Don’t want to do a language module? Let us change your mind!

So you’re not taking a language module with the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP). Don’t have enough time? Bad school experience? Already know multiple languages? Whatever your reason, read on to find out why you should seize the opportunity to do a language module after all. We’ve spoken to students across the University to find out the most common reasons why they haven’t picked a language module alongside their main degree modules. Is your reason on the list? Let us change your mind!


1. I didn’t know I could do a language module!
Yes you can! Our modules are open to all students in all years, undergraduate and postgraduate. We offer 10 languages at multiple levels. To find out more, visit our website.


2. I don’t have enough time! I’ve already got enough to do!
Most of our students do the module for credit. Credit modules fit into your existing timetable and credit allowance, not on top. You effectively exchange a degree-related optional module for a language module.

The most common positive feedback we get from students is that they really enjoy the variety that the IWLP module gives them: the changes in pace of class, the class environment, peers, assessment and homework style. Students have fun in their classes and learn useful things every lesson, which makes them feel more motivated and less like they are working hard. In fact, a third of our students are busy finalists, like Bella.

Once you leave university, you will be busy working, and fitting in learning a new language from scratch will be hard – university is the best time to seize the opportunity while it still fits into your weekly timetable.


3. I didn’t like it at school! I wasn’t good at it at school!

At the IWLP, we cater specifically for non-specialist language learners, so we know how to make the course work for you and how to help you find what works for you. Our courses have been running for years with experienced teachers, with proven successful results – we have students of all abilities and empower them all to succeed.

Our classes are also capped at 20, which means that your teacher gets to know you quickly and can respond to your needs. Everyone in the classroom has chosen the module and is engaged and willing to learn, which improves the learning experience for everyone.


4. I already know multiple languages!
Amazing! 😊 Why not expand your horizons even further? Think of the new places you can visit and the new people you can meet. No-one has ever regretted learning a new language. Many of our own teachers are multilingual – some know as many as five or six languages. When it comes to language learning, the sky is the limit!


5. I don’t have any optional modules left!
Even if you don’t have optional modules left, you can take our modules as a non-credit student for a small fee. You do the same course, but it is additional to your full credit timetable. We have many non-credit students every year and they are just as successful as credit students. Find out more here.


Convinced? Visit our website to find out more.

Already picked your modules for next year? You may still be able to transfer onto one of our modules. Email us today:

Or don’t have any optional modules available? You can still take a module non-credit for a fee:

Any questions? Email us:


8 great reasons to take a language module

The Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) modules are open to all students and we would love you join us in the classroom! Not sure about signing up? Check out our list of 8 great reasons to learn a language and see if we can change your mind.


1. You’ll never have a better opportunity to do it.

Once you graduate, you will have lots of pressure on your time, but our language modules fit into your usual timetable and credit allowance. Take the chance now, just like Rhiannon and Annie did.


2. There are so many options to choose from.

We offer 10 languages: Arabic, British Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Modern Greek, Russian and Spanish.


3. You can re-start a language you had to drop in the past.

Many of our students have studied to GCSE or A-Level but had to stop. All languages have multiple levels, so you can pick back up something you started in the past, like Olga, as well as learn a new language, like Phoebe.


4. You learn a practical skill.

From your first day in the classroom, you will be using the language. We aim for communicative competence and confidence in manipulating the language, so even beginner students can use the language for travel, like Yagmur and Darcey, or for communicating with friends and family, like Iyla. Emily even found herself using Spanish at work in Ascot! And that’s not to mention the new worlds of film, television and music you open up.


5. You will meet people from all over the Uni.

IWLP classes are open to all students from all degrees and year parts. In our interactive, friendly classes you will quickly get to know your fellow students and make new connections as you practise together – even if you are nervous about meeting new people, like Beth.


6. You will enrich your university experience.

Students often worry that they don’t have time to learn a language as well as their main degree, but our modules slot into your credit allocation. Students enjoy the change of pace and way of thinking in an IWLP module, which gives them variety overall, keeps their studies interesting and boosts their motivation – in fact, this positive aspect of language learning is in nearly all our student testimonials!


7. Your language can take you places you never expected.

Bella found that doing German directly influenced the film she chose to study for her dissertation. After learning Chinese, Giang travelled on an exchange programme to Nanjing and Morgan decided to do an internship in Taiwan. And Esmé’s future career was decided by taking BSL.


8. You will learn something that will stay with you forever.

IWLP modules equip you with the passion, practical skills and confidence to continue your language learning journey outside of the classroom. You will remain a lifelong language learner, even after you have graduated.
No-one has ever wished that they hadn’t learnt a new language!


Convinced? Visit our webpage.

Already picked your modules for next year? You may still be able to transfer onto one of our modules. Email us today:

Or don’t have any optional modules available? You can still take a module non-credit for a fee:

Any questions? Email us:


First Year Student at WriteAUT prize giving in London


Emily Woodall (1st year German) and UoR-OEAD lecturer Elisabeth Koenigshofer
Pictures: © Elisabeth Koenigshofer

On 24th April 2018, the Austrian Cultural Forum in London awarded students from British and Irishuniversities the first WriteAUT literary prize.


Last week, the Austrian Cultural Forum in London invited all competitors and their OEAD lecturers to the prize giving ceremony of the first WriteAUT literary prize. This prize was initiated by OEAD lecturers in Great Britain and Ireland, with a trip to Vienna as its first prize and many books, CDs, and films for all other participants, sponsored by the City of Vienna, OEAD, the Austrian Ministry of Education and the Austrian Cultural Forum.


Competitors and lecturers on the balcony of the Austrian Cultural Forum in London
© Elisabeth Koenigshofer


The competition was open to German language university students across Great Britain and Ireland and seventeen texts were entered.Students had to write a literary text of any format or style for the topic “2018 – Jahr der Erinnerung / 2018 – Year of Remembrance” to commemorate various jubilees such as the centenary of the birth of the first Austrian Republic, the Anschluss 1938, or the 1968 student revolutions. 17 Texts entered the competition, amongst them one by University of Reading student Emily Woodall (first year German).

A jury of experts then chose the winner and another first prize was awarded for the audience favourite. Members of the public were able to read and to vote for all texts via and more than 1,000 people participated in the vote. Iona Charter’s “Werte Entwindet” (University of Leeds) and Conor Gleeson’s “Achtung!” (Trinity College Dublin) won the competition.

Prizes for competitors
© Elisabeth Koenigshofer

The ceremony started with opening remarks from OEAD Lecturers Judith (University of Leeds) and Annelise (University College Dublin) and representatives of the Austrian Cultural Forum. Iona and Conor read their winner texts to the fascinated audience and the afternoon was complete with drinks and the opportunity to mingle with German students from various universities.



Emily, our University of Reading participant, saw

WriteAUT magazine
© Elisabeth Koenigshofer

the competition as an opportunity to revive her love for creative writing, combining it with her interest in the German language. Her modern fairy tale “Ein Märchen der Revolutionen” can be read in the MLES Resources room in the WriteAUT magazine or online at



We look forward to next year’s competition.

FAUST – German Studies Theatre Trip

German students and lectures

On Thursday, 16th March 2017, our first and second year German Studies students went to see FAUST X2 at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury.

The play provided an interesting mix of Goethe’s and Marlowe’s versions of the tragedy of Dr Faust, whose unsettling story has fascinated and shocked readers and theatre enthusiasts throughout the centuries.

Heinrich Faust, a genius and scholar, is driven by never-ending need to stimulate the senses and experience the unknown. Consequently, he becomes a very powerful wizard and is able to summon spirits and demons who obey him and  fulfill his dreams. Eventually, he summons the strongest of all, Mephisto. Mephisto – the devil himself – is willing to form a pact with the greedy scholar but not without a prize. If Mephisto wins the love of Gretchen – the most innocent and beautiful women who ever treaded the earth, he will receive Faust’s soul in exchange. Faust willingly agrees and so the tragedy begins.

Ian Diarmid played a fabulous, tormented Faust, who has been rarely presented as the old man which he would have considered during the time
when the story was written.

He is supported by Jacques Miche as a cunning Mephisto who allows Faust to use his body as an alter ego, and Daisy Fairclough who convincingly plays the innocent maid Gretchen that suffers a lethal fall from grace by falling for Faust’s desires.

Intriguing music and sound effects added to a very exciting theatre experience for students and staff alike. Overall, it was a very successful and fascinating evening.

Chris Flach – Award for extraordinary enthusiasm in engaging with and supporting MLES.

JackChris Flach, Second year student of Law with Legal Studies in Europe and German Studies, was awarded for his extraordinary enthusiasm in engaging with and supporting the Department of Modern Languages and European Studies. Throughout his two years at Reading, he showed his enormous interest, dedication and commitment for the German language in particular and the Department as a whole by promoting Modern Languages as a student ambassador, being involved in Outreach and Teach meet events, creating a departmental video workshop, playing a leading role in the German Drama Group and being actively engaged in all other extracurricular events and activities of German Studies. The Department has highly appreciated his outstanding support and is wishing him the best of luck for his year abroad at the University of Trier in Germany.