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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...

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.

Outside the Book

Featuring: Video Video
Outside the Book Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 15 Oct 2014
What function does comedy serve? What do people in power learn by watching tragedies? In this collection of five animations comedienne Josie Long...

OU on the BBC: The Secret Life of Books

OU on the BBC: The Secret Life of Books Copyrighted image Copyright: BBC
Updated 10 Jul 2014
Uncover the secrets of six classic works of fiction that we all know and love.

Loss of diversity and the English language

Loss of diversity and the English language Copyrighted image Copyright: Jupiter Images
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 04 Jul 2014
Dr Daniel Allington thinks loss of diversity has impacted on the development of the English Language the most

The evolution of English: From Romans to Shakespeare

Featuring: Activity Activity
The evolution of English: From Romans to Shakespeare Creative commons image Steve Johnson under CC BY 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license
Updated 19 Jun 2014
Part one: The history of colonialism was a major factor in the development of English. Follow the global spread of English starting with the Roman...

The History of English in Ten Minutes

Featuring: Video Video
The History of English in Ten Minutes Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University 2011
Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 22 Jun 2011
Where did the phrase ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’ come from? And when did scientists finally get round to naming sexual body parts? Voiced by Clive...

Day 10 - Plain English Day

Day 10 - Plain English Day Creative commons image By mag3737 via Flickr under Creative Commons license under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 08 Dec 2010
As we approach the season where families and friends get together to talk, talk, talk, we delve into the world of gobbledygook to commemorate Plain...

It was a dark and stormy night: The rise of Gothic fiction

It was a dark and stormy night: The rise of Gothic fiction Copyrighted image Copyright: Ronfromyork | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Oct 2010
Are you a fan of ‘Frankenstein’ or a devotee of ‘Dracula’? Do you shiver at the graveyard scene in ‘Great Expectations’? Explore the surge of...

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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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...

How to frame a business case

Free Course Free Course
How to frame a business case Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 8 hours Updated 11 Mar 2016
This free course, How to frame a business case, looks at reading strategies which help you to frame a business case. In particular, you will learn...

Exploring the English language

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Activity Activity
Exploring the English language Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 9 hours Updated 09 Mar 2016
How has the English language changed over the course of the last 500 years? What are the social and political contexts that have affected how these...

Learning a second language

Free Course Free Course Featuring: Video Video Audio Audio Activity Activity
Learning a second language Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 4 hours Updated 04 Mar 2016
In this free course, Learning a second language, we will consider how students learn how to make meaning through learning additional languages...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities

Course Course
Certificate of Higher Education in Humanities Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 1200 hours Updated 28 Sep 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...

BA (Honours) English Literature

Course Course
BA (Honours) English Literature Creative commons image
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Sep 2016
English literature is a broad and accessible subject that is important in its own right and offers connections to a wide range of other kinds 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 28 Sep 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 28 Sep 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 28 Sep 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...

MA English part 1

Course Course
MA English part 1 Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Advanced level Duration 1200 hours Updated 28 Sep 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
Expand on your previous study and prepare for your dissertation through an exploration of a rich variety of literary texts, from the ancient past...

English for academic purposes online

Course Course
English for academic purposes online Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Introductory level Duration 300 hours Updated 28 Sep 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
Develop the specific language skills you need for successful academic study in English.

Investigating language in action

Course Course
Investigating language in action Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Sep 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
This masters level course examines and reflects on the nature and use of language in action, and develops your skills in analysing English texts.

Reading and studying literature

Course Course
Reading and studying literature Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Sep 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
This module will introduce you to the study of English literature by looking at a selection of texts from the Renaissance to the present day...

Worlds of English

Course Course
Worlds of English Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Intermediate level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Sep 2016 Register by 15 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...