Language Center A-Z

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A

Accreditation of ECTS points / credit points
Upon successful completion of course assessment(s) by course participants, the Language Center issues a certificate, which includes ECTS points gained. Accreditation of ECTS points is not automatic and is not the responsibility of the Language Center. For more information on the recognition and accreditation of language course achievements, go here.

Ancient Greek (Graecum)
Information about courses, materials, and tests are available on the Graecum website (in German). 

Annulment of enrollments
The Language Center reserves the right to annul course participants’ enrollments after the start of a course if – according to the lecturer’s judgment – their language skills differ significantly from those outlined in the course description. ECTS points are only awarded for learning progress that has been undertaken in conjunction with the attendance of a course and which has been checked in that course.

Auditors
Auditors are not permitted to attend our language courses. 

B

C

Certificate of Achievement

If you successfully complete a language course, you will receive a Certificate of Achievement. The Certificate of Achievement lists the ECTS points and grade you have achieved. The conditions that have to be met in order to receive a Certificate of Achievement with ECTS points are outlined in the course description of each individual course.
 

Certificate of Attendance

Course participants who do not need ECTS points or who have not completed all the necessary assessments in a course can still gain a Certificate of attendance, if they have attended at least two thirds of classes in a course. For courses of 26-28 lessons, this amounts to 18 lessons; for courses of 52-56 lessons, 36 lessons; and for courses of 14 lessons, 9 lessons.
 

Certification of language skills, official certificates
Information on language certificates is available at:
German as a Foreign Language 
English (PDF, 141 KB) 
French
Italian
Spanish

  

Consultations
The Language Center offers learning consultations for students, PhD students, and staff who:

  • wish to plan their language learning for the long term
  • would like to do additional autonomous learning over and above the work done in a course
  • have specific learning needs that cannot be met by our course program
  • are uncertain, as tandem learners, how to best structure their tandem work

More information is provided on the Language Center website (under the chosen language) and on the Self-Access Center website, including information on enrollments. 
In addition to its consultations on autonomous learning, the Self-Access Center also offers learning support for individual learners and learning partnerships.

Confirmation
For more information, see Certificate of achievement.

Confirmation of course attendance
Course participants who do not need ECTS points or who have not completed all the necessary assessments in a course can still gain a Certificate of attendance, if they have attended at least two thirds of classes in a course. For courses of 26-28 lessons, this amounts to 18 lessons; for courses of 52-56 lessons, 36 lessons; and for courses of 14 lessons, 9 lessons.

Confirmation email
Once you have submitted your enrollment form, you will immediately receive an automatically generated email informing you that your enrollment has been registered in the Language Center’s database system. As soon as your enrollment has been checked and processed, you will be informed by email about whether or not you have a place on the course. Your enrollment in the course is only valid if you have received a confirmation email from the Language Center. 

Contact 
To contact the Language Center, go here.

Course content
Information on the content of all of our courses is available online in the course description of each individual course.

Course materials
Information about materials used in a course is available in the course description of the relevant course. 

Course venues
Rooms for courses are published on our website a week before the beginning of semester.

Courses in several parts (prerequisites)
For courses that run at several different language levels, it is not essential that you complete a course at a lower level before taking one at a higher level. However, you must have the necessary skills at the lower level in order to attend a  more advanced course.

For courses that run over two semesters at the same language level (for example, as Part 1 and Part 2), you can (in most cases) take the courses individually (just one part) or in either order (Part 1 before Part 2, or Part 2 before Part 1). More information is given in the online course description of the relevant course.

D

DELE
The Language Center offers preparation courses for the Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera (DELE) test (see Spanish course program). However, the Language Center is not a DELE testing center. For more information about the DELE test go to http://www.mecd.gob.es/suiza/.

E

ECTS points
You will find our general guidelines on the awarding of ECTS points and grading of learning outcomes on the ECTS points Quicklink on our website.
For more information on the accreditation of language course results, go to Accreditation of ECTS points.  

Enrollment dates
The dates for enrollment are published in the detailed course description. They do not coincide with the module booking dates of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Binding for enrollments and withdrawals are only the enrollment dates of the Language Center.

Enrollment procedure
Once you have submitted your enrollment form, you will immediately receive an automatically generated email informing you that your enrollment has been registered in the Language Center’s database system. As soon as your enrollment has been checked and processed, you will be informed by email about whether or not you have a place on the course. Your enrollment in the course is only valid if you have received a confirmation email from the Language Center.

e-TEF
You can sit the e-TEF (Test d’évaluation de français) language test at the Language Center. For more information: romanische.sprachen@sprachen.uzh.ch

Exchange, preparation
You wish to prepare for a study period or semester abroad at a foreign language university. Which of our language courses do we recommend?
The language requirements for a study period or semester abroad are set by the foreign university. You should find out from the Mobility Office of your university. Please note that in order to study in a language, you should have reached B2 level in that language.

F

Fees
The fees for each target group are given in the detailed course description. When you enter the website, select your target group in order to see the fees that apply to you.

G

German-language entry exam
Starting in Spring Semester 2018, the Language Center is no longer offering German-language entry exams. If you need to prove that you have an adequate level in a language of instruction, you need to provide an officially recognized language diploma. For more information, contact the University of Zurich   Admission Office 

GESS compulsory elective program
The former GESS program for ETH students is now called Science in Perspective (SiP) 

Grading of course assessments (assessment of learning achievement)
You will find information about our general guidelines on the awarding of ECTS points and on grading of course assessments via the “ECTS points” Quicklink on our website. The lecturer responsible for a course can provide more information about the assessment criteria for grades of individual assessments and about the calculation basis of grades.

 

H

I

IELTS, TOEFL

The Language Center offers preparation courses for the TOEFL and IELTS tests (see the English course program for dates and times). However, we are not a testing center for either of these tests. 
For more information about IELTS, go to https://www.ielts.org/ 
For more information about TOEFL, go to https://www.ets.org/toefl

For a comparison of the two tests, download our information sheet (PDF, 99 KB).
This information is provided without liability and is subject to change.

J

K

L

Language courses abroad
The Language Center is unable to recommend private language schools and/or language courses offered by foreign universities.

Language of instruction
In our higher-level courses, the language of instruction is the target language. At beginner levels, German is used in addition to the target language. In our German as a Foreign Language courses, English is used for explanations.

Language level assessment
You can assess your language level using the tools offered by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). To access their descriptors and checklists, click here (see the bottom of the page). In addition, please read the online course description closely to find out about the language requirements of individual course you have selected.

Language schools (external)
The Language Center is unable to recommend external language schools.

Latecomers in courses
We do not accept latecomers in courses from week 3 of a course. 
However, you have the following options for language learning:

Latin (Latinum)
Information about courses, materials, and tests are available on the Latinum website (in German).

Learning outcomes
You will find our general guidelines on the awarding of ECTS points and on the grading of learning outcomes on the ECTS points Quicklink on our website. Your lecturer will provide additional information about the evaluation of individual assignments and on grading scales.

Level, re-entry
Which course should you enroll in if you haven’t used the language skills you learnt at school or if you’ve been abroad for some time, although your level was once good?

Enroll in a course that matches your earlier good level. Under no circumstances should you enroll in a lower-level course. You will quickly re-gain your earlier level. 

Level, Swiss Matura
The language level that is officially aimed for in the Swiss Matura is B2 level. In reality, Swiss high school students achieve between B1 and C1 foreign language skills. It is therefore important that you assess your individual language level, for example, by using the DIALANG test. For more information, click here.

Level, wrong
If you have enrolled in the wrong course:
During the enrollment period: Write an email to the Language Center Secretariat cancelling your enrollment. If you wish, you can then enroll in a course that better suits your language level.

Once the course has started: Changing to another course once the semester has begun is often not possible. Please discuss your options with your lecturer.

M

Maps, locations
The map of the central University of Zurich campus is available here. The Language Center is located in the KOL building, level P (Rämistrasse 71). The Self-Access Center Zentrum is in the RAI building, level J (Rämistrasse 74). The Self-Access Center Hönggerberg is in the Campus Hönggerberg is in HIL E2 (Baubibliothek) (Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5).
Information about the locations of ETH rooms and buildings is available here.

Materials for courses
See: Course materials

Monday courses
Language Center courses scheduled for Mondays start in the first week of semester, even though other ETH courses do not take place on the first day of semester.

N

Native speakers
Language Center courses are designed to help you acquire, extend, and/or deepen your language skills. In general, they are not suitable for native speakers. If your skills in your native language are at an informal level, or if you have never used your native language in school or at university, we recommend that you enroll for a language consultation in order to assess your needs. (See: Consultations)

Number of courses per semester
At the start of the online enrollment period, UZH and ETH students can enroll in one course only. A browser message during the enrollment process will again remind you of this rule. From the Thursday before the beginning of semester (starting at 9am), students can enroll in a second course. For information on the reasons for this rule, and for information on the criteria used to allocate course places, go here.

O

Opening hours

Language Center Secretariat: Information about the opening hours (during the semester and in semester breaks) is available here.

Self-Access Center: Information about the opening hours (during the semester and in semester breaks) is available here.
 

P

Partner institutes
Students of the Zurich University of Teacher Education (PHZH) and the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) can take selected Language Center courses. For more information click here.

Partners, spouses
The partners and spouses of UZH and ETH students, PhD students, and staff are not eligible to take Language Center courses.

Performance record
You will find our general guidelines on the awarding of ECTS points and on the grading of learning outcomes on the ECTS points Quicklink on our website. Your lecturer will provide additional information about the evaluation of individual assignments and on grading scales.
 

Q

R

Rooms
Rooms for courses are published on our website a week before the beginning of semester.

S

Semester dates
Information about semester dates (beginning and end dates, public holidays) are available at:
University of Zurich: http://www.uzh.ch/en/studies/dates.html
ETH Zurich: https://www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/academic-calendar.html 

SiP enrollments
ETH students who wish to attend a Language Center course as part of their Science in Perspective (SiP, formerly D-GESS) degree requirements need to enroll only via the Language Center website. Enrollment via MyStudies is not possible. Your enrollment is only valid once you have received a confirmation email from the Language Center.

SiP, identification numbers
The courses that are included in the Science in Perspective (SiP) program (formerly: D-GESS program) can be identified by their course number, which begins with “ETH 851.” They have an additional University of Zurich catalog number. SiP courses offered by the Language Center are published in the ETH course catalog. More information is available here

Spouses, partners
The partners and spouses of UZH and ETH students, PhD students, and staff are not eligible to take Language Center courses.

Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holders
- You are a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship holder doing a PhD at UZH or ETH. Please enroll under "PhDs."
- You are employed at UZH or ETH as a postdoc with a Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship. Please enroll under "Academic staff members."

T

e-TEF
You can sit the e-TEF (Test d’évaluation de français) language test at the Language Center. For more information: romanische.sprachen@sprachen.uzh.ch

TOEFL, IELTS
The Language Center offers 7-week preparation courses for the TOEFL and IELTS tests (see the English course program for dates and times). However, we are not a testing center for either of these tests. 
For more information about IELTS, go to https://www.ielts.org/ 
For more information about TOEFL, go to https://www.ets.org/toefl

For a comparison of the two tests, download our information sheet (PDF, 99 KB). 
This information is provided without liability and is subject to change.

U

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W

Withdrawal
Withdrawals are free of charge only if they are made before the enrollment closing date. If you withdraw from a course in which you are enrolled after the closing date, or if you fail to turn up to classes, you are liable for the full course fee. Withdrawals must be made in writing by letter or email addressed to the Language Center Secretariat. Oral and/or written withdrawals addressed to lecturers are not valid. Failure to pay the course fee, or partial payment of the course fee, do not constitute a withdrawal. For more information, go to General Terms and Conditions.

 

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