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About us

Applied linguistics for society

Experts in applied linguistics clarify, analyse and resolve social problems in which language and communication play a key role. Collaborating with experts from other academic disciplines and the realm of professional practice, they generate new knowledge and put this to work. Their solutions are sustainable, not only benefiting society as a whole, but also the area of professional practice being investigated. Applied linguists thus adopt a transdisciplinary approach.

Our research, academic programmes and advisory services focus on domains such as business and technology, justice and administration, healthcare and educational institutions as well as mass media and public communication. The findings generated by our research activities are incorporated directly in our training and continuing education courses, allowing us to promote professionalisation not only in language and communication work, but in all areas in which communication plays a decisive role.

History of the School

The roots of the School of Applied Linguistics can be traced back to the former “Dolmetscherschule Zürich” or “DOZ” (Zurich School for Translation and Interpretation), which itself emerged from the “Freie Lyceum, Schule für sprachliche und allgemeine Bildung”. The latter was founded in 1946 as a school for languages and general education.  

In 2000, the “Dolmetscherschule Zürich” became part of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences Winterthur (ZHW), which in turn was expanded in 2007 to become the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), comprising four locations across the canton of Zurich.

Since 2019, the School has been made up of three complementary institutes: the Institute of Language Competence ILC addresses language within different subject areas and spheres of life, while the IUED Institute of Translation and Interpreting IUED focusses on mediation between languages and cultures and the Institute of Applied Media Studies IAM records how all of this takes place in the public domain, where we primarily communicate with one another with the help of media.

Since 2020, transdisciplinary labs such as the Media Lab, the Digital Discourse Lab and the Barrier-free Communication Lab have offered research-based advisory services in specific national and international markets and networks.