Global Challenge Pathway: Languages and Intercultural Awareness

There are four routes within the Languages & Intercultural Awareness pathway, so that you can either specialise in a language, develop skills to teach English as a Foreign Language, or examine language, culture, and identity. But all four routes will provide you with the key, transferable skills which will enable you to understand and interact effectively with different cultures, and importantly, these are skills which we know will enhance employability.

We recognise that, as global citizens, you are involved in communicating in new ways on a global scale. As we move to an ever more interconnected world, we all have a need to blend in and move seamlessly across cultures, either in person or virtually. Intercultural awareness now requires an understanding of how languages work within and across cultures. For example, one day you may need to engage in online discussions with a colleague in Spain, send emails to a partner organisation in Beijing, or you may want to spend a year Teaching English as a Second Language in Japan, Thailand, or Greece. In fact the need for language and intercultural understanding was highlighted in a 2021 House of Lords report which noted that skills in these areas are highly valued by employers who see them as vital for a Global Britain.

If students choose the Languages & Intercultural Awareness pathway, they will have a secondary choice of four pathways to select from. These are:

The Language Specialist - Pathway 1

This pathway allows students to specialise in a particular language and, when combined with their programme options, will enable them to graduate with an enhanced degree title.

You can either start any of our languages from absolute beginner, or pick up and continue from where you left off earlier. Perhaps you have already done a couple of years of Spanish, or you may have GCSE German or A-Level French - you will be able to start at that level and carry on developing your language skills.

We currently offer French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Italian and British Sign Language. For British Sign Language you will be eligible to take the nationally recognised ‘Signature’ Exams.

If you complete all three years of your undergraduate degree you may be eligible to graduate with an enhanced degree title with the designation of ‘with competency / advanced competency in e.g. French’.

The Trinity College (London) Certificate in TESOL - Pathway 2

This pathway will train students to teach English as a Foreign language and provide them with an additional, globally-recognised English language teaching qualification.

This route offers the Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. This leads to the Trinity College London Certificate in TESOL which means that students will get an additional, internationally recognised teaching qualification as well as their Keele degree. It’s a lot of fun – you don’t need to speak a foreign language and you get to work with Keele international students as well as students from partner universities in Japan, and with asylum seekers and refugees through our contacts with local charities.

Keele has been running this programme for twenty years and our graduates have used this qualification to work in countries all over the world including Japan, Thailand, Italy, China, Brazil, Spain, and more.

The Language Taster - Pathway 3

The pathway offers you the chance to explore a new language every year. This will allow you to develop a broad appreciation of different language families and enable you to engage in basic communication whilst also providing a window into diverse cultures around the world.

Please note: British Sign Language is not available on this pathway.

The Intercultural Explorer - Pathway 4

This pathway allows you to explore different cultures across the globe and gain an understanding of intercultural communication. Intercultural communication is a necessary part of today’s world, whether in business, research, the media, or everyday life and it has been identified by both the UK Government and employers as a key transferable skill. We look at how language works in society, both within a specific culture and when these cultures interact. For example, you can examine international and intercultural business transactions, or look at how language can impact on diplomacy.

Please note that not all students will be able to become a language specialist; please see the Language Centre web pages for further information about the routes, and your course page to check for eligibility for Languages.