The concept of the Innsbruck Model of Foreign Language Education applies to five modern languages – English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Its cross-linguistic, theory- and research-led umbrella courses, accompanied by language specific and school-related workshops, make it stand out as particularly comprehensive. With this concept IMoF aims to create connections on two distinct levels: On the one hand, information regarding various languages is brought together and comprehensively shared with the students. On the other hand, theory and practical application are connected in umbrella courses and workshops that introduce language-specific and school-related content. This synergy is emphasised by the diversity of the course instructors: While the umbrella courses are taught by university lecturers, the workshops are generally held by teachers with a practical background in teaching in schools. This not only means that experience gained from foreign language teaching in schools finds its way into academic training, but also that the collaboration between teachers in schools and at universities enhances professionalisation on both sides.

The following principles are essential in the academic training of future teachers as well as for the school setting that will follow:

  • Applying taught principles: taking all languages into consideration and using them as target languages for certain exercises, tasks, and teaching contexts
  • Team teaching and team learning: Both students and teachers collaborate in multilingual groups
  • Bilingual teaching: introducing English as the working language in designated units of the umbrella courses, and each target language as the teaching language in the accompanying language-specific workshops
  • Encouraging learner autonomy: using the university’s e-learning platform OLAT (eCampus) and supporting process-oriented, individual and group essay writing




IMoF was initiated during the revision of the Teacher Training Programme at the University of Innsbruck. The starting point for developing IMoF was the realisation that the content of the various introductory courses of language education, especially those of the Romance languages French, Italian and Spanish, was almost identical, yet there was no cooperation between teachers or students. This became especially apparent in the case of students studying two Romance languages, or in the case of students combining a Romance language with English. The usefulness of taking two classes with almost identical content was questionable. Due to the overlapping content and the increased expense in time and resources resulting from monolingual didactic classes, a cooperation seemed to be a logical step forward.
Therefore, the Department of Romance Studies initiated a cooperation between the language education experts of English, Romance Studies and Slavonic Studies, external lecturers and the Department for Teacher Education and School Research (ILS). Together they developed a comprehensive programme for all foreign languages in order to avoid repetitive content and to take advantage of those new synergies for creating a training programme based on a multilingual educational approach.

The new curriculum for the teacher training programmes was implemented in 2001/2002; the first university courses based on the new concept were held in the winter semester of 2002/2003.




  • Europasiegel für innovative Sprachenprojekte (2002) [Download (PDF, 183 KB)]
  • Financial support "ARGE Qualitätssicherung in der Lehre" (WS 2002, SS 2004, WS 2004/05, SS 2005)
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