The Language Centre opened in 1980 as an independent university-wide service. It moved to its present well-equipped home at 12 Woodstock Road, near Somerville College, in 1992. For over thirty years, we have supported members of the University and Colleges who need foreign languages for study and research, for academic exchange, and for personal and professional development, through excellent library resources and a mixture of paid and free courses. Since 2000, the Language Centre has been part of Academic Services and University Collections, the grouping of libraries, museums and other service providers.
Foreign language skills and learning opportunities have historically been of crucial importance to the individual goals of both students and staff in study and research and are at the very heart of the university’s international strategy. In any one year, about 3,000 students and staff take courses in twelve foreign languages and English or use its library resources for independent study in any of the 190 languages on offer. During the Long Vacation, we run Pre-sessional English Language Courses for international students, especially those offered places at Oxford.
The Language Centre also promotes innovation and excellence in language teaching and learning through research, training and consultancy. We collaborate in and support initiatives within the University and outside to develop and encourage language learning as an essential element in a University education and as a key skill for lifelong learning. We enjoy particularly strong links with the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, with which we share Faculty Language Instructors and with the Department of Education through our contribution to the very successful MSc in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition.
You can learn more about the Language Centre in the video below.