ABV languages modules at the Language Centre of the Freie Universität Berlin

Author(s): Isabelle Ortiz
Institution/Organisation: Freie Universität Berlin (DE)


The present case study focuses on an initiative taken by the Language centre of the Freie Universität Berlin and concerns the introduction of credited  languages modules  for Bachelor students  of other academic disciplines who complete a general preparation for professional life within their curriculum framework.

So far, 12 languages are concerned by this initiative, among them less-taught languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian and Turkish.  Students can choose to start learning a language from a beginner’s course and reach different CEFR levels from A2.1 to C1.2. Each language module is credited by an allocation of 5 ECTS and can reach up to 15 ECTS for 3 semesters of study.

New modular curricula have been designed for all languages. The learning outcomes of the ABV languages modules (Allgemeine Berufsvorbereitung - general preparation for professional life) are on one hand to provide students with transferable communicative skills relevant to employability, mobility and academic life; and on the other hand to promote learners´ autonomy in order to endow students with learning competence from a lifelong perspective.

Over and above this, the promotion of language diversity as well as the development of multilingual competence among students are targeted by this initiative.

After 8 semesters of implementation, the increasing number of registered students shows that the success of the introduction of ABV languages modules is due to a combination of different factors, such as the allocation of ECTS, a learning environment which endows students with essential skills for employability and the objectively verifiable gains in language competence which together, all act in synergy.

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