Northumbria University


David1 month ago2 min read

Seamless Blended Languages Learning throughout Lockdown

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. It is based in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, which is regularly voted the best place in the UK for students

The University has its origins in the Rutherford College, founded in 1880. Today, by putting students at the heart of an outstanding experience, and with world leading research and award-winning partnerships, Northumbria is a new kind of excellent university.

Northumbria is top ten in the UK for the number of graduates entering professional employment and nine out of ten of our graduates are working or studying six months after graduation.

At the Northumbria Language Centre  our Modern Foreign Languages provision has a long tradition of world-class teaching and has strong links to employers.

We offer a range of foreign language provision at different levels of study, which are separated into undergraduate degree level (joint degrees with Newcastle Business School) and individual credit-bearing modules in a range of languages which can be studied supplementary to your main degree programme. Our provision includes:

Joint degree programmes

Our joint degree programmes are delivered alongside Newcastle Business School and are contextualised in contemporary issues relating to business, social, political and cultural environments of the countries relevant to the language studied. These programmes offer full language and academic study in your chosen language as well as interpreting skills. Our joint undergraduate degree programmes are:

  • International Business with French BA (Hons)
  • International Business with Spanish BA (Hons)


Unilang (University-wide Languages For All)

We also offer a range of languages that can be studied as a credit-bearing option on credit-bearing modules on your existing degree programme.

Among the modules we currently offer are:

  • British Sign Language
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin Chinese

Advanced Modern Languages Teaching Technology

At Northumbria Language Centre we have always believed in providing our students with the very latest languages technology, they deserve the very best tools for the job to help them achieve the consistently high results obtained.

The Language Zone is located in the City Campus Library. It contains language learning resources for students learning English or for those studying Modern Foreign Languages.

A collaborative table and technology for group work Specialist Sanako software for language learning. In addition to The Language Zone, we also have four PC based Sanako language labs in the University that are dedicated to language teaching, with world-class facilities and software to complement your learning.


Language Teaching throughout COVID-19 Lockdown

When the UK wide lockdown was implemented in March 2020, we knew we had to find a way of ensuring that both our languages teaching and interpreter training lessons must continue, the question was how to best suit our student’s needs? We also had to take into account time differences for our international students, so any technology had to be capable of both synchronous and asynchronous operation on various devices, and of course GDPR compliant.

Like most institutions we investigated the large generic online systems, but wanted a dedicated online system for Modern Language and Interpreting, so we turned to our long standing languages technology partner Sanako UK.

They introduced to Sanako Connect, an online product specifically designed for modern languages and interpreting. Meeting all our requirements we quickly introduced Connect and it enabled continuous online teaching for our students.

With Sanako Connect we can run multiple classes simultaneously online, monitor and speak to students video a live audio and video stream, upload various types of exercise and even embed YouTube videos as exercise.

Additionally, the two channel recording system enables live interaction and simultaneous and consecutive interpreting activities which our student love.