Access UK, a video-based, interactive language programme for international students developed by Chris Copland and Huw Llewelyn-Jones from the Centre for English Language Teaching, has won a prestigious English-Speaking Union President’s Award. The Award, conferred by a national judging panel of publishing, English language teaching and design specialists, celebrates the use of technology in the teaching and learning of English, and will be presented at a special ceremony at the House of Lords on 12 February.
Developed with the support of a Rapid Response Fund grant and published by Clarity English, the programme prepares international students for a whole range of situations they may face in the UK. These include a visit to the doctor, sorting out visa problems, disputes with flat mates, personal safety in a UK city: essential input for a smooth transition to campus life. The focus is on language and guidance, with a particular emphasis on the spoken skills and vocabulary needed for practical and social situations. Challenges such as making friends, walking home late at night or dealing with a theft, are illustrated in a series of video scenes. Filmed in and around the University, the course gives learners access to authentic English and genuine situations, and the opportunity to bring this to life through active viewing.
The panel commented: ‘This is an innovative, multifaceted resource for making everyday life in UK less daunting for international students. Unlike many ELT resources, the developers weren’t afraid to use regional accents, and scenarios felt wholly natural.’
The Access UK video series is available to York students on the Welcome site for undergraduates in the section for international students and can be accessed directly at: https://www.york.ac.uk/celt/access-uk/