Networks and cooperation
The Language Centre is a member of CercleS, the federation of European language centres. CercleS organizes various events, such as a biennial conference. In 2014, the Language Centre held seven presentations at the conference in Fribourg, Switzerland. Articles based on the presentations held during the conferences are published in the series Language Learning in Higher Education.
Once a year, the directors of European language centres get together in Wulkow, Germany. These meetings often result in memoranda, which are distributed among the language centres via CercleS (Wulkow memorandum 2009-2013). The Language Centre was involved in memoranda on the following topics:
- Language centres within institutions of higher education in Europe;
- Quality assurance and quality management;
- Budget, resources and entrepreneurship;
- Staff recruitment, management and development.
European Language Council
The University of Groningen Language Centre is a member of the European Language Council: supporting Europe's language infrastructure, improving societal and individual multilingualism and promoting quality language learning.
The Language Centre is a member of the NUT, the association of Dutch-speaking university language centres in the Netherlands and Flanders. The NUT facilitates and promotes the exchange of knowledge and experiences among language centres. It also organizes annual theme meetings for directors and study days for teachers. We are active in the various theme groups within the NUT:
- Modern Foreign Languages theme group;
- Academic Skills theme group | Estelle Meima (English teacher, coordinator of the Language Centre Testing Unit);
- Intercultural Communication theme group;
- Translation service departments theme group | The translation departments take it in turns to organize the annual Terminology Day for Dutch-speaking university translation service departments;
- Directors’ theme group.
Brno Masaryk University / Guest lectures and exchange
From 2012 to 2015, Language Centre teachers Ruben Comadina Granson and Marcus Grollman held a number of guest lectures as part of the IMPACT project. The project, organized by Brno Masaryk University (Czech Republic) helps enable teachers in Brno to assess their own academic English proficiency based on the Common European Framework of Reference.
Every year, one to three teachers from Brno visit the Language Centre in Groningen through an Erasmus exchange to learn about our teaching methods and organization.
DUO & UAF | Civic integration courses
The increasing intake of refugees and refugee students has resulted in more and more people finding their way to the Language Centre for Dutch lessons as part of their civic integration process. The Language Centre has joined forces with the education Executive Agency (DUO: Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs) and the Foundation for Refugee Students UAF to expand the range of language courses and match them to the specific requirements of this group.
The volume of Dutch teaching to refugees increased significantly in 2015, in line with the numbers of refugees coming to the Netherlands, particularly from Syria. In order to help refugees who cannot take courses with us in person, we have drawn the successful Introduction to Dutch MOOC to the attention of asylum seekers’ centres. We have also sought contact with Vluchtelingenwerk and the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) through various channels.
Every year, Language Centre English teachers teach courses in English presentation and writing skills to students of the University of Osaka in Japan. Every summer we offer an English Appetizer Course to two groups of ten Japanese students who visit Groningen as part of a study exchange programme
Humanitas | Refugees
In addition to teaching, the Language Centre also participates in various other activities for refugees. Dutch teacher Birgit Lijmbach gives workshops for language volunteers at the charity Humanitas who support refugees in the language-learning process. Birgit gives the volunteers tips for coaching language learners. The Language Centre now provides this support to Humanitas language volunteers on an annual basis.
The Language Centre is also involved in the University of Groningen initiative ‘The University of Groningen welcomes you’, which aims to introduce refugees to the city, the University and the Dutch language, as well as to Dutch habits, in order to make them feel welcome.
International Welcome Center North (IWCN) | Expats
The Language Centre is a partner of the International Welcome Center North (IWCN), an organization for expats living in the provinces of Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe. The IWCN helps them with government formalities, provides general information and tips and organizes social activities. The Language Centre supports and promotes these initiatives and offers its services to international people.
Café de las Lenguas
Café de las Lenguas was founded on the initiative of the Language Centre in 2011, and has grown into a successful languages café attracting no fewer than 40-50 participants every week. The language café helps you to keep your languages up-to-date in an informal setting. For example Spanish, French, German, English, Italian, Arabic and Chinese are spoken here every week. Café de las Lenguas takes place every Thursday evening between 7 and 9 pm at the canteen at the first floor of the Harmony building.
|Last modified:||08 July 2021 2.07 p.m.|