University of Hull Blended Learning System

Marie1 year ago4 min read

The University of Hull’s friendly, popular and attractive campus has seen the addition of several of  Sanako’s Study 1200 language labs over the past few months, heralding an exciting time for the provision of language teaching and learning. There are a number of languages on offer in a variety of combinations, with the staff of Modern Languages and Cultures forming part of the wider School of Histories, Languages and Cultures. The school’s blog highlights several success stories relating to language learning and teaching in Hull.

The University additionally offers places on its excellent MA Translation Studies, one of only a dozen postgraduate training programmes in the UK currently with European Commission (EMT) recognition. It is also home to the impressive Shoosmith Language Learning Centre. No surprise then to find that Professor Mozzon McPherson, Professor of Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching and Director of the Confucius Institute, will be using the new Sanako Study 1200 system both in her teaching and as part of the Institute’s innovative teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language.

Now, as 2018 unfolds, Hull is seeing another cycle of renewed energies and language learning projects. Key to that renewal is the arrival and deployment of the Sanako Study 1200 system with leadership and training from Sanako staff. Current interdisciplinary research is being developed around issues of culture shock at the level of a new institutional and transnational digital pathways project designed to forge connections between Modern Languages and Cultures, the Confucius Institute, and other research areas in the social and natural sciences. 

Other research is focussed on multilingualism and connected to the AHRC’s Open World Research Initiative. There is also accelerating dynamism in schools liaison across the East Riding of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire with, inter alia, an annual, inspirational, essay competition in Modern Languages and an annual Modern Languages teachers’ day.

Whilst it is still early days in the evolution of the new technology at the university, all initial signs look very promising. The software was installed on the university server allowing any room to become a language lab almost instantly. Students and staff alike can create and access exercise material, practice speaking and listening and even their pronunciation skills at will.

The Head of the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures, Professor Chris Harris, is rightly proud: “The School only came into being in 2016 and staff in Modern Languages and Cultures are already driving forward the existing traditions of excellence in language learning and teaching at Hull with new transnational configurations. Research in the area of global popular culture has always been a clustered strength, and Hull’s newly-founded Richard Hoggart Centre for Comparative Cultural Studies is an ideal home for staff, postgraduates and post-doctoral researchers to collaborate. Modern Languages staff are integrally involved”. 

In short, the vibrancy of the UK’s 2017 City of Culture truly remains palpable in Hull, and the time is definitely right for a new Sanako educational and technological partnership with the staff in Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hull.

The University invested in the Language Centre in 2017, when technical responsibility was internally passed from the department to the university wide IT team, there where some very strict requirements in place for the technology and its future developments. The university evaluated several  available products decided that SANAKO Study 1200 was by far the best option and deployed eight SANAKO Study 1200 language centres and one interpreting suite. All parts of the deployment are integrated to allow for a full roaming licence.

Professor Chris Harris, was delighted with Sanako systems as this allows for pronunciation practice with instant feedback. It also allows our department, along with the Confucious Institute, to create detailed subjective specific exercises to meet the University’s needs.