Student Life: An internship with the MA in ELT: Online

Back in June, I gladly waved goodbye to Avenue campus, having spent the last few months hunkered down in its corridors hunched over my laptop, exasperated in my efforts not to write 8,000 words of waffle in lieu of a dissertation. Yet, I found myself not a month later returning to campus to start a 3-month internship with the online MA programme in English Language Teaching.

For many students of English and French progressing into teaching is the natural next step, nourished by working abroad with the British Council in their third year or taking part in language outreach programmes with local schools. However, as someone who had decidedly avoided anything to do with linguistics or teaching for fear of classrooms full of screaming, snotty-nosed children (not that many of my classes at university were much different), I was surprised to find myself quickly hooked by the programme and the work at hand.Online MA in ELT ident

I think it is fair to say that the position was somewhat undersold, with the task at hand advertised chiefly as content migration. Previously hosted on Moodle, myself and another intern were responsible for transporting the course to Blackboard. Thankfully, this turned out to be a smaller portion of the work than I’d imagined and the summer was not spent mindlessly clicking copy and paste.

The move to Blackboard presented the opportunity to refresh the course a bit, and our goal was to create a welcoming environment and try to create a sense of community and identity for the course through its online learning environment. Students and tutors of the course are based across the globe, therefore it was important to create a (virtual) space that linked them to each other and made them feel connected to the university itself too. To this end, we’ve spent time a lot of time editing videos and graphics for the course, creating personal and study support materials for the students, and exploring and testing various sites and computer programs for educational interaction.

The internship also afforded the opportunity to reflect on my own language learning at university. Skimming through the course checking for broken links and other glitches I had numerous lightbulb moments where the theories and concepts explored in the course content shed light on my experiences in French classes over the last 4 years.

Overall, the experience has been engaging and massively educational. I’ve learned a lot about virtual learning environments, teaching and education, and language acquisition, which has ignited a keen interest in an area I had previously overlooked.

2015 online pre-sessional course launched

Pre-sessional Boarding PassThe eLanguages team in Modern Languages has launched this year’s online pre-sessional course this week with a large cohort of participating international students who are studying English for Academic Purposes (EAP), in particular academic reading and writing skills, in preparation for this year’s Pre-sessional Course A. There are three tutored classes. From Modern Languages, Charlotte Everitt is Course Coordinator and online tutor, and Andrew Davey is Platform Manager, and there are two other experienced online tutors working on the course.

With over eighty posts on the course already, and discussions flowing, this promises to be a busy but successful online course.

To find out more about our online pre-sessional courses, visit the online courses section of the eLanguages website.

Modern Languages staff to present at Intercultural Connections Southampton Conference

A number of Modern Languages staff will be presenting at the Intercultural Connections Southampton Conference, taking place on Tuesday 28th April 2015 from 9:00-16:30 in Garden Court, Highfield Campus.

Amongst the sessions, Julie Watson will be presenting on the following theme: “Get Ready for Southampton: a pre-arrival online transition course for all international students coming to the University of Southampton”. Designed and coordinated by the eLanguages team in Modern Languages, the 2015 version of this course is now live, with over 200 students already participating from 52 countries. Last year 2,500 students had participated in the course by the end of the summer. Read more…

New PAL (Pay, Access and Learn) portal launched by eLanguages today

eLanguages Pay, Access and LearnThe new PAL (Pay, Access and Learn) portal, which will enable individual learners to choose and then licence sets of interactive online learning resources at low cost for periods of either one or three months, is being launched today by the eLanguages team in Modern Languages at the University of Southampton. Designed for learners already studying EAP (English for Academic Purposes) or preparing to apply for university courses in the UK, each set of ten learning resources provides at least six hours of activity-based learning, with sets currently available including basic and more advanced skills in academic writing and vocabulary for study purposes. Online renewal or licence extension is easy and can be done at anytime from anywhere.

Visit the PAL website for further details, including a complete list of available resource sets.

Students numbers grow on free pre-arrival online course

Get Ready for Southampton

Over 1,600 incoming and prospective international students are currently participating in Get Ready for Southampton, a free online course open between April and October, which enables participants to meet and make international friends, and get a taste for what life is like at the University of Southampton before coming to study. Read more…

Prepare for Success: free online learning resources for international students

Prepare for Success
International students who are about to begin studying in the UK and their teachers may find the study skills and EAP resources in Prepare for Success really useful. The resources on the Prepare for Success website, which was designed by the eLanguages team in Modern Languages here at Southampton, are free for anyone to use.

They include interactive learning activities about academic life in the UK, a frequently asked questions page, and a blog about study and life for international students in the UK. Prepare for Success is aimed at international students whose first language is not English and is suitable for students with an IELTS level between 5.5 and 7.5.

Going global! Our online MA in ELT

Our online Masters degree in English Language Teaching is being launched worldwide thanks to a collaboration between the University of Southampton and the British Council. This highly successful course will receive its worldwide launch at the University of Southampton on Wednesday 12 March 2014. For more details of the launch event or the online programme see:
Full news release
Full details of the course

Happy New Year 2014 from Languages at Southampton!

Wishing all followers of our Languages at Southampton blog a very Happy New Year in 2014!

Why not brush up on your digital literacies knowledge in 2014 by visiting our free Digital Literacies Toolkit, an interactive learning tool designed and developed by eLanguages in Modern Languages at the University of Southampton. The Toolkit can help you explore the educational uses of Web 2.0 tools and services, familiarise yourself with a range of useful applications for study-related purposes, and reflect on good practice in the use of social software and the internet in general.