What is it?

The Languages Short Course has been developed in partnership with the Association for Language Learning (ALL), aimed mainly, but not exclusively, at supporting core subjects in schools. The Languages Short Course accredits between 10 and 60 hours of foreign language studies and activities and provides a curriculum that can lead towards, enhance and support GCSEs.

You can use it:

  • As an introductory or companion course for young people at various ages and stages in their language learning
  • To build and underpin academic excellence in language studies
  • For learners of all abilities, in all languages to enjoy and achieve
  • In flexible ways to suit your situation
  • For certificates of achievement in a wide variety of language-learning activities
  • To help young people see the relevance of language learning – to contextualise, enthuse, intrigue, develop skills, deepen knowledge, understanding and communication and build confidence

Who is it for?

Young people of all abilities, mainly aged between 13 and 19 (as well as adults and younger learners, where appropriate).

Because Short Courses are multi-level, the focus is on completing challenges and skills development according to individual ability, rather than attainment at a specific level. 

Facts and Figures


Students present a portfolio of evidence of their activities. This portfolio will contain:

  • completed Languages Short Course book and evidence of challenges completed
  • planning and reviewing documents
  • record of progress
  • summary of achievement, identifying skills development

Student Book

The Languages Short Course contains seven modules:

  • It's my life (my world and the world about me)
  • Just getting in touch (communication and interaction)
  • The perfect host (hosts, visitors and local knowledge)
  • What's it like over there? (lifestyles)
  • My language (sounds, spelling, pronunciation and intonation)
  • What's going on? (contemporary culture)
  • Imagine (creativity and open topics)

Download sample pages from the Languages Short Course student book and the Languages Short Course tutor notes.

Supporting Resources

A free set of downloadable tutor notes to support the Languages Short Course containing guidance for each challenge and suggested resources are available to centres registered for Short Courses in the members area.

A Quick Guide to Short Courses is also available to support the delivery of all ASDAN Short Courses. This document offers advice and guidance for tutors, including a step-by-step guide to delivery.

Additional resources to support Short Courses can be downloaded from theOrb – ASDAN’s Online Resource Bank. Resources available include witness statements, activity logs, lesson plans, worksheets and examples of evidence.


Getting started

If you are not yet registered with ASDAN, your first step is to complete an Application for Centre Registration Form. See the Join section for more information. Current ASDAN centres need to ensure that the programme is added to their centre's registration.

Following registration, you will be able to purchase your books and access additional resources and guidance via the members area of asdan.org.uk. ASDAN also provides introductory workshops and can arrange in-house training.


After successful internal moderation, centres submit a list of candidates' names via the members area of asdan.org.uk and certificates are then issued by ASDAN.

The portfolios are not submitted for external moderation. ASDAN reserves the right to request samples of candidates' portfolios for quality assurance purposes.

Short Courses Online

This online platform offers an alternative way to access Short Courses without needing to purchase student books. Learners can upload evidence to their personal e-portfolio to demonstrate what they have done and the skills they have developed. Tutors moderate e-portfolios on screen and then request certification.

Get started with Short Courses Online.

What's Next?