Semester Courses 

Here you will find answers to your questions about our semester courses.


General Information

Selection of Courses

Which languages can I learn at the Language Centre at the University of Innsbruck?

We currently offer the following courses: Austrian Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German as a Foreign Language, Italian, Ivrit (modern Hebrew), Japanese, Latin, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.

Who can attend the courses at the Language Centre?

Anyone 17 and over can attend a language course at the Language Centre. You do not have to be a student or employee of the University of Innsbruck to take part in a course.

How long do the courses last?

Our courses last one semester and take place weekly (except on holidays), in the winter semester from October to the end of January and in the summer semester from March to the end of June. The exact course dates can be found in our semester course programme.

How long is one teaching hour?

One teaching hour is 45 minutes long.

Are there special preparation courses for my study programme?

Yes. The Preparation Course for the Supplementary Exam Latin is designed to help prepare students for the Supplementary Exam Latin.

You can also prepare for your language entrance exam at the Language Centre. Some language study programmes require a certain entry level before being admitted to the study programme. If you do not yet have this level, our courses will help you reach the required entrance level.

Which skills will be covered in the courses?

The courses cover all four skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Are there also conversation and writing courses?

Yes. We offer conversation courses every semester in German as a foreign language, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. These courses are also available in Japanese and Turkish, but not every semester. If you are interested, please contact the office for more information.

We offer writing courses in German as a foreign language and English every semester.

What is Intercultural 1x1?

In the courses Intercultural 1x1 you will acquire deeper knowledge of social values as well as the typical forms of interaction and behaviour of different cultural groups, in comparison to the German-speaking countries. The aim of these courses is on the one hand to gain a deeper understanding of these cultures, and on the other hand to avoid the typical ”mistakes” in dealing with people from different cultures.

What are the main characteristics of teaching a language at the Language Centre?

  • standardised and transparent learning objectives and learning content
  • research-orientated language teaching
  • a balance of the four skills: listening and reading comprehension, writing and speaking (in terms of participating in conversations) in lessons, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL)
  • authentic and simulated real-life communicative situations as a preparation for use of acquired knowledge in real situations
  • conveyance of cultural context as an significant element of language lessons
  • target-group specific methodological organisation of lessons
  • highly competent teaching
  • a steep learning curve
  • high level of learning requirements
  • lessons defined by active participation of participants
  • transparent guidelines regarding performance requirements in addition to transparent assessment and measurement of performance
  • a testing culture in terms of a feedback culture
  • interactive teaching

The detailed guidelines of our language teaching can be found here.

Who are the instructors? Who will be teaching me?

Dedicated, academically trained teachers with many years of teaching experience and a high level of competence in didactics teach the courses at the Language Centre.

Can I contact my course instructor?

Yes. You can contact your course instructor directly by email. You can find the contact details here.

How many participants are there in the courses?

In the conversation courses there is a maximum of 20 participants, and in the general language courses there is a maximum of 23 in order to guarantee a good learning environment and the support of the course instructors.

Is there a minimum number of participants?

Yes. There must be a minimum of eleven participants for the course to take place.

Who are the participants in the courses?

Our courses are geared towards adults and are tailored to meet the needs of experienced learners. The courses are renowned for their high level of learning standards. This enables participants to achieve an accelerated learning curve.

How much learning is involved?

In addition to the lessons, please allow time for homework, preparations for the lessons and preparation time for the exam.

The following table gives you an idea of how much time you should expect to invest each week in your language course.

Is there homework?

Yes, as a general rule, there will be homework.

Are there online courses?

No, all the courses take place in person.

Are there weekend courses?

Our language courses take place mainly during the week. Individual courses that are held on weekends can be found in our course programme.

Is there a quality assurance policy at the Language Centre?

Yes. Measures for systematic quality assurance are essential for us and they are also a reason for the participants’ high degree of satisfaction with our courses. In order to make this quality assurance comprehensible and sustainable, we have developed basic guidelines, the implementation of which is regularly reviewed.

Structure of the Language Courses and Placement

Which course levels are offered? How are the language courses structured? 

Our language courses are based on the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. For our language courses we have further subdivided the individual reference levels into so-called plus-levels.

By the end of your course, you should have reached the language level listed in brackets after the course title. For conversation courses, the starting level is indicated.

Structure of our language courses:
The basic levels (Pre-A1, A1, A1+, A2 and A2+) correspond to an elementary language use.
Basic levels

The improvement levels (levels B1, B1+, B2 and B2+) correspond to an independent language use.
Improvement levels

The qualification levels (levels C1, C1+ and C2) correspond to a competent language use.
Qualification levels

Which level is right for me? 

Do you want to assess your language level in order to find the best course for you?
This is how it works:

  • During the registration period you can find our online placement tests here for Deutsch als Fremdsprache, Englisch, Italienisch, Französisch and Spanisch.

    The online placement tests consist of reading comprehension, listening comprehension and grammar/vocabulary and are progressively structured, i.e. the test is initially easy and becomes more and more difficult as you go. As soon as you submit your placement test electronically, you will receive an evaluation of your results and a course recommendation.

  • The respective course description can also help. Take a look at  the description of the learning contents and learning objectives (see course details) to find your optimal course. The learning objectives are based on the descriptions of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The course content is divided into subject areas, linguistic and structural learning objectives.
  • With the help of these checklists you can assess your language skills yourself:
    Checklist levels partly A1 and A1
    Checklist levels A1+ and A2
    Checklist levels A2+ and B1
    Checklist levels B1+ and B2
    Checklist levels B2+ and C1
    Checklist levels C1+ and C2

I have no prior knowledge of the language. Are there courses for complete beginners? 

Yes, every semester we also offer courses for beginners in every language.

I can speak the language a little bit. Should I still start with A1? 

We recommend you take the placement test. You can do that here.

Do I have to take the online placement test? Do I have to provide proof of my language knowledge? 

No. The placement test is not a requirement. However, it can help you find the right course.

Do I have to go through all levels, or can I skip a level? 

We recommend that you do not skip any levels as our courses are structured didactically one after the other.

I've learned the language before, but I've forgotten a lot. At which level should I start? Are there refresher courses?  

If you have already learned the language, we recommend you to take our onlinge placement test to find the appropriate level. We do not offer special refresher courses for certain levels.

If there is no placement test available for the language you want, you can evaluate your language skills yourself by using the checklists.

Course Documents/Teaching Materials

Which textbooks are used?

The textbooks used in the course can be found in the course details listed for each course.

Are the costs for the textbooks included in the course fees? 

No, the textbooks are not included in the course fees and must be bought on your own.

Where can I buy the textbooks?

The textbooks are available at Studia (Innrain 52f, 6020 Innsbruck) or at any bookshop.

Please buy the books before the first lesson.

Bitte kaufen Sie die Bücher vor dem ersten Kurstermin.

There's no textbook listed for my course. What does that mean? 

In some courses the course instructor does not use a textbook but arranges the course material for you.


Course Requirements for Language Courses

Course Requirements

What do the language courses entail?

In our language courses there is a mid-term test and a final test. In these tests the skills of listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing and speaking (in terms of taking part in a conversation) are assessed. All four skills are equally weighted. The respective course contents are assessed, which you can find in the course programme under the link “Dates and Course Contents”. For a positive grade, each section must be completed positively (at least 60 per cent must be achieved).

A detailed description of the course requirements for the language courses can be found here.

What do the conversation courses entail?  

In our conversation courses there is an oral exam in the form of dialogues. Both oral production skills and the oral interaction skills are assessed.

A detailed description of the course requirements for the conversation courses can be found here.

What do the writing courses entail? 

In our writing courses, written production is assessed during a test at the end of the semester. The assessment criteria are task fulfilment, text structure, vocabulary and lexical accuracy.

A detailed description of the course requirements for the writing course can be found here.

I missed the exam. Can I make up the exam or part of it? 

No. The exam date is set by the course instructor for the whole group. It is therefore not possible to take the exam - or part of it - on another date.

I failed the exam. Can I re-take the exam or part of it? 

No. Unfortunately, that is not possible.

Why should I take the exam? What is the advantage for me?

If you need the grade or a certificate of completion or the ECTS credits, then participation in the exam(s) is absolutely necessary. In addition, the exam is not only a performance assessment but also provides you feedback on your progress.

Are there standard assessment criteria for the language course exams?

Yes, our language courses have standard assessment criteria for the assessment of mid-term and final exams. This makes it possible to compare and evaluate the student's performance. In this way they contribute to the transparency of the assessment.

In addition, the examination culture of the Language Centre also sees itself as having a feedback culture. This means that standard and comprehensible assessment criteria for the individual areas allow the course instructors to give you individual feedback on your performance in the individual areas. In this way, your personal learning process will be supported, and you will know which areas you need to work on to improve.

The exact description of the evaluation criteria for our language courses can be found here.

What are the exam regulations?

The exam procedures regulate the duration and scope of the midterm test or final test as well as the composition of the overall grade. Here you will find a list of our exam regulations.

ECTS Credits

What are ECTS creditsts?

ECTS is the abbreviation for "European Credit Transfer System". This unit of measurement for academic achievement used in Europe and beyond is intended to simplify the recognition of academic achievement at home and abroad. ECTS credits provide information on the amount of work required to successfully complete a course.

How many ECTS credits can I get for a language course? 

That depends on how many hours a week your course is. You can find out how many ECTS credits you will receive for your course in the course programme under Course Details (Dates and Content). The following list gives you an idea of how much time is spent each week on your language course: List of ECTS credits

Can I get my ECTS credits accredited to other universities/institutions? 

The head of the study programme at your university/ institution will decide on the accreditation of ECTS credits at your university/ institution. Please inquire there to see whether certificates of the Language Centre are recognised.

Grades (Certificate of Achievement/Participation)

When do I get the grade/certificate?

You must attend at least 80 per cent of the lessons and fulfill the course requirements (e.g. you must pass both the mid-term and final exams) in order to get a grade/certificate.

How do I get my grade/certificate?

As a student at the University of Innsbruck, you can access or print your certificate directly via LFU:online.

External participants and staff members of the University of Innsbruck can receive the certificate from the office of the Language Centre.

Is the certificate accepted everywhere? 

Each institute can decide if the course certificate is accepted or not. Please enquire in advance at the respective institution to see if it will be accepted or not.

I don't have my certificate anymore. Can I get another copy? 

We will gladly issue you a duplicate. Please send us an email.

Can I also receive a confirmation of participation? 

Yes, in addition to your grade/certificate, we will gladly issue you a confirmation of participation. All you need to do is simply send us an email (sprachenzentrum@uibk.ac.at).

If you do not require a grade or certificate but would like a confirmation of participation, we will be happy to issue it to you if you were present at least 70 per cent of the time. Just send us an email.

Attendance/Certificate Requirements

Is there mandatory attendance in the courses?

No. But please keep in mind that you will only receive a grade/certificate if you were present at least 80 percent of the time.

What should I do if I cannot come to the first lesson(s)? 

Don't worry, just come to the earliest possible lesson and learn the course content that you have missed then.

Please remember that you will only receive a grade/certificate if you are present at least 80 per cent of the time.

Can I receive a confirmation of participation even if I have not taken the exam?

Yes, if you are present at least 70 per cent of the time, you will receive a confirmation of attendance even if you do not take the exam.


Course Registration and Deregistration

Registration

When is the course programme available online?

At the beginning of August we will publish the course programme for the winter semester; the course programme for the summer semester will be available at the end of January.

When can I register? 

The exact registration details can be found here.

In the first week of the course you can only register for the courses marked with "places available" on our website.

How can I register for courses?

You can register both online and in person at the Language Centre office.

How does online registration work?

You can book your language course at the Language Centre online via our webpage course programme and pay by credit card, online banking or PayPal.

Students and staff members of the University of Innsbruck need a username and an email password.

All other applicants must first register with LFU:online before using the online registration and payment system.

How can I register in person at the course office?

Please bring a completed registration form with you. You can pay the course fee in cash or by ATM card.

Do I get a registration confirmation?

If you register online, you will automatically receive a registration and payment confirmation as soon as you have paid the course fee.

If you register directly at the Language Centre office, you will receive your registration and payment confirmation directly from us.

I'm an incoming Erasmus student. How can I register for the German courses for Erasmus students?

For the courses ”Erasmus - German as a foreign language” you can register online via LFU:online. You will need your username and email password.

On LFU:online you will see whether your registration request was accepted and confirmed.

Please note: These courses are reserved exclusively for Erasmus students.

I'm a Joint Study student. How can I register for the German Courses for Joint Study Incomings? 

For the course “Joint Study - German as a Foreign Language I (partly A1)” you can register online via LFU:online. You will need your username and an email password.

On LFU:online you will then see whether your registration request was accepted and confirmed.

Please note: This course is reserved for students of Joint Study programmes. If there are still places available at the beginning of the course, Erasmus students can also register.

How can I register for the Preparation Course for the Supplementary Examination in Latin for students from South Tyrol? 

You can register directly via LFU:online. You will need your username and an email password.

On LFU:online you will then see whether your registration request was accepted and confirmed.

Please note: This course is exclusively reserved for students from South Tyrol.
The Preparation Course for the Supplementary Examination in Latin (for South Tyrolean) is financed by the Autonomous Province of South Tyrol and is free of charge for students from South Tyrol.

Please note: This course only takes place in the winter semester.

I am a student of the Faculty of Technical Sciences and have a language course voucher. How can I register?

You can register at the course office of the Language Centre and pay for your course with your language course voucher.

Please note: The Faculty of Technical Sciences covers the cost of language courses in the amount of two teaching units. For language courses with more than two teaching units per week, only the costs for two teaching units will be covered by the voucher. The remaining costs must be paid by the student.

I am a student of the Institute for Languages and Literatures - Comparative Literature and have a language course voucher. How can I register?

You can register at the Language Centre office and pay for your course with your voucher.

I am a student of the Medical University of Innsbruck. How can I register for the English courses for MDs? 

You can register via “i-med inside” at the Medical University of Innsbruck.

Please note: These courses are financed by the Medical University of Innsbruck and are free of charge for students of the Medical University of Innsbruck.

The language course I want to sign up for is fully booked. Is there a waiting list?

The course places are filled on a first come - first serve basis. There is no waiting list. If a course place becomes available, it will show on our website. You can then register immediately.

Where can I find the General Terms and Conditions?

You can find the General Terms and Conditions here.

Course Fees

Which rate applies to me?

There are three different fees at the Language Centre:

  • Fee 1
    For students of the University of Innsbruck
  • Fee 2
    For employees of the University of Innsbruck
  • Fee 3
    For all others interested in taking language courses

Registration and Deregistration (and Cancellations)

I'd like to withdraw from the course. How can I do this and what is the cancellation policy?

Please send us an email if you wish to withdraw from the course. The course fee will be refunded up to eight working days before the start of the course minus a processing fee of 25 per cent. If you cancel seven or more working days (or the same weekday) before the course starts, 50 per cent of the course fee will be refunded.

The exact cancellation policy can be found in our General Terms and Conditions.

How do I get my money back? 

We will transfer the money to your bank account. Please provide us with your account details (bank name, IBAN, BIC and the name on the account).

I am already attending a course but would like to cancel. What can I do?

Please send us an email if you can no longer attend the course. We will then inform your course instructor. Unfortunately, the course fee is not refundable after the start of the course.

The exact cancellation policy can be found in our General Terms and Conditions.

The course level isn't right for me. The course is too easy/difficult. What can I do?

Please contact your course instructor. If the instructor recommends you to switch the course, please get in contact with our course office. Provided that there are places available you then can switch the course.

The course times aren’t right for me anylonger. What can I do?

Please contact our course office.

I'd like to learn another language after all. Can I switch to a different language?

Please contact our course office.

I signed up for the wrong course. How can I register for the right course?

Please contact our course office.

Cancellations

Could a course get cancelled?

In exceptional cases, a course may have to be cancelled due to too few participants. In this case, we will inform you by email and try to find a solution, for example by finding an alternative course for you. If this change is not possible for you, we will of course refund all course fees that have been paid.

When will I know if the course will take place for sure?

We always assume that the courses will take place as planned. You will only receive a notification if the courses have to be cancelled due to too few participants.

How do refunds work?

If a course has to be cancelled by the Language Centre, the course fees already paid will be refunded. The payment will be made by bank transfer to the account specified by you.

Could there be any changes in the courses (instructor, teaching material, course room)? How will I be informed?

Should such changes occur, we will inform you by email.


 

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