 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
Why study the arts? Apart from sheer enjoyment, these subjects give you an enormous breadth of cultural literacy while training you to think and...

Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 2400 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
The Diploma of Higher Education in Humanities will help you refine your skills of debate and analysis while developing your cultural literacy. It...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

BA (Honours) Humanities

Course Course
BA (Honours) Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
This degree in humanities offers a broad-based grounding in the study and enjoyment of the arts and humanities – covering a fascinating variety of...

BA (Honours) English Language and Literature

Course Course
BA (Honours) English Language and Literature Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
This degree course offers a stimulating and wide-ranging introduction to English language and literature. You’ll have the opportunity to...

BA (Honours) Language Studies

Course Course
BA (Honours) Language Studies Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
Learning a language and about how languages work, including the English language, opens doors to other cultures and communities, giving you an...

Diploma of Higher Education in Language Studies

Course Course
Diploma of Higher Education in Language Studies Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016
The Diploma of Higher Education in Language Studies aims to equip you with the competencies needed to communicate and interact in a range of...

Worlds of English

Course Course
Worlds of English Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 22 Jul 2016 Register by 08 Sep 2016
This course looks at the history, diversity, and use of English around the world and explores the origins of the English language, how it has...