An online course created by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (LCS) at Leeds has been chosen to be part of a three-course digital programme assisting UK based undergraduate students of Modern Languages whose year abroad has been disrupted by the pandemic.
The digital programme emerged from the ‘Year Abroad Special Interest Group’ formed by the University Council of Modern Languages (UCML) at the start of the pandemic. The group, comprising of representatives from 54 Modern Language departments across the UK, partnered with FutureLearn as they worked to find ways of mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on their students.
Aiming to address intercultural exchange from a range of angles, the UCML – FutureLearn programme includes ‘Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Language and Culture’ from Leeds, alongside ‘Working with Translation’ from Cardiff University and ‘Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching’ from the University of Southampton and the British Council.
Professor Peter Jimack, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education at the University of Leeds said:
The University of Leeds has been very alert to the plight of students locally and across the UK whose hopes of total cultural and linguistic immersion in their chosen language or languages have been disappointed by the travel restrictions enforced by the pandemic. So, we are delighted and proud to share the MOOC developed at Leeds by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, ‘Introduction to Intercultural Studies: Language and Culture’, with these students from across the sector. We would like to express our thanks to colleagues at UCML and the Digital Education Service at Leeds for their expertise and support in making this happen.
The chosen course from the University of Leeds is part of the Introduction to Intercultural Studies course collection, developed by academics from LCS and designed by the Digital Education Service. The course collection aims to support learners to appreciate other cultures and develop intercultural competence by exploring concepts of culture and interculturality.
Consisting of five courses, each exploring a different area of culture, the Introduction to Intercultural Studies collection is available to join for free on FutureLearn.
Regarding the course’s inclusion on the UCML-FutureLearn programme, Professor Neil Morris, Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Digital Transformation at the University of Leeds commented on Twitter:
The School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at Leeds is one of the largest and most diverse of its kind in the UK. It’s our pleasure to support them in delivering expert teaching to students all over the world through the medium of free-to-access digital education.