Internationale Sprachkurse / International Language Courses (University of Freiburg)

Author(s): Sonja Dierks
Institution/Organisation: Sprachlehrinstitut der Universität Freiburg (SLI) / Language Teaching Center (DE)


1.1 Scope of the initiative

The International Language Courses are one component in the spectrum of courses that have been offered by the Language Teaching Centre (SLI, at the University of Freiburg since 2005. Classes are offered every year in March, August and September. They have a dual mission: offering high-quality (continuing) education in German to students (currently 750 a year) from all over the world, while initiating an intercultural platform for the University of Freiburg in the fields of language teaching and learning. Furthermore, cooperation on a national and Bundesland level has been consistently promoted and encouraged. To facilitate this, the International Language Courses are part of the Association of Baden-Württemberg International Summer Schools.

In the context of ever broadening internationalization in the field of education and the labour market, the International Language Courses make a significant contribution to European language policy.

1.2 Range of languages learned

Currently the SLI International Language Courses offer instruction in German as a foreign language. The language levels range from A1 to C2 according to the CEFR.

1.3 Learning outcomes

Practice-oriented language learning in groups of up to 15 participants helps to foster a learning environment that ensures persistent interaction between the learners and the language and culture they are studying. This guarantees that the skills gained can be applied in practice after the courses. The focus is on communication competence and intercultural awareness.

At the end of 72 instruction hours, learners’ writing, reading, speaking and listening skills are tested and graded according to the CEFR. The specialized courses are not rounded off by a formal test. They foster academic proficiency and enhance communication skills for the workplace,  “German for Academic Purposes” and “German for Tourism” are typical examples.

1.4 Practical realisation

The core strategy of the International Language Courses is implemented through the following activities and teaching programs:

  • general language courses in the morning focusing on German language and civilization
  • specialized, profession-oriented language courses (“Teaching German as a Foreign Language” and “Business German”)
  • intercultural and international topics ( “Germany and the European Union”)
  • preparation courses for standard German language tests and certificates (Test Daf, PWD/Goethe-Institut)
  • promotion of autonomous learning via a web-based language learning platform, where learners can engage in language exchange independently (
  • choosing between an academic programme (B2-C2) or learning in the language laboratory (A1-B1). in the afternoons during the week
  • a wide variety of weekend excursions in and around Freiburg to support intercultural communication between the participants.


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