The University of Technology has always recognised the importance of the teaching of foreign languages, including technical language. The language centres of the various faculties were combined into the Institute for Languages in 1970. As its responsibilities expanded, the institute assumed a new name: The Institute of Modern Languages. Today the centre is an independent organizational unit within the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences with 58 lecturers and language teachers and 23 administrative staff working full-time at the Centre, along with 40 freelance language lecturers and hundreds of accredited examiners who support its language testing work. The Centre’s task is to develop the students’ written and oral communication skills in foreign languages. Its objective is to provide them with language skills that, along with the knowledge of their profession, will enable them to keep pace with the latest developments of the rapidly changing scientific world throughout their studies, and later to participate in international scientific life.
The centre conducts wide-ranging research activities in terms of the diversity of projects it undertakes. The centre’s main focus of activity (foreign language education) means that a prominent role is given to studying the methodology of language competence evaluation, the results of which then are incorporated in the language teaching at the institute. Another related activity of the centre is preparing and updating teaching materials for various courses, which requires continuous materials development work. The research fields of faculty members who possess, or are studying for doctoral (PhD) degrees include: linguistic aspects of technical language education, research into technical language teaching methodology and studies of features of intercultural communication. The results of research into contrastive linguistics are primarily applied in the centre’s work training technical translators and interpreters. Other research fields of the centre include language testing and quality assurance. Within the framework of the Workshop of Applied Linguistics at the Institute of Modern Languages, internal training sessions are organized on current areas of research, including professional seminars which provide a forum for PhD dissertations to be presented. Every year, on average, 25-30 students participate in the language sections of the Conference of Students’ Scientific Circles organized by the Institute of Modern Languages in the following languages: English, German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish. The centre provides consultancy on specific topics in cooperation with lecturers of various departments.
Our Centre maintains active professional relationships with numerous foreign institutions, including Lessius Hogeschool Antwerpen, ISIT Institut Catholique de Paris, Haute Ecole Leonardo de Vinci – Institut Libre Marie Haps Brussels, INSA de Rennes, Scuola Superiore per Mediatori Linguistici di Milano, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad de Valladolid, Universitate Regensburg, Spokane Falls Community College and Université de Strasbourg ITI-RI.
I. language teaching
The task of the Institute of Modern Languages is the preparation of BME students to meet the language knowledge conditions stipulated in the University’s qualifying, educational and graduation requirements, and to develop students’ general and specific, oral and written skills in the following languages: English, French, Dutch, Japanese, German, Hungarian (as a foreign language), Italian, Russian, Spanish. On general and specialist zero-credit language courses, students are prepared for general and specialised language exams (LSP for Engineering or Economics) at B1, B2 and C1 levels, and, on demand, for international language exams (Cambridge, Goethe, Puskin, DELF). Refresher courses are organized for students who already have a language certificate in a language but who wish to practise it. BSc and BA Students can take, beside zero-credit language courses, Language for Engineers, Communication Skills, Manager Communication, and Cross-cultural Communication credit courses. Courses for MSc and MA students comprise Specific Language Features in the EU, Preparation for work or study abroad, and Faculty-specific LSP studies.
II. specialised translator and interpreter training
Students wishing to study translation and interpreting can choose between several courses, leading to various professional qualifications. Four-semester part-time courses lead to qualifications as a ‘Specialist Translator and Interpreter’ or as a ‘Translator’ while two-semester full-time courses prepare participants to become an ‘International specialist Translator in Two languages’ or an ‘International Conference Interpreter in Two languages’ or ‘International Conference Interpreter in Three languages’. Courses are available in several language combinations and are run in co-operation with renowned translators and interpreters. Besides the Hungarian diploma, graduates of the International Translators and Interpreters Training School may also acquire diplomas from the University of Strasbourg: the university diploma of ‘LSP Translator’ or the master diploma of ‘Conference Interpreter’. The course for translators with two foreign languages became the first member in Hungary of the European Master’s in Translation Network (EMT) established by the EU’s Directorate-General for Translation.
III. examination centre
The Language Examination Centre of BME Institute of Modern Languages has been an accredited language examination centre since 2000. The centre’s general bilingual exam system in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish was also accredited by NYAT at this time. Within the ‘LSP for Engineering’ exam system, the monolingual Hungarian as a foreign language exam was accredited in 2001, then its bilingual English, French, German and Russian exams followed in 2002. The centre also developed ‘LSP for Economics’ within its LSP exam system and gained accreditation for English exams in 2004, and for French and German in 2006. Today BME exams can be taken in almost 40 locations, providing nationwide coverage. On average the number of candidates taking BME language examinations is over 10,000 a year. In 2013 the BME’s general monolingual examination system was accredited in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
IV. language school
The BME Language School is the language school of the Institute of Modern Languages which organizes general examination preparation courses and refresher courses including ones with undergraduate course content in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish for external students. The centre also offers mock BME examinations at pre-arranged times, which can be registered for in person or online at the above address. The Language School also organizes on-site courses for companies.