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Language Competence and Knowledge Development

We focus on research topics relevant to the development of language as a socially bound and constructed phenomenon. Our mandate is to examine language skills and knowledge, and their practical implementation in a variety of contexts of communication.

Multilingual communication and communicative competence in education, at work and in politics are important components in our multicultural and globalised society. Language skills, which also include a sociolinguistic dimension, play a significant role in current social issues, and have a direct impact on the transfer of knowledge and communication between social actors. These multi-faceted relationships are the main research focus of our interdisciplinary team.


Quality Management of English-Medium Instruction at ZHAW

Financed by the International Office of ZHAW, the survey is on the state of English-medium instruction in bachelor’s degree programmes in ZHAW. The study focuses on the current needs of study programmes regarding the introduction of English-medium modules and the development of tools and support mechanisms to meet those needs. It is part of a broader project involving the development of ZHAW English-Medium-Instruction guidelines and a sustainable national-level EMI quality maintenance system.

Quality management system for English-medium instruction

Inter-university collaboration with the Sprachlehrinstitut (SLI), Faculty of Philology, University of Freiburg (Germany), in the area of English-medium instruction, comprising joint research projects, workshops, conferences and publications.

Professionalisation and reflexivity in teacher education

Collaboration between HEP-BEJUNE and ZHAW on professionalisation in formal teacher education in Switzerland. Focusing on academic writing, ZHAW analyses representations of ‘reflexivity’ in academic writing. To which extent should authorial stance and private reflections be part of final bachelor’s theses? Can we define good reflective practice?


We teach within the Bachelor's Degree Programme Applied Languages and the Master's Degree Programme Applied Linguistics at the School of Applied Linguistics and in the context of the joint MSE programme (Master of Science in Engineering).

Continuing education

Patrick Studer is a co-director of the new CAS Learning and Teaching in Higher Education through English. It is offered in co-operation with the Zentrum für Hochschuldidaktik und Erwachsenenbildung of the PH Zürich. The course is aimed at university lecturers who wish to obtain a qualification in higher education didactics, and to simultaneously prepare to teach their subject through English.

Business services

We develop specialist workshops or seminars at the interface of language competence and teacher training. Areas of specialisation include English-medium instruction and EMI didactics. We are currently involved in teacher training initiatives in the departments of Life Science and Facility Management and the School of Engineering (ZHAW).