Independent language learning

You can access free learning material and advice for independent language study at the Language Zone.

The Language Zone has temporarily moved into Michael Sadler Building, room 2.29. We will be open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, and are planning to move back into our space in the Parkinson Building in November. More information is available on Minerva.

The Language Zone gives you access to free resources to help you learn a language. It is open to all students at Leeds and provides learning material in more than 50 languages. We're located on the second floor of the Parkinson Building. Just bring along your student ID to borrow items. 

We have a computer cluster for personal study and books, magazines, audio and video resources to help you learn a language. Check what you can access on the library's online catalogue.

Workshops and activities

We have a range of workshops, language groups and advice drop-ins to help you study. You can find details of our events, such as Conversation Club, on our Minerva pages.

If you require one-to-one language support, you can book an appointment through Skills@Library. You can find more details on how to book an appointment on their web pages.

Language Exchange

    The Language Exchange allows language learners to get in touch with native speakers, offering conversation and practice in their own language in exchange for practice in their target language. Find out more about the Language Exchange.

Rosetta Stone

    The University offers you free access to the interactive Rosetta Stone software to get you started on your language learning journey. The software allows you to learn online and on-the-go via mobile devices. If you are a new user, have a look at our set-up guide.
    The Language Zone runs weekly drop-in sessions to help you with language learning and Rosetta Stone, on Tuesdays 12-1pm and Thursdays 1-2pm. You can also join the conversation on Yammer.

Language Groups Programme

Language Groups meet regularly to practise the language they are learning. In the next semester we are planning to run language groups for:

  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Spanish

Language Groups are led by students who are native speakers of the language. They facilitate friendly relaxed conversation sessions on topics such as student life and cross-cultural experience.

This is a great way to meet new people who share your passion for learning languages, and a chance to learn things about a language and culture you might not find in textbooks and formal language classes.

Join a Language Group 

If you're interested in joining a group, please complete an online application form by the deadline of 5pm on Wednesday 30 October.

The language groups are available to students whose language levels is GCSE/CEFR B1 or higher. For a useful explanation of these levels, please visit Please ensure that you have an appropriate language level to participate in the group. You will need to be able to:

  • understand the main points on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  • deal with most spoken situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken
  • produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest
  • describe experiences, events, dreams, hopes and ambitions, and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

If you have any questions about this opportunity or would like to discuss which language opportunity is most suitable for your current language level, please visit the Language Zone or email

Language Group application forms

After you have completed your application, if we are able to match you with a group, we will let you know by email as soon as possible. If we are unable to match you to a group, we will let you know, add you to a waiting list, and contact you if any further spaces become available. Places in the groups are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so apply early.

Become a leader of a Language Group 

As a volunteer Language Group Leader, you will receive training and support to help other students develop their skills in your language. This is a chance to use and develop your interpersonal skills and creativity, and to gain cultural awareness useful for teaching and group facilitation, whilst making a positive impact on others.

Leaders need to commit to attending two training sessions and can choose to work as an individual or with a co-leader to create and facilitate five one-hour language group sessions during the semester.

Applications for semester 1 Language Group leaders are now closed. Applications for semester 2 will open towards the end of term 1. 

If you have any questions about this opportunity, you can contact the Language Zone by email


Tandem@Leeds is a one-to-one language learning project. It matches two students who are learning each other’s language so that they can help each other to improve their language skills and develop a better understanding of each other’s culture. To be a success, both learners need to take responsibility for the partnership.

If you’re interested in learning more about the culture and are not learning the language, you can apply to be a partner. We particularly welcome applications from speakers of English in order to meet the demand for Tandem partners.

Who can take part?

You must be a University of Leeds student and ideally have some knowledge of the language you want to improve.

How does it work?

You commit to eight meetings over the semester or academic year. You meet your Tandem partner probably on a weekly basis, focusing on one language for the first half of the meeting and on the other language in the second half. You each decide what you want to focus on and what you would like to improve.

You build up a reflective diary which includes your language learning goals, evidence of each meeting and evidence of your learning both in terms of the language and your cultural awareness. This can include audio, video or written evidence of learning. The reflective diary is assessed on a pass or fail basis. If your diary meets the assessment requirements, you will receive a certificate of successful completion.

How do I get involved?

If you’re learning a language and would like to improve your language skills and help someone who is learning your language, you can register as a learner. If you are not learning a language but would like to help someone who is learning yours, you can register as a partner.

Please fill out an application formYou can email for more information.

Opening times

Term time

Monday - Thursday 9am - 8pm

Friday 9am - 5pm

Saturday 11am - 5pm

Out of term time

Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm