Languages

The History of English in Ten Minutes

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 Anderson, this entertaining romp through 'The History of English' squeezes 1600 years of history into 10 one-minute bites, uncovering the sources of English words and phrases from Shakespeare and the King James Bible to America and the Internet. Bursting with fascinating facts, the series looks at how English grew from a small tongue into a major global language before reflecting on the future of English in the 21st century.

Video

Languages

Beginners’ German: Food and drink

This free course, Beginners' German: Food and drink, provides materials at German for beginners level that support the development of listening, reading, writing and speaking skills. The content focus is on food, restaurants and eating habits. The course also gives examples of how grammar, vocabulary, cultural aspects and study skills are taught in the Beginners' German module.

Free course
6 hrs
Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Mike Truman free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages

Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink

Do you want to improve your language skills and communicate more easily and effectively in Spanish? This free course, Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink, focuses on buying and ordering food and drink at a restaurant or bar. You will be able to use some basic vocabulary relating to food, drinks, meals, quantities and measures. In this OpenLearn course you will listen to Spanish speakers in a variety of situations.

Free course
6 hrs
What effect is social media having on the way we mourn global tragedies? Creative commons image Icon Theus Falcão on Flickr under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 license article icon

Languages 

What effect is social media having on the way we mourn global tragedies?

Is the outpouring of grief we see on social media after a terrorist attack or the death of a prominent figure a sincere expression of emotion, or more to do with self-promotion?

Article
Fast, fun, free: Try some of our Spanish language items Creative commons image Icon Ronald Woan under Creative Commons BY-NC 4.0 license article icon

Languages 

Fast, fun, free: Try some of our Spanish language items

OpenLearn is full of short items where you can learn something fast, for free - and have some fun doing so. Here's a selection of easy ways to start with Spanish.

Article
Language in the real world Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Courtesy © Neil Mitchell free course icon Level 3 icon

Languages 

Language in the real world

This free course, Language in the real world, explains and illustrates why a knowledge about how language works (i.e. ‘linguistics’) is helpful – some might say essential – for different aspects of our everyday lives. It provides an introduction to ideas around what language is and to the field of Applied Linguistics, which is dedicated to exploring and addressing situations where language plays a crucial role.

Free course
6 hrs
Gaelic in modern Scotland Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Gaelic in modern Scotland

Modern Scotland is a multi-lingual country. Gaelic, Scots and English, along with newer introductions from Europe and beyond, all influence the way Scotland's people now speak to each other and to the rest of the world. Created with the positive encouragement of Brd na Gidhlig and with support from BBC Alba, this free course, Gaelic in modern Scotland, is available in both Gaelic and English. The course has been designed to provide a resource for people with a personal or professional interest in increasing their knowledge and understanding of the development and impact of Scottish Gaelic and its culture. It aims to surprise and challenge where necessary; to provide links and ideas for further research; and, for some, to kick-start a journey into learning a language which is integral to Scotland's national identity.

Free course
15 hrs