Over the years the Language Resource Centre has offered a programme of student-led language learning groups during term-time. These groups provide an opportunity for informal speaking practice to all Newcastle University members who are registered with the LRC. With the March 2020 lockdown, the decision was made to continue this activity but to trial taking it online using Microsoft Teams. For the academic year of 2020-21 the programme was run entirely online and was also expanded, in terms of number of hours offered, the types of sessions and languages.
In the past we had a physical tandem board in the Language Resource Centre, where students could come in and pin up a notice to say what languages they spoke and what languages they wanted to practice. With lockdown in March 2020 and no access to the physical centre, within a week we set up the online version of the tandem board to facilitate people being able to do language exchanges entirely remotely wherever they were.