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Certificate of Higher Education in Language Studies - Learning outcomes

Educational aims

This certificate offers a broad grounding in key concepts associated with languages and intercultural communication. You study a range of modern languages, including French, German, and Spanish, where you gain a sound knowledge of the basic concepts associated with language study. You can learn one or two foreign languages or develop your academic communication skills in English. 

On completing the qualification, you will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately in one or more languages at the level required by most employers (at least one language will be at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). You will have learned to reflect on your own and others’ beliefs and behaviours in intercultural encounters, and you will have learned how to take different approaches to solving cultural misunderstandings. You will also have gained and practiced many professional qualities needed for employment, including the skills for working successfully in a multicultural and international environment, the ability to work independently, and the ability to gather, process and present information. 

Your study experience will be equivalent to the first year of a full-time degree and will provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, to help you progress to study at OU level 2. This certificate provides a pathway to the BA (Honours) Language Studies (Q30). 


Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to:

  • communicate appropriately, with some accuracy and fluency with competent speakers of at least one foreign language in familiar or everyday contexts including some job-related ones
  • demonstrate growing knowledge and understanding of aspects of the societies of the countries where the language studied is spoken
  • show developing intercultural competence, including an awareness of the role that language plays in intercultural encounters. 

Cognitive skills

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to:

  • use appropriate reading and listening strategies to make sense of a range of written, spoken and multimodal texts, both in English and in the foreign language(s)
  • produce texts of different types, both orally and in writing, following genre or context-specific structures and conventions both in English and in the foreign language(s).

Practical and/or professional skills

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to:

  • develop an awareness of the impact of global and cultural factors on people and communities, in particular on their language and cultural practices
  • develop an awareness of the skills needed for working successfully in a multicultural and international environment
  • gather and process information from a variety of paper, audio-visual and electronic sources, including sources in different languages
  • work independently, scheduling tasks and managing time effectively
  • edit and correct your own work, in English and in the foreign language(s). 

Key skills

On completion of this certificate, you will be able to:

  • gather, select and evaluate information or data from different sources including electronic media
  • develop your skills in communicating information in English accurately and appropriately for your subject, purpose and audience
  • develop your skills in communicating in a foreign language in everyday or familiar situations, accurately and appropriately for your purpose and audience, including the use some effective strategies to monitor and repair communication (e.g. requesting repetition or clarification)
  • reflect on and respond to feedback in order to improve the effectiveness of written and spoken communication
  • recognise and use effective learning strategies and information and communication technologies as appropriate
  • perform team work and develop your problem-solving abilities (through study activities that require this mode of working). 

Teaching, learning and assessment methods

You will gain knowledge and understanding of languages and cultures, and of intercultural competence through the study of published distance learning materials in a range of media: module guide, books, audio, video and online materials, assessment guides, and oral and written feedback on assignments, as well as by participation in online group tutorials. 

Learning outcomes are assessed by means of spoken and written assignments requiring some understanding of written or spoken stimuli and of relevant cultural information.