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Language courses at the ZfbK

The ZfbK - Forum Languages & Cultures offers a wide range of language courses for different levels of proficiency. Courses at level A1 are for those without any previous knowledge of the language. Courses from level A2 on are for those who have already taken classes in the language. All course levels correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). English courses are offered at levels B1 to C2.

You can find a list of all language courses and their descriptions (including course times and venues) at: (click on “Veranstaltungen Wintersemester”/”Veranstaltungen Sommersemester” at the bottom of the page)

Course registration

  • Registration for winter semester courses normally begins on 1 October.
  • Registration for summer semester courses normally begins on 1 April.

You can find the exact date in the table under the course description, under “Buchung”.

You can register for a course by clicking on the green “Buchen” button in the table below the course description.

The maximum number of participants in each course is 25. If the course is booked out, you can sign up for the waiting list by clicking on the red “Warteliste” button. As soon as a course space becomes available, all students on the waiting list are informed and can sign up on a first-come-first-served basis.

If you have registered for a course but find out that you cannot participate after all, please make sure to sign out of the course (using the link that you got in the email that confirmed your registration). This way those on the waiting list will have the chance to join.

Registration closes at the following times:

  • For 4 hours/week courses: at the end of the first week of the semester
  • For 2 hours/week courses: at the end of the second week of the semester

Please note:

  • You may only register for non-beginner French/Italian/Spanish and English courses if you have passed either the exam from the previous course or the ZfbK online placement test (see below). For all other languages you may only take an advanced course if you have completed the previous level or can provide the appropriate documentation. Contact the instructor teaching the course for more assistance.
  • If you miss any of the first two classes without informing the lecturer beforehand, your name will be automatically removed from the cour

Placement tests

To enroll in an advanced course (all courses above level A1) in English, French, Italian, and Spanish, you will have to take a placement test if:

  • This is your first time taking a course in that language at the Forum Languages & Cultures
  • You have attended a course at the Forum Languages & Cultures but have not taken or did not pass the final exam
  • The last time you took a course in this language was over a year ago
  • You have vastly improved your knowledge of the language since your last course (e.g. by studying abroad or taking an intensive course)

The courses at level A1, which do not require a placement test, are designed specifically for learners without any previous knowledge of the language. If you do have previous experience with the language, you are required to take the placement test.

The tests are used to create relatively homogenous groups for courses with large numbers of applicants. The level confirmed by the test is binding.

If you have passed the final exam of an English, French, Italian, or Spanish course at the Forum Languages & Cultures, you may proceed to the next level during the next two semesters without a placement test.

You can access the placement test at by clicking on the appropriate banner at the bottom of the page.

The first page of the test looks like this:

Enter your first name (“Vorname”), family name (“Name”), date of birth (“Geburtsdatum”, format: day, month, year) and email address. Remember to use the same email address when you register for a course later.

Please note that you only have 35 minutes to complete the test. The test will end automatically. It is not possible to take the test more than once and you cannot stop and restart the test after beginning. Please only begin the test when you know you will be able to complete it, since you will not be able to access it again – even if you still had time remaining from the total 35 minutes.

The placement test is a c-test. For examples of c-tests please see .

Placement level and notification

At the end of the test your score and the corresponding course level are displayed. This level is binding and you can only sign up for a course at this level. Changing course levels is only possible under certain circumstances and only after discussing the matter with Cornelia Schneider (, romance languages) or Judit Kepecs (, English).

Credits and certificates

At the end of the course you can get either an ungraded or a graded certificate.

Ungraded certificate:

  • It simply states that you attended the course regularly. It does not include any grade, credit points or course level.
  • Requirement: you need to have attended the course regularly (not missed more than 3 classes in the winter semester or not more than 2 classes in the summer semester).

Graded certificate:

  • It indicates the course level, your exam grade and the credit points.
  • Requirement: you need to have passed the final exam (depending on the course, this may for example be an exam, a portfolio, a presentation or a combination of these). Additionally, you need to have attended the course regularly (not missed more than 3 classes in the winter semester or not more than 2 classes in the summer semester).