The John Trim Centre for Independent Learning

The Advising Team

world images
Last year we offered 332 one-to-one appointments to Cambridge language learners exploring their options, covering 32 languages.

Can we help you?

To make an appointment email:

What we can offer

The Advising Team are here to support you on a one-to-one basis, exploring resources and opportunities to structure a path towards your personal language goals. We are most interested in helping you identify the strengths and learning preferences that will motivate your language study, as well as find strategies for tackling weaker areas. Our main aim is to turn the ambition to learn a language through independent study into an enjoyable commitment that is realistic and achievable.

In our work we encounter a wide range of learners, such as: a researcher requiring survival phrases in Malay for a short field trip, a member of staff working to revive her GCSE French, an undergraduate linguist wishing to improve his listening skills, or a postgraduate needing to read German for academic purposes. Whatever your level and aims, we are looking forward to hearing from you.

Making an appointment

An initial start-up appointment usually lasts half an hour, but we are keen to offer follow-up meetings to continue supporting you throughout your language journey. To make an appointment follow this link to the online booking page, and select a time under JTC:1-to-1 Language Learning Advice. Fee-paying members are invited to come into our reception area to book an appointment.

Advising appointments can be used to:

  • Decide on your short term and longer term goals
  • Formulate a learning plan to help you get started
  • Explore resources in specialist areas
  • Discuss language learning strategies for independent study
  • Talk about ways of shaping a self-study session
  • Evaluate your progress so far and identify your next steps
  • Tackle more challenging aspects
  • Consider how the Centre's taught courses can fit in to a longer term language plan
  • Find out more about intensive language courses abroad

Linking up with other learners

We believe that independent study does not mean working alone, and so we offer various means of meeting and teaming up with other like-minded language enthusiasts.

The Conversation Exchange Scheme

Making the most of the multicultural community in Cambridge, we use this scheme to pair you up with a native speaker of your target language in exchange for your native language.

Conversation Hours

These are informal groups led by a native speaker for those who have conversational ability but would like to develop the range and quality of their self-expression.

Informal Learning Circles

These offer a way of getting together learners of a similar language for collaborative self-directed practice sessions. Contact us for advice.