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Languages 

Open Centre for Languages and Cultures

The Open Centre for Languages and Cultures: your learning hub for communication in an interconnected world.

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Getting started with German 1 free course icon Level

Languages 

Getting started with German 1

Almost 100 million people speak German as their main language. Most of them live in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, making German one of the most widely-used languages in Europe. Although now associated with economic success and advances in science and technology, German has a long-standing reputation as the language of poets and thinkers, die Sprache der Dichter und Denker. The German speaking countries are also a popular tourist destination, offering visitors a great variety of landscapes - from the sandy beaches in the North to the majestic alps in the South, not to forget hills, lakes, rivers, vineyards and the historic and buzzing cities of Berlin, Zürich and Vienna. In this 2-week course you will go on a journey through Germany, Austria and Switzerland and introduce you to the language skills you need to start understanding and using German. You will start from the basics - simple greetings, introducing yourself and using numbers. Progressing towards being able to join conversations in German and to understand and use the language in a variety of scenarios. This OpenLearn course is an extract from the beginning of the Open Centre for Languages and Cultures short course, LXG001 Beginners German 1: fang an! After completing this free course, you may wish to register for the full course to continue your learning!

Free course
6 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Image by 272447 from Pixabay
Getting started with Italian 1 free course icon Level

Languages 

Getting started with Italian 1

Are you fascinated by the Italian culture and lifestyle, cuisine, historic cities, art and beautiful landscapes? Have you always loved the sound and musicality of the Italian language? Perhaps you’ve visited an Italian city and wished you could chat with local people. Or maybe you would like to be able to read a menu, talk about yourself, or talk about yours or other people’s jobs. Whatever your reasons for learning Italian, this two-week course gives you a chance to start a new exciting learning experience. You’ll start from the basics to ordering food and drinks at the bar. This OpenLearn course is an extract from the beginning of the Open Centre for Languages and Cultures short course, LXI001 Beginners Italian 1: primi passi. After completing this free course, you may wish to register for the full course to continue your learning!

Free course
8 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: BBC

TV, Radio & Events 

The Secret Life of Children's Books

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 Charles Kingsley. 

TV Programme
The Great Fall: A personal perspective, before and after article icon

Languages 

The Great Fall: A personal perspective, before and after

A personal take on experiences before and after the Berlin Wall fell from an Open University lecturer in Classical Studies. 

Article
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: © BBC

TV, Radio & Events 

The Secret Life of Books

Uncover the secrets of classic works of fiction that we all know and love.

TV Programme
Beginners’ Chinese: a taster course free course icon Level

Languages 

Beginners’ Chinese: a taster course

Learn about Mandarin Chinese as a tool for communication and gain insights into Chinese society and culture. This free course, Beginners’ Chinese: a taster course, provides a brief introduction to the Chinese language, its scripts and sounds, and how words are formed. You will hear short conversations where people greet each other and introduce themselves, and learn how to ----- from one to ten. You’ll learn different ways of saying your name and greeting people, as well as give your telephone number. This OpenLearn course is introductory material for absolute beginners in Chinese.

Free course
4 hrs
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: Toa55/iStock / Getty Images Plus
Getting started with Chinese 1 free course icon Level

Languages 

Getting started with Chinese 1

Have you always wanted to learn how to speak Mandarin Chinese? Are you fascinated by the sound, the script and its ancient civilisation? If so, this introduction will get you started on the essentials of reading, writing, speaking and listening in Chinese through a variety of online activities. A perfect introduction for absolute beginners! This OpenLearn course is an extract from the beginning of the Open Centre for Languages and Cultures short course, LXC001 Beginners Chinese 1. After completing this free course, you may wish to register for the full course to continue your learning!

Free course
8 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Marcus Young for OpenLearn under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Hearing Race: Can language use lead to racism? article icon

Languages 

Hearing Race: Can language use lead to racism?

A new branch of the study of language seeks to explore the links between the language we use and the racial differences we experience. Can language have a race? In this article, Mel Green explores the links between race and language.

Article
Teaching Spanish pronunciation free course icon Level

Languages 

Teaching Spanish pronunciation

Welcome to this free course Teaching Spanish pronunciation.This short course is aimed at teachers of Spanish working in the United Kingdom who wish to extend their theoretical knowledge on teaching Spanish pronunciation. It offers ideas and practical skills that can be used in the classroom, be that virtual or face-to-face. This course will explore intelligibility, fluency, foreign accent, language variation, articulation and acoustics. The course is suitable for all levels of linguistic competence and at all levels of education. The course is divided into 5 weeks.

Free course
15 hrs
Creative commons image Icon Steve Johnson under CC BY 2.0 licence under Creative-Commons license
The evolution of English: From the 17th century to the present day activity icon

Languages 

The evolution of English: From the 17th century to the present day

Part two: The history of colonialism was a major factor in the development of English. Follow the global spread of English from the 17th century to the present day.

Activity
Copyrighted  image Icon Copyright: ID 161529627 © David Wilkinson | Dreamstime.com
The Special Adviser’s Tale, or Political Storytelling in the Time of Covid article icon

Languages 

The Special Adviser’s Tale, or Political Storytelling in the Time of Covid

When Dominic Cummings broke the COVID-19 lockdown rules, how did the attempts to 'change the narrative' by Cummings and the government defy the logic of storytelling?

Article
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