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Strategy and Aims

The Department of Foreign Languages is one of four departments within the Center of Higher Education at TU Dortmund University. It considers itself a service provider for the faculties and their students. It concerns itself with teaching foreign languages at an academic level for students of non-philological fields of study and functions as a contact point at the university, for questions about learning both foreign languages and specialist terminology. In accordance with the language policy of the European Union and its call for multilingualism among EU citizens, especially of university graduates, the Department of Foreign Languages supports the development of competences in foreign languages through its range of courses. Thus, it provides a substantial contribution to the international mobility of students and graduates in their studies, research and professions.

The courses offered by the Department of Foreign Languages are oriented in terms of content around the requirements of the faculties and their students. The lessons are characterized by high learning standards and a steep progression. They are reinforced by current insights from cognitive language acquisition research as well as intercultural language teaching. In accordance with the guidelines of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), a particular value is placed on the development of competences in lessons, which means that grammar and vocabulary knowledge are not the main focus, but rather the increased competence of the students in all four language skills (writing, speaking, listening and reading) and the ability to deal with authentic language use situations. Language learning is understood to be a lifelong process and is taught as such; the students’ independent learning and the ability to continually improve and reflect on their own linguistic competences through appropriate learning strategies is encouraged accordingly.


Course Program

The Department of Foreign Languages offers courses in the following areas:

  • Modern foreign languages

  • German as a foreign language

  • Ancient languages

  • Independent learning


Modern Foreign Languages

We offer a broad spectrum of classes in international and modern languages at various levels from elementary level up to conversation courses, which can be recognized in certain courses of study.

In addition, specialist language courses (especially English) are carried out for a number of faculties in the fields of science, technology, logistics, electrical engineering, civil engineering, economics etc. These courses can be accredited as modules in some courses of study.


German as a Foreign Language

The range of courses encompasses classes for non-native speakers of German to accompany their studies, such as German for studies and everyday life, regional and cultural studies of German-speaking countries or pronunciation training. Furthermore, numerous conversation and writing courses are on the timetable, as well as colloquia for examination papers of foreign students.

There are special preparatory courses for university studies in the semester break (upper-intermediate) for foreign students from specific programs (SOKRATES/ERASMUS, Übersee-Programme), each comprising 80 lessons and a tutorial.

Three times a year, the “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber” (DSH – German language test for access to universities for foreign applicants) can be taken.


Ancient Languages

Here, students of TU Dortmund University who have to be certified with the LATINUM, the GRAECUM or the HEBRAICUM as part of their courses of study can take part in an intensive course in Latin, Ancient Greek or Hebrew. All complementary examinations must be taken through channels of the Regional Government in Arnsberg (http://www.bezreg-arnsberg.nrw.de).


Independent Learning

Language learning involves lifelong, and much of the time independent, learning outside of the classroom. In order to support independent foreign language learning, our Department of Foreign Languages offers an individual advisory service for language learning. Additionally, we organize a tandem program as well as an accompanying advisory service. Our language lab is equipped with software for independent study in several languages and can be used at designated times.


Quality Assurance

In order to maintain the quality of our courses, we orient ourselves around the following principles:

  • we evaluate our courses regularly through student course evaluations;

  • we restrict the number of participants in our courses to a maximum of 25 students;

  • we improve our own teaching skills through continual training in methodological and didactical areas of language teaching;

  • we support and promote a motivated and independent attitude toward language learning inside and outside the language classroom.



Our Department of Foreign Languages is a member of AKS (Arbeitskreis der Sprachenzentren, Sprachlehrinstitute und Fremdspracheninstitute).and a member of fadaf (Fachverband Deutsch als Fremdsprache).