Students Staff

24 July 2013

University of Essex languages programme wins prestigious award

The University of Essex’s Languages for All programme has won the European Language Label 2013, for being an innovative language-learning project.

Languages for All is an institution wide language programme, run by the Essex Language Centre within the University’s Department of Language and Linguistics. The programme offers all students at Essex the chance to study a language alongside, but completely separate to, their main course and at no extra cost. Study can be done flexibly, either in the evening or, uniquely, online.

The European Language Label is an award for innovative language-learning projects. It rewards creative ways to improve the quality of language teaching, motivate learners and maximise available resources. To be successful, projects must demonstrate creative thinking and lead to improved teaching provision and learner achievement. They must be innovative, effective and replicable by others in the UK and abroad.

European Languages Label

European Languages Label

Alex Burdumy, Languages for All Co-ordinator said : “We are delighted to have won this award. The academic year 2012 - 2013 was the programme’s pilot year, with 600 students completing the course. Winning shows us that we are already succeeding in putting on a great programme that provides language skills to a wide variety of learners, that features many innovative aspects and increases employability. The award will help us to raise awareness of the programme further and encourage more young people at the University of Essex to learn a foreign language through one of our strands. Our aim is not to stand still, but to keep thinking about how our programme can continually evolve for the benefits of learners, which is in line with the University’s stance on research-led teaching.”

Nick Byrne, Director of the Language Centre at the London School of Economics and the judge who visited the Languages for All programme, said : “The project takes the idea of making language learning both desirable and feasible for all students. Rather than offering a series of disparate courses which are not presented as an institution-wide relevant whole, the Essex Language Centre brings together an innovative one-stop approach backed by the University at the highest level."

The award will be presented to the team from Essex at a ceremony at the EU Commission Office in London on Thursday 26 September 2013.


Note to Editors:

For more information please contact Catherine McDonald, Faculty Communications Officer, Faculty of Social Sciences on 07515 116547 or

The European Language Label was, until 2010, known in the UK as the European Award for Languages. It’s part of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), the European Union’s flagship programme for collaboration in the field of education and training. The national agency responsible for the implementation of the LLP in the UK is Ecorys and the Department for Education provides funding to manage the European Language Label within the UK. The European Language Label in the UK is managed by CfBT on behalf of Ecorys within the EC funded Tranversal Programme.

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