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Center of Modern Languages (ZEMS) Mission Statement

 Kolik jazyků mluvíš, tolikrát jsi človĕkem.

You are as many times a human being as many languages you speak.

(Czech proverb)


The Center of Modern Languages (ZEMS) is the language center of the Technical University Berlin (TU Berlin). ZEMS’s courses are aimed primarily at students of all faculties, but also at TUB scientists and other interested parties.

Foreign language acquisition is an integral part of personal development and promotes central academic and intercultural skills. Language skills enable sustainable international academic exchange.

ZEMS‘s courses make a decisive contribution to the successful implementation of the internationalization strategy of the TU Berlin by providing language and intercultural skills. Through their focus on content, they directly promote student mobility and the success of studies in Germany and abroad. Extensive language skills also qualify our graduates for the globalized labor market.

 ZEMS’s courses develop and promote:

•        General language knowledge in preparation for a study-related stay abroad or for foreign students to study at the TU Berlin,

•        Professional language skills in German, English, French and Spanish for the introduction into technical language and the culture of selected subjects (e.g. engineering, natural sciences, architecture and planning, economics and social sciences),

•        Language skills for an exchange in interdisciplinary courses

•        Language competencies, such as scientific writing, oral and written language in university and professional life, scientific oral presentation for the German and English languages.

ZEMS offers:

•        Intensive and extensive teaching formats both during and outside of the lecture period,

•        Language tests for incomings and outgoings of our university in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese and Russian as well as

•        A large and diverse media in the library and the media center for independent language learning in 26 languages.

The orientation towards linguistic responsiveness and communication is a defining feature of all language teaching events at ZEMS.

ZEMS’s courses are curricula-oriented, are defined in module descriptions and are concluded with examinations. ECTS credits are awarded for ZEMS’s courses. They are distinguished by:

•        Consistent implementation of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR),

•        Rapid progression,

•        Specific multimedial teaching materials, including blended learning concepts,

•        Strategies for independent language acquisition,

•        Thematic reference to the fields of University and Science,

•        Reference to the intercultural and regional studies of the target region,

•        Diversity of teaching methods,

•        Proven evaluation culture,

•        Transparency in terms of curriculum, levels and learning objectives.

 In addition to qualifying degrees, all instructors at ZEMS have language proficiency at the level of a native speaker as well as extensive experience in the field of foreign language didactics.

 ZEMS is currently cooperating with partner universities in China, France, Poland, Russia and Spain and offers exchange for language acquisition and tandem projects with students from our partner universities.

 In addition to teaching, the accompanied research on the acquisition of foreign languages, language use and language needs also play an important role at ZEMS. ZEMS cooperates with the departments of German as a foreign and technical language and pedagogical psychology at the TU Berlin. In addition, we publish our own research.

 Linguistic and cultural knowledge is essential for an internationally established and visible university – ZEMS’s  courses are an indispensable contribution in this field. The specific profile of ZEMS is to focus on communication in science and technology in different languages.




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