Statement on delivery of teaching in SLCL for the Autumn Trimester 2020-21

The School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics is aware of the challenging and, in many ways, still unpredictable situation for teaching and learning in the autumn trimester. 

While we would very much prefer to see everyone in the classrooms and corridors of our School and in our offices, some of our teaching formats would not provide students with the best educational experience under the current health guidelines and restrictions on room capacity.  We are also aware of the challenging circumstances in which many students find themselves. Health concerns, difficult commutes, family responsibilities, and financial constraints might all make it difficult for students to attend classes on campus for some or all of the trimester. 

While the autumn trimester might therefore look somewhat different to what you would have envisaged, we are still committed to providing the best learning experience that we can under the circumstances. 

With this in mind, our teaching in the autumn will be guided by the following principles:

Undergraduate

For the autumn trimester 2020, we will prioritise the online delivery of most of our teaching, with face-to-face components in some modules where this is of particular educational value and where space restrictions allow. 

Where teaching is moved online, this will be clear from students’ timetables. Where teaching is envisaged to take place in the classroom on campus, this will also be clearly indicated. The details of the teaching format in each module will be communicated clearly by module coordinators on Brightspace at the start of the module.

For reasons of inclusivity, the content of any face-to-face components will be made accessible to students who cannot attend.

All synchronous teaching – both online in the virtual classroom and on campus – is based on the university timetable. Additional extra-curricular activities may be added to enhance the students’ on-campus experience.

In our modules, we will place a particular focus on supporting student engagement and community building, both online and in classrooms – therefore, interaction between students, and between lecturers/tutors and students, will form a substantial part of all teaching.

Students will be given ample opportunity to have contact with their lecturers and tutors outside the classroom, either individually or in small groups. This will be facilitated by additional consultation hours, both virtually and in lecturers’ offices.

Postgraduate

Modules in the MA in Modern Languages will be available online in both trimesters. Where face-to-face contact is offered (in the spring trimester and in compatibility with health advice), this will be supplementary to core teaching arrangements which will continue to be available for all-online study

We are currently planning to deliver core modules in the MA Linguistics and Applied Linguistics using a blended approach with a strong face-to-face component, health advice permitting. Option modules will be delivered using either a face-to-face or blended mode, depending on module size. Extracurricular activities will be delivered blended and face-to-face.

The annual SLCL postgraduate conference will take place online on 16 September 2020. 

While COVID-19 restrictions remain in place, SLCL will continue to run a weekly online check-in for all postgraduate students, including talks by guest speakers and informal talks by SLCL academic colleagues.

Timetable for teaching, learning and assessment for Autumn 2020

ALL STAGES UG/PG EXCEPT INCOMING STAGE ONE

Dates

Trimester Structure

Mon. 21 Sep. – Fri. 23 Oct.

Formal teaching (five weeks)

Mon. 26 Oct. – Fri. 30 Oct

Reading/assessment (one week)

Mon. 2 Nov. – Fri. 4 Dec.

Formal teaching (five weeks)

Mon. 7 Dec. – Wed. 23 Dec.

Assessment

INCOMING UG STAGE ONE ONLY

Dates

Trimester Structure

Mon. 28 Sep.* – Fri. 23 Oct.

Formal teaching (four* weeks)

Mon. 26 Oct. – Fri. 30 Oct

Reading/assessment (one week)

Mon. 2 Nov. – Fri. 4 Dec.

Formal teaching (five weeks)

Mon. 7 Dec. – Wed. 23 Dec.

Assessment

*Note the later start date and the reduced number of weeks of formal teaching for incoming Stage One students