Chartered Institute
of Linguists

The Association of University Language Communities in the UK and Ireland






The Association of University Language Communities (AULC) has more than 70 institutional members, including over 60 higher education institutions (HEIs) from the UK, and seven from the Republic of Ireland. There are also five Associate Member organisations one of which is CIOL.

AULC’s mission is: “Bringing together language teaching and learning professionals”

AULC is a professional association representing all staff working involved with the delivery of language teaching programmes in HE language departments and language centres in the UK and Ireland, and aims to encourage and foster:

  • Good practice and innovation in language learning and teaching
  • Effective resource management and administration
  • Regular meetings of members to facilitate discussion and to exchange information on the diverse activities of university language programmes
  • To facilitate contacts with university language centres internationally and to promote university language programmes both within and beyond the university community
  • To monitor emerging national and international language standards and develop appropriate quality assurance mechanisms
  • To promote the value of language learning for all purposes.


Priorities for the AULC/CIOL partnership

  1. To work to connect linguistic competence and professional competence as a teacher including recognition for relevant programmes (e.g. QTS/PCGE, Degrees in teaching a second language, other specialist teacher training courses etc.)
  1. To work together on recognition of non-native competence in second languages, and especially those less commonly studied languages that are less well aligned in the context of the CEFR (e.g. Arabic, Japanese). 
  1. To work together on experience criteria, especially for freelance teachers who have very variable workloads and work patterns. The aspiration is for CIOL Membership to be open to any language teacher working in any part of the Education sector. 
  1. To ensure appropriate coordination with the Advance HE Fellowship scheme as a marker of professional competence and commitment to Continuous Professional Development (CPD), in terms of recognition and alignment with CIOL Membership and Chartership requirements, which is distinctively focussed on language competence and language teaching.
  1. To recognise the relationship between CPD and scholarship in a university context, and linking CPD to meaningful peer review of teaching practice
  1. AULC and CIOL working together with others to identify, highlight and seek to address shortages of suitably qualified teachers in key languages. 
  1. Building alliances with other organisations in terms of verification of language ability (IELTS, Institut français, Instituto Cervantes, Goethe Institut etc.)
  1. Continuing to consult and engage with other key stakeholders such as UCML, ALL, BALEAP, and more widely with university academic departments.


CIOL welcomes Membership applications from AULC members.