The ZHAW's School of Applied Linguistics has a number of precursor organisations. Part of its roots can be traced back to the «Freies Lyceum, Schule für sprachliche und allgemeine Bildung» founded in 1946, which evolved into the «Dolmetscherschule Zürich» or «DOZ» before integrating into the Zürcher Hochschule Winterthur ZHW in 2000 as today's IUED Institute of Translation and Interpreting.
It also has historic links to the general education departments of Winterthur's former «Technikum» and «Höhere Wirtschafts- und Verwaltungsschule» or «HWV», from which today's ILC Institute of Language Competence has evolved. In addition to these, the School of Applied Linguistics also encompasses the newly created IAM Institute of Applied Media Studies. Working together within the ZHAW’s overall School of Applied Linguistics framework, today's IUED, ILC and IAM provide professional training in the fields of language and communication – across disciplines, beyond linguistic boundaries, through a multiplicity of media and for a variety of organisational structures.