UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


IMESS Languages

IMESS is very proud to offer an unparalleled range of training in the languages of Central and Eastern Europe.

IMESS places the use and learning of two European languages at the heart of its programme and is committed to continuing to develop best-practice methods of delivering language tuition alongside a robust and rigorous, discipline-based academic programme.

All students enrolling on the IMESS degree must either learn a new Central/Eastern European (CEE) language for one or two years (and the minimum of two terms), or improve on an existing language (generally available on beginners level in year 1 and beginners or intermediate level in year 2).

The main consortium languages are Czech, Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Russian and Serbian/Croatian, although, in certain circumstances (e.g. if a good research based case is made) other language options from the region (e.g. Ukrainian, Romanian, Bulgarian; as well as language on an Advanced level) may be offered.

In delivering our CEE language both the target language and English are used for instruction and examination according to the skill being developed or assessed, with the emphasis on increasing use of the target language. At beginners level, the programme focuses on i) grammatical understanding, ii) the development of reading and translation skills, and iii) elementary oral skills aimed at enabling the students to communicate in straightforward every-day and study-related situations. At intermediate level, greater attention is paid to developing productive speaking and writing skills in addition to enhancing aural and written comprehension.

Throughout the programme, language learning is supported by the institutional infrastructure of libraries and self-access language learning facilities. The language teachers themselves are academic experts, some with advanced research degrees in fields related to IMESS and all language courses provided are fully recognised as credit bearing modules. Our language teachers are involved in enormous numbers of innovative projects, promoting language learning and developing user friendly tools – most recently the CEELBAS Language Repository and the Language Box project.