Language Study Area

The Library & Learning Centre has a Language Study area on the second floor (LC02), full of resources for learning languages. We have a selection of materials including sections for Chinese, Arabic, English, British Sign Language, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. 

Language study area

By studying between classes, you can work at your own speed and concentrate on those aspects of the language most important to you. Building confidence and practice are crucial to successful language-learning.

Here are some of the ways you can do this.

  • Use DVDs and audio material to sharpen your listening skills.
  • Watch live satellite TV in many of our taught languages including French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Italian. See our Film & TV page (SurreyLearn login required) for more details about the channels we have available and other options for listening to film and TV in other languages.
  • Watch international films with soundtracks in eleven different languages.
  • Read foreign language magazines which we subscribe to weekly and monthly.
  • Choose from a range of books and materials graded and colour-coded for easy access to your language and level.
  • Use dictionaries and grammar books available for reference.
  • Use the 32 networked PCs offering
    • over 70 interactive programmes to help you learn up to 19 languages;
    • the opportunity to practise subtitling and audio description on specialist software;
    • access to the Internet to catch up on the news abroad, listen to live radio broadcasts on-line; or use the links on the right to access our web pages for language learners.


Click on the link below to see our location within the Library & Learning Centre (on level 2):

Map of Level 2 including the Language Study Area 

Opening Dates & Times:

Our opening dates and times are the same as the Library's so please check for details of the Library opening dates and times.  

Our Help Desk is staffed Monday to Friday from 10.00 to 19.00. These times may vary during the winter and spring break.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the Language Study Area?

The Language Study Area is on level 2 of the Library and Learning Centre. To access the area, enter the library on level 1 (you will need your library card/visitor card to enter the library) and take the stairs to Level 2. Follow the ‘Language Study’ signs to the far left corner. For a map of our location, click here and select Level 2.

How do I search for resources in the Language Study Area?
  • The Library Catalogue ‘Surrey Search’, accessible from
  • Using the map in the Language Study Area
  • Browsing the shelves (all content is organized according to level and skills).
When can I visit the Language Study Area?

The LSA is accessible at any time that the library is open (Library opening times).

When is the helpdesk in the Language Study Area staffed?

Mondays to Fridays 10:00 to 19:00. The help desk staff can provide:

  • Advice specific to Language Resources
  • Access to CDs kept behind the desk (some CDs are expensive/ difficult to replace, so we keep them locked behind the desk. Students can use them in the library but will need to leave their student card at the desk with us)
What do the coloured dots represent?
Where can I find the dictionaries?

The Dictionary Collection is located between the LSA and the Film Collection on level 2 of the library. Dictionaries can be borrowed from the library staff before an exam (if permitted in the exam) but this will need to do be done in advance in order to receive written permission. Please ask the Language Study Area staff for more details. 

What Satellite TV channels are available?

There are 5 TVs with the following channels: 

  1. RTPI for Portuguese
  2. RAI 3 for Italian
  3. ZDF for German
  4. TVE for Spanish

See our Film & TV page (SurreyLearn login required) for more details about the channels we have available and other options for listening to film and TV in other languages.

What equipment is there to accompany the TVs?

The TVs in the Language Study Area are all equipped with:

  • DVD players
  • Video Cassette players
  • Audio cassette players
  • Headphones. 

The TVs and accompanying equipment does not need to be reserved and can be used whenever the library is available. There are instructions on the desk, but please ask the helpdesk staff if you have any queries. 

Where are the foreign language films shelved?

We have a large DVD collection which includes films, TV series, documentaries. These are all shelved in the DVD collection on level 2 of the Library. 

The DVDs have been given different covers to help you identify them:

French films have blue covers

German films have yellow covers

Spanish films have orange covers

Italian films have green covers

Russian films have red covers

Portuguese films have lilac covers

We have many other foreign language materials, which mostly have white covers. If in doubt, check the front or the back of the DVD cover, where you should be able to find details of the languages and subtitles available. 

You can also use Surrey Search ( to search for films. 

If you want to find someone to practice a language with in exchange for conversation in your own language, what can you do?

The best way to practise a language with a native speaker is by joining LACES- which is an online network which students (and staff) can sign up to, to practise their language skills and meet new friends. Once you join you'll be able to join language groups, get information about language related events and search for a language partner or group. Access is resticted to University of Surrey students and staff.

What Language software is available for your language and level?

We have software for many different languages and levels. Please check the software guide in the Language Study Area, which is located on the display stand next to the Languages helpdesk. 

You can also access some information online via our English Software page (you will need to enter a SurreyLearn username and password to access this link). 

Can I use a Language Study Area PC as I cannot find a PC?

The computers in the Language Study Area are for language study only. If you need to use a PC for other reasons, please check PC availability at this website:

Can I use the Language Software Lab (04LC02)?

To ensure availability, students on Language degree courses that require the use of the language software can be granted access to 04LC02. These students can send their details (Student name, URN and barcode) to Julia ( to be approved and she will pass them on to Security. For any other students (e.g. Pre-sessional, GGA or evening language course) that need to use the language software, our policy is to allow  access to the 12PCs in front of the helpdesk and if these are not available, we can swipe you in to 04LC02. 

I cannot find a Reference CD or cassette on the shelf / The accompanying book has a label saying “Please ask at the desk for the audio CD” or similar

Some CDs and cassettes can only be used within the library and are therefore kept behind the Languages helpdesk on level 2. Please ask at the desk and you will be able to borrow the item for use within the library. You will need to give your student/visitor card and return the item within our helpdesk hours.

What is BOB National?

Language Resources






IELTS Practice


Free Language Software (SurreyLearn login required)

Free access to Film & TV online (SurreyLearn login required)

Library Twitter

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