Language Center

Languages are an integral part of all ISM study programs. A student and the Head of English Department explain which languages are taught and how the classes are structured.

English

English lessons at the ISM, which are compulsory for all bachelor's students, are not just about learning a foreign language. Soft skills like presentational abilities and negotiation techniques are also taught, thereby enabling students to give presentations on business topics in English or debate effectively in the foreign language.

Since the teaching staff, who all come from the U.K. and the United States, speak English in different dialects, students are prepared to face a world in which Oxford English is not necessarily spoken as standard.

Tuition in the English Language Center is entirely in English. Students in all bachelor's programs work towards sitting English language examinations. They then have the option of taking the Cambridge Certificate, for instance, on their own initiative.

Spanish

Spanish is not only spoken in Spain but in more than 20 countries around the world. This diversity is also reflected at the ISM's Spanish Language Center, with lecturers from Peru and Spain (Dortmund Campus), Ecuador, Argentina and Spain (Frankfurt/Main Campus), Colombia and Spain (Hamburg Campus) and Spain and Argentina (Munich Campus).

The lecturers also have practical business expertise and gear their tuition to the demands of working life. This means that students are well prepared to put their Spanish skills to good use in many different areas of a company as part of an internship, say, or throughout their careers.

All the Spanish Language Center's lectures are held in Spanish. Tuition is geared to the needs of beginners but students are expected to work hard before, during and after classes.

French

Many French enterprises have offices in Germany, and German companies can also be found in French-speaking countries. So it comes as no surprise that the interaction between the two countries is becoming ever more important, not only in language terms but culturally as well.

French classes at the ISM prepare students to face these challenges. All our lecturers are from France and are French native speakers. Classes are held entirely in French. Students can build on their French language skills by spending time in a French-speaking country, like visiting one of the ISM's partner universities during their foreign semester.

Chinese

Chinese is the mother tongue of more than 1 billion people in the People's Republic of China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong) and Singapore. It is also the native language of many population groups with Chinese roots who live in numerous Asian countries or, for example, in the United States, Canada or Australia. This makes Chinese the most widely spoken language in the world. Given China's growing importance as a political and economic power, being able to speak Chinese in a globalized world is an important additional qualification for the business leaders and workforce of tomorrow.

Students at the ISM can choose to learn Chinese as an elective subject. In class, students get to know the economic and cultural aspects of China. They prepare market research for China, say, or simulate representing German firms in China.

Students can opt to take an external language test in Chinese as a foreign language. Participants who pass this test receive an internationally recognized certificate -- an important document for anyone planning to study or work in China.

German

For most of you, your stay in Germany will be the first time you come into contact with the German language. German language teaching varies depending on your particular study program.

As a visiting student you can opt to complete a three-week intensive course in German before the semester begins. Our staff in the International Office will be pleased to provide you with further information. This intensive instruction will teach you basic words and phrases. Among other things, you will learn how to introduce yourself in German, interact with others and understand your first basic sentences. Upon completion of this crash course, you will be able to write your first simple sentences, and read and understand German.

ISM Language Center

As an alternative to intensive language tuition, you can also attend the "German as a foreign language" course, which is offered during normal semester time. In ten 90-minute sessions, you will get to grips with your first simple German terms and expressions.

If you are enrolled in an English-language Bachelor's program, language training will begin by teaching you a basic vocabulary – for example, the words and phrases you will need to greet and contact somebody, engage in leisure activities, visit restaurants and stay in hotels. You will also be taught your first basic German grammar, including how to conjugate verbs, prepositions, verbs which take the dative and the accusative, and the perfect tense. Phonetics tuition focuses on the proper intonation and accentuation of words. Later on, you will build up a vocabulary for the topics "getting around town" and "eating and drinking" as well as business and economic terminology. When you graduate you will have reached level A1+ of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

If you have registered for an English-language Master's program, meanwhile, you will take German lessons for two semesters. Here too, you will first build up a basic vocabulary, focusing on the words and expressions you need to introduce yourself and contact somebody as well as learning the first grammatical and phonetical rules. Other major topics covered include basic conversational German, for example about hobbies, leisure activities or how to reserve a hotel room. Grammar tuition is confined to a small number of straightforward structures and sentence patterns such as how to conjugate verbs in the present tense, noun groups in the nominative and accusative, and the perfect tense. You will also learn a number of basic business terms.