A Survey of Self-Access Foreign Language Centres in UK Higher Education Institutions: Format, Practices and Challenges in 2016




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title


Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal,



Peer reviewed



This article reports on the observations and conclusions derived from a project which assessed self-access foreign language centres (SALCs) in UK higher education institutions between 2014 and 2016. The objective was to obtain a comprehensive picture of their structure, format and practices and uncover their current and anticipated challenges. The latter point was of particular interest in order to provide various stakeholders with useful pointers to accompany their potential reflections on SALCs and their future. The first stage was to conduct a field investigation of eleven facilities consisting of a visit of the structure and an in-depth interview of the managing staff. The data comparison and analysis then identified a number of emerging key points, such as space, equipment, staffing, mission, activities, financial resources and current arising issues. The findings presented here confirm the very uneven format of these facilities and reveal that, although their pedagogical benefits are widely accepted, SALCs currently encounter major challenges in terms of resources and support. This report can be of interest for a variety of stakeholders looking at the current position of SALCs in UK universities or having to reflect on the development or future of a facility.


open access article


self-access, higher education, survey, Modern foreign languages, language centres


Krauthaker, M. (2017). A survey of self-access foreign language centres in UK higher education institutions: Format, practices and challenges in 2016. Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal, 8 (3), pp. 223-234


Research Institute

Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)