Facilities for language learning

Find out about our facilities and learning spaces available for students studying modern languages, English language teaching, and English language courses.

language learning cafe

Facilities and resources

Our open-access learning resources centre has facilities for autonomous study of many languages, using:

  • audiovisual resources
  • a wide-ranging film and documentary library
  • satellite television from seven countries
  • worksheets
  • magazines and newspapers in taught languages
  • graded readers and reference materials such as dictionaries and grammars
  • study materials for many world languages
  • computer-assisted language learning software and Internet access
  • a study area with several more TV and video/DVD workstations, plus group viewing facilities
  • a digital language laboratory for class work, with data/video projector
  • a second classroom with high quality audiovisual facilities.

If you're looking for informal language practice, students can subscribe to our Language Partner Exchange via Study Direct and use the forums to advertise for someone to chat with them in their target language.  We have also worked with the Students' Union to establish a regular Language Café, bringing together Sussex students who are learning foreign languages with international students who are studying English.

We are adding new stock to the main Library catalogue, so you can also search our collections online.


Online resources

If you're considering studying languages at Sussex, see the following language resources to get an idea of the support available to you.

Modern languages

  • Chinese language learning resources
    • Oxford Dictionaries - the University Library subscribes to the full, unabridged bilingual Oxford dictionaries in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
    • Chinese Multimedia Course - 22 lessons in simplified characters at elementary-intermediate level, suitable for students who have already learned Chinese for at least 3 months. Good use of video files with transcripts, interactive character writing exercises, interactive grammar drills, multiple choice vocabulary tests, and indexes for grammar and vocabulary. From the Centre for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language, University of Oxford.
    • Amongst much other material, they also have some colourful pages on Pinyin Pronunciation and 7 lessons of Basic Spoken Mandarin with audio and transcripts, plus sound files for the Practical Chinese Reader book.
    • Confucius Institute Online has some useful materials for self-study, including situational dialogues and News Chinese.
    • MDBG Chinese-English dictionary.
    • nciku is a free Chinese<->English online dictionary with some excellent learning tools: audio pronunciation not just of characters but whole phrases, and handwriting recognition so you can search by stroke. Sign up to create vocab lists, to test yourself, and to use the Q&A forum.
    • POPjisyo.com allows you to view any Chinese website with popups that give the pinyin reading and English definition of each word. Alternatively, you can enter a text - either way, words can be added to your own study list. Impressive.
    • Learning Chinese Online - Dr. Tianwei Xie has collected links to a great many websites for learning online, plus some lessons of his own. Probably the best place to start.
    • Writing Chinese - see stroke order animated, alongside the pinyin, audio pronunciation and English definition. Can be viewed alphabetically rather than in the University of Southern California's proprietary lesson order.
    • Chinese Tools - online tools to learn Chinese, including a Mandarin course, annotation tools, dictionaries, songs, poems, proverbs and converters for pinyin, unicode, traditional and simplified Chinese.
    • Hanzi Quiz is an online flashcard program which randomly generates multiple-choice questions, by showing one hanzi and letting you guess the correct pinyin out of 5 randomly selected from the deck. Or you can see the English and guess the hanzi; any combination of categories is possible. You can even download the program to your own computer and edit the vocabulary.
    • Chinese Pod - daily audio lessons on Mandarin. Look in the archive for hundreds of previous lessons, searchable by level and keyword. There are transcripts and other backup materials too, but many have to be paid for. Chinese Learn Online is a similar project.
    • On-line Chinese tools from Erik Peterson include a dictionary, a useful program to add pinyin to a file on your computer and one to display graphical characters from encoded text which you input. There's more for Java-capable browsers, such as flashcards and a romanisation converter.
    • BBC Real Chinese - basic phrases to complement the TV series (available in the Language Learning Centre here at Sussex).
    • Learning Chinese from the Online Confucius Institute.
    • Audio Tutorial of Survival Chinese by Haiwang Yuan of Western Kentucky University - essential phrases (with audio) for shopping, dining, travelling and greetings.
    • Zhongwen Zipu is an etymological Chinese-English dictionary showing the genealogy of around 12,000 words using 4,000 characters.
    • Learn Cantonese - lots of printer-friendly reference sheets, tests and revision aids, aimed to help you speak, read and write Hong Kong Chinese (pronunciation given is Cantonese 'jyutping' instead of Mandarin 'pinyin' but plenty of the content is useful for both).
    • Carlos McEvilly maintains a Chinese Language Information page.
    • Add tone marks to pinyin

    News and journals on-line

    Sources for further research

  • English language resources
    • UEfAP (Using English for Academic Purposes) is a guide for international students developed by Andy Gillett of the University of Hertfordshire.
    • English e-pack from London Metropolitan University: 36 activities (in 4 units) especially designed to help with the business aspect of Academic English. See also their Study Skills multimedia learning objects.
    • University Challenge - a short orientation and listening course for international students.
    • LearnEnglish online with the British Council - lots of good learning activities. Writing for a Purpose - academic writing materials, based on assessed student writing from British universities. Premier Skills - practise your English through football!
    • Internet TESL Journal student links - more than 12,000 of them, and over 1,000 activities for ESL students - a vast collection of quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles.
    • Antimoon.com - how to learn English effectively. Includes advice from people who learned English successfully. Site written in simple English.
    • EnglishSpace is a free English language course for beginners, pre-intermediate or intermediate students, themed around a spaceship voyage. There's messaging, homepages and collaborative storylines as well as puzzles, games, exercises and projects to help you practise your English skills.
    • Interesting Things for ESL Students - a fun study site with word games, puzzles, quizzes, slang, proverbs etc.
    • Dave's ESL Cafe offers lots of discussion forums, quizzes, idioms and the ESL Help Center, a message board where your English questions are answered by a team of teachers from around the world.
    • Free English Games - animated online games to help you improve your English. Requires Flash.
    • La Mansión del Inglés - English for Spanish speakers: courses, grammar, vocabulary, exercises, books, downloadable software etc.

    Reference

    • The Macmillan Dictionary Online is now free online with audio clips for pronunciation, alongside a thesaurus. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary and several Cambridge Dictionaries of English are also free to search online, as are Collins' COBUILD and COBUILD Advanced
    • For advanced vocabulary, try Michael Quinion's World Wide Words or A Word A Day.
    • Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus of American English includes audio pronunciation. There's also a full hypertext gateway which allows you to click on any words in the definition.
    • How to pronounce words and use them is interesting and potentially useful: type a word and see it used in context in a YouTube video!
    • Roget's New Millennium Thesaurus of English words and phrases.

      News and media

      • Most British newspapers have online editions: The GuardianThe Telegraph and The Mirror for example have almost the whole newspaper freely available. The Times requires payment for some content though.
      • BBC News and CNN Interactive are also well-presented, in-depth news sites.
      • Google News UK allows you to search and browse over 25,000 continuously updated news sources.

      • Virtual Brighton is intended as a reflection of the cultural and commercial life of Brighton, Hove and the South Coast, and includes a section for tourists.

      Listening

      • BBC Learning English - audio, exercises, glossaries and other material based on the World Service broadcasts.
      • Listen and Write helps to improve your listening skills using dictation from audio and video on the web. It repeats sections until you enter the correct transcription, and is particulary useful for detailed listening that involves bottom-up processing skills.
      • elllo - English Listening Lesson Library Online is an impressive library of hundreds of audio clips of English speakers from around the world, many as audio slideshows (with pictures) complete with subtitles/audio transcripts and audio notes about the clips (and even transcripts of those!). There are also comprehension questions, some of which are also audio.
      • Real English - learn (mostly American) English through videos of people speaking "real English": spontaneous, authentic speech instead of "classroom English".
      • English Accents and Dialects - a virtual exhibition from the British Library (log in with your university username for full access). The BBC Voices website covers more contemporary regional vocabulary.
      • Fonetiks - pronunciation guides to seven world varieties of English, with native speaker sounds and accents.
      • Literacy Network run a useful site based on CNN and CBS stories: full/abridged/outline text of the story, listen to the text, video clip, with a variety of exercises.
      • Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab - well-written and structured listening quizzes for autonomous learners, including some Divace-specific material and some video.
      • ComAudio provides audio fragments - regularly updated from a variety of sources - which you can listen to while reading the spoken text on-screen. You can look up the meaning of words by clicking on them and check your understanding by answering questions.

      • Splendid Speaking is an advanced-level self-study course and community, from the makers of Flo-Joe.

      Exams and Tests

      Reading and Writing

      • The Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers on-line writing support (tutors reply to your e-mail), plus a virtual sheaf of handouts on writing skills, grammar, punctuation etc. They also maintain a comprehensive list of other on-line writing centres and resources, such as The Online Writery at Missouri University.
      • Online Books Page at the University of Pennsylvania is a good starting point for browsing the treasure trove of online literature.
      • Turning the Pages is a British Library project to allow realistic access to unique old books such as the original Alice.
      • The Many Roads to Japan is a free online ESL reader for low intermediate level and above. The novel tells the story of a Vietnam War conscientious objector's adventures in about 20,000 words, and includes comprehension and discussion/essay questions, with the author's reading of the answers. It can also be heard online read by the author.

      Variants

  • French language learning resources
    • Culturethèque from the Institut français in London offers French cultural content online such as ebooks, films and audio, including some learning resources.
    • France in London includes details of current French events and films in our capital, alongside articles on a range of subjects.
    • Google.fr - French version of the ubiquitous search engine.

    News & media on-line

    • ina.fr (Institut National Audiovisuel Français) - an archive of televised news and special reports from national French channels.
    • Le Monde - the full edition online (though a charge is made for in-depth stories).
    • Libération offers a partial online service - each day's front page is available in Adobe Reader format, plus several top stories in full and the occasional special.
    • Google Actualités France allows you to search and browse hundreds of continuously updated news sources.
    • TF 1 and France 2 have rich websites, with a lot of backup materials.
    • M6 is another French TV channel, which has useful 6 minute news slots available online. TV5 carries a good video summary too, with access to individual news items.
    • Lyon Capitale is a Lyonnaise weekly news magazine.
    • Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace is another regional newspaper.
    • Radio France - the state broadcaster includes such stations as France Inter, France Info, Radio Bleu, and FIP (tune to 91FM to receive this music station in Brighton).
    • Europe 1 is the leading independent radio station.
    • Radio Caraïbes International serves Martinique and Guadeloupe.
    • Sud Quotidien is one of Senegal's main daily papers.
    • Le Soleil de Québec from Canada.
    • Volcans, a French journal on the Caribbean and Central America.
    • Presse francophone - a listing from Lehman College, City University of New York.

    Learning resources

    • Oxford Dictionaries - the University Library subscribes to the full, unabridged bilingual Oxford dictionaries in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
    • Orthonet from the Conseil international de la langue française.
    • Dictionnaire multifonctions from TV5.
    • Dictionnaire des synonymes from Université de Caen.
    • Lexique du féminin from Laboratoire ATLIF (Analyse et Traitement Informatique de la Langue Française).
    • Le trésor de la langue française informatisé also from ATLIF.
    • Base de données CRITER from the Ministère de la Culture.
    • Les équivalents français from le Conseil supérieur de l'audiovisuel
    • Polar FLE - murder mystery where you play the role of the Inspector Roger Duflair's assistant; choose your level (beginners to advanced) and practice listening comprehension, grammar and vocabulary in context. Includes worksheets and online activities for classroom use.
    • BBC French - a large range of quality resources from French Steps, a self-contained online course for beginners, through to Le Mensuel, an intermediate audio magazine, plus transcripts and bonus material for their TV and radio courses, and much more.
    • Zut! provides interactive activities for French teachers and learners, featuring hundreds of exercises, some of which have audio samples of native speakers. It's all organised by year of study and includes reading, writing and listening exercises. Charged in UK school hours.
    • French Lessons by Jacques Léon, intended to allow you to understand written French. Includes audio pronunciation.
    • Cours de phonétique (Université de Lausanne).
    • WordPROF teaches and tests vocabulary at a variety of levels, including interactive scenes with audio.
    • France à la Carte - includes a guide to , and Tandem, a bilingual magazine, as well as links to other relevant sites. From the French Embassy in London.
    • Association for French Language Studies - UK organisation promoting French language teaching and research into French linguistics in Higher Education.
    • Le français dans le monde - revue de la fédération internationale des professeurs de français
    • Survival French - one man's account of the resources he found invaluable for survival in Neuchâtel.

    Sources for further research...

    • Translation Blog - bilingual reflections on words, expressions and the difficulties encountered on the bridge from the English to the French language, from a Brighton-based translator.
    • About.com Guide to French Language - original articles, lessons, exercises and lots of links, plus discussion forum and chat room.
    • ARTFL Project (Project for American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language) - includes a corpus of around 2000 French texts for research (access restricted to some parts), a French/English dictionary, thesaurus, and a verb conjugator.
    • Pages Jaunes - online yellow pages/residential phonebook from France Télécom
    • Tennessee Bob's Famous French Links
  • German language learning resources

    News and media on-line

    • Deutsche Welle Radio & TV have an extensive site; aside from the expected news and schedules, they have a daily audio Langsam gesprochene Nachrichten (Slowly-spoken News) with transcript, and Wort der Woche.
    • Die Welt - online version of the big daily.
    • Der Spiegel - selected articles from the political magazine.
    • Stern - "Germany's largest illustrated weekly"
    • Wiener Zeitung is an Austrian newspaper.
    • ZDF is the German TV channel available via satellite in the Language Learning Centre - their programme schedules are online.
    • Juma - a magazine for young people.
    • moviepilot.de is one of the largest film websites in Germany: interact with a community of native speakers around a database of over 50,000 movies with associated criticism, local and internationals reviews, and daily news articles.

    Learning resources

    Sources for further research

  • Italian language learning resources

    News & media on-line

    Learning resources

    Sources for further research

  • Japanese language learning resources

    Learning resources

    • Japanese-Lesson.com offers free online study programmes produced by an experienced native Japanese language teacher. Includes writing practice sheets for hiragana
    • NHK Learning Japanese online
    • Visual Kanji has free video-based lessons on 1100 kanji and 7000 associated words. Asahi Kanji offers an online Java flashcard program to help you review and drill the Japanese kanji; also available for iOS and Android.
    • Jim Breen's Japanese Page has been running for decades, with a list of recommended sites and WWWJDIC, an online dictionary he developed.
    • Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese
    • Hirogaru shows various aspects of Japan through reading or listening to information on 12 topics such as music, anime and manga, food, sports etc.
    • goo is an information project sponsored by NTT in Japan, providing access to four Sanseido dictionaries: a big Japanese-Japanese, Exceed English <-> Japanese and the Daily Shingo (new word) dictionary. All instructions in Japanese.
    • Teach Yourself Japanese provides a range of online lessons from beginner level.
    • Rikai allows you to view any Japanese website with popups that give the reading and English definition of each word; words can be added to your own word list alongside their definitions. Alternatively, you can enter your own text. The site also offers a Kanji map, flashcards and phrase/Kanji of the day. Impressive. POPjisyo.com does a similar job, but can also show romaji readings.

    • Japanese for Busy People - videos in a YouTube playlist for the popular coursebook. 

    News and journals on-line

  • Russian language learning resources

    Learning resources

    • Russian Language Learning - a literature-based online course designed at Sussex to complement Literature and History options within Russian Studies here. For each author there are biographical details and a text for study with vocabulary hints, a stressed version of the text with audio, English translation, exercises, grammar, historical background, a critical essay and video dialogues about the author.
    • Interactive Russian Reference Grammar - a comprehensive and well-presented guide, courtesy of Robert Beard. I particularly like the approach to the Cyrillic alphabet. Introduction to Russian also guides you easily through learning the Russian alphabet, picking up useful vocabulary along the way - this one includes audio.
    • Master Russian - plenty for the novice and advanced students of Russian; from language lessons to web cams, dictionaries to pen pals, alphabet to crosswords, grammar to Tolstoy.
    • Russnet is a large online Russian language learning and teaching network which includes several high quality language modules (e.g. Business Russian or a Cultural Map of Russia). It's a project of the American Council of Teachers of Russian so there is provision for teachers to maintain dedicated virtual classroom space and to make assignments for use in conjunction with the modules, plus plenty more of interest to teachers (materials, jobs, professional bodies, assessment tools etc.)
    • Ruslan have a well-designed interactive online version of their beginners' course (as well as books and audio) for learners of Russian. The site also includes listings of where to study Russian in the UK.
    • Time to Speak Russian is an endearing little course based around stop-motion animation, full of sound and images (funded by Russkiy Mir).
    • Only4Russian channel on YouTube collects videos for Russian learners. 
    • Various blogs aim at higher-level learners - try Everyday RussianОчень по-русскиRussificate or Transparent Language's Russian blog.
    • Russian Language Mentor - extensive site from the US military for intermediate to advanced students. Loads of reading and listening comprehensions, grammar review (ask your own questions) and sections on cultural and scientific literacy sit alongside crossword puzzles and linguistic oddities. Constant reminders of its origin apart, there's a lot of useful material here, all presented in a surprisingly light-hearted way.
    • Russian Language Program at Cornell University has some pioneering online multimedia materials, such as Beginning Russian through Film and Dictionary of the Human Body.
    • The CEELBAS Language Repository has open-access teaching and self-study materials for languages of Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, some specifically aimed at social sciences/humanities researchers. Languages include Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Georgian, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak and Ukrainian

    • Lib.ru and Russkaia virtualnaia biblioteka have lots of classic 19th and 20th century literature.
    • Poetry Reader for Russian Learners from Yale is an anthology of great Russian poems, from Pushkin and Lermontov to Mayakovsky. The poems are glossed and accompanied by audio files and supplementary materials on vocabulary and grammar.
    • From the Ends to the Beginning is a bilingual anthology of Russian poetry, many with audio readings.
    • Gramota.ru - portal for the Russian language with a great deal of advanced content including a selection of specialist dictionaries and a free reference service where you can ask questions. The site isn't aimed at foreign students, so it's all in Russian.
    • S azov (Russian from Scratch) is a communicative ab initio Russian language textbook developed at the University of Wolverhampton, available as PDF files plus interactive tests on each chapter.
    • Decoding the 1920s is a free reader for advanced learners of Russian, focusing in real detail on the language of Bulgakov, Babel, Ilf & Petrov, Platonov, Zoshchenko, etc 
    • Multitran is an interesting translation dictionary which allows phrase searches, and can disregard morphology. It contains over 2m entries for more than 20 subjects, and also has a good list of subject-specific dictionaries.
    • Russian Grammatical Dictionary (Duke University) gives full paradigms for all entries, including recordings of each word form by a native speaker of Russian. 
    • Mainly for teachers:
      • Russian Teachers' Group for UK teachers to help one another.
      • MAPRYAL, the International Association of Teachers of Russian Language and Literature.
      • Teach Russian is an online resource centre for teachers of Russian as a foreign language, comprising lots of  freely downloadable materials such as class worksheets.

    News & media on-line

    • Mosfilm has made a lot of their films from the 1920s onwards available to watch online for free, many with English subtitles, many great classics! Lenfilm have also put many of theirs on YouTube (unsubtitled, I think).
    • Russian Film Hub acts as a catlogue of hundreds of Russian and Soviet movies with English subtitles which can be watched for free.
    • Stage Russia films productions from renowned Russian theatre companies and distributes them in HD into cinemas (including Uckfield Picture House locally!), but also online via Kanopy, which the University of Sussex subscribes to. Includes contemporary productions of many classics such as Chekhov and Pushkin.
    • RTR Planeta is the Russian television channel available in the Language Learning Centre here - there are programme schedules online. Channel One can also be received free in the UK via satellite.
    • Russian News Online shows many publications' current headlines on one web page.
    • Ekho Moskvy - a Moscow radio station widely seen as a source for unbiased reporting.
    • Gazeta.Ru offers news in a digestible format, and plenty of other journals.
    • BBC Russian - news stories and broadcasts.
    • Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty includes news in English and Russian (as svoboda.org).
    • TASS - the famous Russian news agency provides breaking news in English and Russian.
    • The Moscow Times - Russian news in English.
    • Zhurnal'nyi zal hosts over a dozen literary magazines and journals, including Inostrannaya literatura, which carries literature reviews and translations of foreign literature.
    • Ogonyok could be described as the Russian equivalent of Time magazine.

    Background

    • Museums of Russia - tour through Russian museums, culture and art.
    • A taste of Russia - guided tour.
    • Far from Moscow is a weekly bilingual podcast dedicated to new music from Russia, courtesy of David MacFadyen, Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at UCLA. Very Californian, and there's some great stuff in there.
    • MOCT is a 'bridge between Britain and Russia', with information and links on Russian education, culture and charities in Britain.

    Trouble with Cyrillic?

    Most of these websites use Cyrillic - your computer should cope fine (including computers on campus), but if not, consult the concise guide at Stanwardine, or read through Russify Everything. There's even an online typer, but you may want to buy keytop stickers such as those made by Latkey.

    • Paul Gorodyansky maintains in-depth information about using Cyrillic in non-Russian versions of Windows (mostly).
    • IM Translator (@PROMT Online) does a pretty good job instantly translating web pages or short texts between Russian and English, also offering an online Russian keyboard and decoding.
    • Automatic Cyrillic Converter can transliterate a web page or text into Latin script as well as converting between encodings. Here's another.
  • Spanish language learning resources
    • Instituto Cervantes exists to promote the Spanish language; their website includes plenty of material for students and teachers of Spanish, plus up-to-date information about cultural events. Our teachers particularly like Lecturas paso a paso (short stories with pre- and post-reading exercises) and Pasatiempos de Rayuela (lexical, grammatical, sociocultural exercises).
    • Coffee Break Spanish offers 15-minute podcasts (from a Scottish schoolteacher) which you can download and put on your smartphone or just play from the website. There’s a premium version with extra materials, but you can access more than a hundred audio episodes for free.

    Reference

    • WordReference.com has the Concise Oxford Spanish Dictionary, alongside some from Espasa Calpe.
    • Oxford Dictionaries - the University Library subscribes to the full, unabridged bilingual Oxford dictionaries in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
    • Real Academia Española gives free access to one of the best (monolingual) Spanish dictionaries.
    • diccionarios.com provides access to dictionaries from Vox, including their English<->Spanish offering.
    • Tomísimo is an English-Spanish bilingual learners' dictionary that makes finding words easy by automatically searching in both languages.

    Learning resources

    • BBC Languages have lots of high-quality Spanish material such as the BAFTA-winning Mi Vida Loca and other excellent interactive video courses.
    • VeinteMundos magazine has interesting articles about the Spanish-speaking world, for intermediate & advanced learners. Each article has helpful integrated pop-up vocabulary and an audio reading which allows simultaneous reading and listening. There's also a section for teachers.
    • Tecla is a magazine (including exercises) written for learners and teachers of Spanish, with a searchable subject index of past issues. It is produced monthly during term-time by the Spanish Embassy in the UK.
    • Radio FLE claims to be the first radio station for learners of Spanish as a foreign language.
    • Viaje al pasado: los aztecas - el perfecto simple y el imperfecto en la narración y la descripción. Attractive interactive multimedia site providing a broad context for all verb forms. Includes animations which explain use of verb forms, 45 exercises and two adventure games in pre-Hispanic Mexico.
      • El Camino de Santiago is another excellent video-based site by the same team at Cégep du Vieux Montréal, this time using the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route to focus on ser, estar, en, a, por, para; identificación, definición, descripción, localización, desplazamiento, causa y finalidad. Woven in with the pilgrim interviews are 48 exercises at level A1-A2.
    • Todo Claro offers more than 100 grammar, vocabulary, situation and cultural exercises at all levels. Also has a verb conjugator, though the old Comp-jugador is more comprehensive.
    • The Spanish CALL Project has lots of exercises, grammar and links. See also Ejercicios de lengua española - a collection of on-line grammar exercises from Juan Ramón de Arana.
    • Learn Spanish - a free online tutorial.
    • Spanish Food Dictionary

    Literature

    • Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes - a comprehensive virtual library for Hispanic Studies, offering electronic editions of thousands of works spanning many centuries. This is a very valuable tool for students of Spanish.
    • Ciudad Seva is the website of author Luis López Nieves, which has a good collection of links for Spanish literature & language.
    • Proyecto Sherezade has contemporary short stories in Spanish by authors from all over the world, plus vocabulary and grammar exercises, comprehension questions etc.

    News & media online

    Sources for further research

    • ele-uk is the UK Association for the Teaching of Spanish in Higher and Adult Education.
    • Latin American Network Information Center (LANIC) at the University of Texas is a comprehensive directory of Latin American web resources organised by country and by subject.
    • Universia.net has lots of well-presented information on Hispanic higher education.
    • Linred - Lingüística en la Red is an Internet journal on theoretical and applied linguistics, with a slant towards issues in Spanish as a Foreign Language.
    • About.com Guide to Spanish Language - original articles, lessons, exercises and lots of links, plus bulletin board and chat room.

 General language resources and toolkits

  • Language learning resources
    • Lingu@net is an online resource centre providing good pathways for learning languages using quality websites. It offers support for adult learners on how to learn a language, how to assess your level and how to communicate with other learners online, developed by language learning specialists throughout Europe.
    • Foreign Language epacks - free Flash-based activities in French, Spanish, Italian and German at several levels developed by London Metropolitan University. There are 11-12 topic-based units per level which take around 3 hours to complete. The 100+ exercises per unit cover the main skills of vocabulary, listening, reading, writing and grammar through challenging activities.
    • BBC Languages includes several self-contained online courses, plus lots of supplementary material for their courses, transcripts etc. There's a separate site for their published course materials.
    • Language Partners at Sussex - if you're a student or staff member here at the University of Sussex looking for informal language practice, you can subscribe to our Study Direct site and use the forums to find someone to chat with in your target language. There is also a regular term-time Language Café bringing together Sussex students who are learning foreign languages with overseas and exchange students who are studying English.
      • Seagull Tandem - find a partner to practise with, and use topics, ideas and materials from this project, 'Smart Educational Autonomy through Guided Language Learning', an EU-funded collaboration between 20 higher education institutions.
      • busuu.com is an online community for learning languages, with their own audiovisual learning and grammar units but also integrated video-chat so that you can practice your language skills in a live conversation with a native speaker.
      • MyLanguageExchange.com does something similar, enabling language exchange by listing other members who are native speakers and who may be learning your language, so you can then communicate as an email pen pal, by text chat or Skype.
    • LanguageGuide.org has absorbing pictorial vocabulary guides where users place their cursor over any of the images to hear their names pronounced and see them spelled out. Available so far in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Mandarin, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese and Korean. A few interactive grammar guides and readings are also available.
    • Use your Language, Use your English is an excellent self-study translation site operated by Birkbeck College London. It provides short source texts, model translations and commentaries into English from Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. You must register - by emailing useyourcontact@bbk.ac.uk - but membership is free.
    • Fonetiks - pronunciation guides with native speaker sounds and accents.
    • Goethe Tests - test your English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch, Czech, Hungarian and Indonesian vocabulary with gap-fill exercises.
    • Linguacast and Universed are two projects from Newcastle University and Routes into Languages with a diverse range of resources in various languages, although primarily aimed at school-age learners there's plenty of good material here.
    • Linguascope and Linguacentral are good for young learners, offering lots of games and exercises for French, German and Spanish.
    • LangMedia offers a wealth of video clips of authentic language spoken in its natural cultural environment. Most clips have transcripts and English translations, plus cultural notes and some still images.

    • Find-a-Linguist - locate a language tutor for private classes (or a translator or interpreter) courtesy of the Institute of Linguists.
    • Cactus Language - a Brighton-based language travel agency for study abroad.
    • Grant & Cutler - one of the UK's leading suppliers of foreign language books and media; Bay Language Books are another. MovieMail have a good range of world cinema DVDs, listed by country.
    • Routledge's Colloquial series - good quality book+audio courses in 70 or so languages - now with free online audio.

    • Studying Languages at university provides straightforward and relevant information about studying languages, linguistics and cultural studies at uni. There are sections with details and advice for before, after and during your degree, including plenty on your year abroad and for international students coming to study languages in the UK. They also have Q&As with students, an essay competition and Début, an undergraduate journal.
    • Internet for Modern Languages - a free "teach yourself" tutorial to help university students to develop Internet research skills for modern languages, created by university lecturers.

    News and media

    The University of Sussex Language Learning Centre receives satellite TV in several languages and takes several newspapers and magazines; the main Library has more newspapers.

    • Kiosko.net is a visual daily press directory that gives access to the world's largest news sites and displays a readable image taken from today's frontpage cover of each newspaper.
    • Abyz News Links has links to news media all over the world.
    • A selection of online English-language news from the EFL page here.
    • Radio Garden - spin the globe and listen to radio stations from around the world.
    • BBC World Service broadcasts in over 40 languages; their website carries text from most of these and audiovisual content from quite a number too.
    • Voice of America is a US Government-run radio station which provides audio news broadcasts in over fifty languages. 

    Visual media

    • EUscreen offers free online access to videos, stills, texts and audio from European broadcasters and audiovisual archives. Explore selected content from early 1900s until today.
      • Europeana also has a lot of video clips and is slightly more intuitive to search. Its remit is far broader, offering access to Europe's leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums: books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, television and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings.
    • Learning on Screen (formerly Box of Broadcasts) provides subscribing UK HE institutions access to make online recordings of TV and radio from the last month or up to a week ahead. In addition to UK Freeview channels, they have several French, German and Italian stations. Programmes can be embedded in Canvas at Sussex.
    • The BBC have an area on their site dedicated to their language programmes, including lots of interactive material and transcripts. There are also full TV and radio programme schedules.
    • The Vore is an art house blog by film students on world cinema. They have collected the best films in the public domain by country, listing only legal sources and with English subtitles.
    • The Internet Movie Database is a comprehensive searchable catalogue of film details - plots, credits, reviews etc. The All-Movie Guide has plenty on foreign films too.
    • TimeFor.TV has schedules for most channels that can be received in Europe.
    • Live Radio and TV on the Internet - a country-by-country list from comfm of stations broadcasting on the Internet. For radio, you could also try radio-locator.
    • LyngSat has full details for all satellite TV & radio channels in the world including links to home pages, footprint maps and which satellites each channel is on, which can be browsed by country. There's even a list of free channels by country.
    • UK Free TV - lots of up-to-the-minute technical detail about receiving free TV channels in the UK (analogue, Freeview and satellite), including transmitter engineering works.
    • Worldwide TV Standards - a guide to the mysteries of NTSC/PAL/SECAM and more from Bevis King at Surrey University.
    • The World Clock - current local times across the world.

    • Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon is a good source for authentic images for language learning - handy for teachers.

    More collections of links

    • CALL@Hull has plenty of links aimed at the UK HE language community.
    • MERLOT is a free and open resource designed primarily for faculty and students of higher education. Links to online learning materials are collected here along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments.
    • Webring of Languages & Linguistics - a collection of websites linked together which can be browsed sequentially or at random.
    • Tyler Chambers' iLoveLanguages
    • alphaDictionary links to a good selection of learning and reference grammars as well as dictionaries; maintained by Robert Beard, founder of yourDictionary.com.
    • Cactus Language - a Brighton-based language travel agency for study abroad.
  • Tools for studying a language
    • Quizlet and Studystack are free, online flashcard makers which interface to smartphone apps as well as being usable on your computer. Quizlet incorporates audio (though its text-to-speech engine can be inaccurate!), but both offer a variety of games and exercises based on the vocabulary and you can browse other people's flashcard sets. 
      • Memrise is a novel way to learn vocabulary, by associating vivid memories.
    • Screenr lets you record 5-minute screencasts for free and without installing extra software. Your walk-through video can then be downloaded or embedded into your own pages.
    • Moodle for Language Teaching (moodle is what underlies this University's Study Direct)
      • Nanogong is a free add-on which adds voiceboard capabilities and allows audio assignments. 
    • Edublogs
    • Russell Stannard's Teacher Training Videos is full of walkthroughs with various online tools, inspiring ideas and useful links.

    Authoring

    • Languages Online Game Makers are downloadable step-by-step 'templates' that allow students and teachers to create interactive language tasks and games using their own text, pictures or voice recordings in any language. They include a Tetris variant as well as the more conventional matching and memory games. From the Australian state of Victoria's Dept of Education & Training.
    • Hot Potatoes is an authoring suite (requires installing on your PC or Mac) for making web-based interactive teaching materials: multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises.
    • The Language Menu has a selection of worksheet generators, clipart and bilingual materials (in 14 languages), plus some interactive exercises. Games include bingo, word spiral and split words. A collaboration between several Scandinavian organisations.
    • MakeBeliefsComix - create comic strips online with students
    • Discovery Puzzlemaker enable teachers to generate puzzles (crosswords, word searches and more unusual types of word puzzle) which can be used online or printed off. There are also tools for making online quizzes, and for printed worksheets (includes some ready-made).
    • Type a word into Spellr and see it spelled out in images.

    • For copyright-free pictures and media to use when authoring, see our Links for Teachers page.

    Organisations and Journals

    • EUROCALL is the European Association for Computer Assisted Language Learning, which runs the ReCALL journal - available online for Sussex students and staff.
    • CALICO (Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium) is a professional US organisation for those interested in language education and technology, with a respected journal (not subscribed at Sussex).
    • JALT CALL SIG is the Japanese equivalent (with a free online journal). 
    • Language Learning & Technology is a web-based academic journal focusing on how the use of technology impacts the process of teaching and learning languages, reporting developments in research and teaching practices.
    • System is an international journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, which can be accessed online at the University of Sussex.
    • Computer Assisted Language Learning - another prominent international journal to which Sussex subscribes.
    • CALL-EJ Online is an electronic journal on computers and language education from Japan and Australia.

    Interesting

    • Google Books Ngram Viewer instantly allows you to graph comparative word/phrase frequency over time, in a variety of languages. Powerful advanced options.

    Old projects

    • ICT4LT (Information and Communications Technology for Language Teachers) is a web-based training course with the emphasis on language teaching methodologies that can be implemented successfully with the aid of new technologies.
    • Joe Dale's blog Integrating ICT into the MFL classroom.
    • The Language Learning and Technology International (LLTI) email list is one of the most venerable means of information exchange and debate among those interested in language learning technology - searching the archives of the discussions can be useful. It has close ties with the American International Association for Language Learning Technology (IALLT), which publishes a journal and a range of monographs.
    • Internet Activities for Foreign Language Classes - worksheets for students to complete while accessing the referenced web sites.
    • MeLLANGE is a consortium devising a methodology for the collaborative creation of corpus-based e-Learning teaching content in translation, language resource management and technology. It eventually aims to coordinate MA programmes in these fields.
    • DELPHI - Developing Language Professionals in Higher Education Institutions offers web-based staff development materials for language teaching, completely free of charge to anyone teaching in UK higher education.
    • Language Learning Centre blog
    • The Virtual CALL Library 
  • Resources for teachers
    • Language Box is a bank of language teaching resources, which you can contribute to: store, manage and publish your teaching resources on the web. It's a repository for Open Educational Resources (OERs), enabling us to share handouts, exercises, podcasts, videos etc.
      • LORO from the Open University is a very similar repository, also using EdShare as a platform.
    • It's often useful to incorporate pictures and video into teaching material, online and offline:
      • Photos for Class is a good first stop, as it embeds a citation in images from Flickr (Creative Commons).
      • Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon is a searchable database of images for using in teaching foreign languages - don't miss Pictolang which makes games based on these.
      • The REALIA Project is a similar resource.
      • Language Teaching Clipart from the University of Victoria; and more clip art aimed at language teachers.
      • Search Creative Commons is a general-purpose multi-site search for images, music and video which you can legally use.
        • Wikimedia Commons is similar
        • This link to Google Images has been pre-set to search only for images which free to use, share or modify (even commercially); you can do this yourself using Search Tools at the top of any image search results page.
      • Pixabay offers public domain images - no attribution necessary. Unsplash specialises in large copyright-free photos - mostly inspiring landscapes, good for backgrounds and banners (you have to rely on serendipity, it's not searchable). Gratisography is similar (less emphasis on landscapes), or try morgueFile.
      • High-quality image collections from a useful blog post at Open Education Database.
    • And for videos, try searching on JISC MediaHub and EdMediaShare as well as the usual suspects (YouTube, Vimeo etc)
      • JISC Digital Media offers advice for the UK HE community on the use of still/moving images and sound.
      • Video for All is an EC-funded project bringing together current digital video ideas and innovative practices for teaching and learning languages.
    • Telecollaboration is a rewarding use of the Internet for language classes, 'e-pals' or 'key pals' by email, blogs or synchronous meetings.
    • The BBC have an area on their site dedicated to their language programmes, including lots of interactive material and transcripts, and a section for tutors.
      • The BBC's commercial arm BBC Active publish their packaged courses, and have a Teachers' Club where you can sign up for a genuinely useful monthly email newsletter which ranges far beyond their materials.
    • Languages without Limits supports language teachers in their efforts to make effective provision for learners of all abilities, including dyslexic, deaf or autistic learners, for instance. 
    • Resources in Language Testing including reviews and a database of journal articles on the subject.
    • Online Books Page at the University of Pennsyvania is a good starting point for browsing the treasure trove of online literature - there's a list of links to foreign language repositories.

    Organisations and Journals

    See also individual language links pages for organisations, journals and mailing lists specific to a particular language - lots are listed on our page for EFL teachers.

    • AULC, the Association of University Language Centres for the UK and Ireland - a member of CercleS, the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education.
    • UCML (University Council of Modern Languages) is the national organisation which represents the interests of modern languages, linguistics and cultural and area studies in higher education.
    • ALL (the Association for Language Learning) is the UK's major subject association for those involved in teaching modern foreign languages, whilst REAL is the European Network of Language Teacher Associations, with a rich website well worth exploring.
    • ECML is the European Centre for Modern Languages, a Council of Europe institution aiming to promote excellence in language education and catalyse reform in the teaching and learning of languages.
    • Matsda - the Materials Development Association includes printable teaching materials and articles from their newsletter, Folio.
    • UK University Language Centres - actually the AULC member list but most are there, complete with links to their web pages.
      • LRC Project was an EU-funded project run from CILT which still has a useful Language Resource Centre handbook available.
    • FLTEACH (Foreign Language Teaching Forum) is an e-mail discussion list; searchable archives are available on the web.

    • Language Learning Journal is the research journal from ALL, and provides a forum for scholarly contributions on current aspects of foreign language and teaching. LLJ is an international, peer-reviewed journal that is intended for an international readership, including foreign language teachers, language teacher educators, researchers and policy makers. Sussex is a subscriber and can access content online.
    • Language Learning in Higher Education is the journal from CercleS, dedicated to disseminating the best results of research activities carried out at language centres and higher education departments.
    • Language Teaching Research journal publishes work related to the teaching of any second language (including English), including issues concerned with programme, syllabus and materials design, methodology, the teaching of specific skills and language for specific purposes.
    • Modern Language Journal is a refereed publication for teachers and researchers of all modern foreign languages and English as a second language.
    • Language Teaching journal - (or rather, "international research resource for language professionals") provides an overview of research in the field of second-language teaching and learning, offering critical survey articles of recent research on specific topics.
    • Applied Linguistics publishes research into language with relevance to real world problems.
    • Journal of Second Language Writing publishes theoretically grounded reports of research and discussions of central issues in second and foreign language writing and writing instruction.

    • Yazik Open lists thousands of articles of open-access language research. 
    • Modern Languages Open is a peer-reviewed platform (from Liverpool University Press) for the open access publication of research from across the modern languages to a global audience.

    • eBooks - the University Library subscribes to various collections, many of which are listed on their guide to e-books but it's also worth checking the EBL collection which includes many Language and Linguistics eBooks from publishers such as Taylor & Francis, Wiley etc.

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