The Department of Foreign Languages is established as part of The School of Engineering on April 1, 1953. The Department occupies one room in a building at pl. M. Skłodowska-Curie 1. The first head and organiser of this interfaculty unit is Professor Feliks Załachowski. The Department employs 8 teachers who teach English, German and Russian, and is organised into two sections: A Russian and a Western Languages Section. The Department employs both full-time and freelance teachers. Professor Bolesław Orgelbrand is the Rector of the School of Engineering at the time.
After two years, the Department moves to a PUT building at Strzelecka 11, where it is given two rooms, and a couple of years later, another two - a classroom and a language laboratory. The rooms are subsequently equipped with adapters, recorders and blackboards. Classes are held for full-time and part-time students as well as those who take evening classes.
The 1950s sees the development of Foreign Languages Associations. Students meet during literary evenings, hold poem recitation competitions, organise discussions and widen their language knowledge.
In 1956, Stanisław Niemczycki, M.A., is appointed as Deputy Head of the Department. He is co-author of a Russian student’s book and such papers as "Schiller Monograph” and "Schiller in Poland” (printed in an Eastern German scientific journal, Weimarer Beitrӓge”).
From 1960 DFL teachers begin providing foreign language courses for PUT scientific and research staff.
After ten years, the Department changes its name to the Department of Practical Foreign Language Teaching (SPNJO).
As the University develops, the Department progresses, too. The breakthrough comes in 1968, when the Department is moved to new rooms in Piotrowo 5. In the building of the Department of Civil Engineering, the Department of Practical Foreign Language Teaching (SPNJO) is given 5 rooms, including two for language laboratories.
This year also sees the retirement of the founder and the first Director of the Department, Feliks Załachowski, M.A. His responsibilities are taken over by Wanda Piwowarczyk, M.A., who will be the head of the Department for the next nine years.
Thanks to fruitful cooperation between the Department and the University authorities, on January 1, 1969, a language laboratory starts operating on a Swedish licence, equipped with 36 booths with steering tables, and a spool steering tape recorder with 28 tracks, which at the time is considered a technological marvel.
In the early 1970s, the number of teachers rises: there are 20 people employed full-time (including 2 senior lecturers), 4 freelance language instructors, and 2 administration employees. Ms Wanda Tecław is employed to run the main office, which she does with dedication for 35 years.
The Department introduces French and Spanish and organises separate English, German, Spanish/French and Russian language sections.
Language associations are still in operation, during which PUT students meet their fellow students from other universities and trainees from other countries. Between 1967 and 1972 three national competitions for foreign languages are held, at which PUT students come first and second twice, both as individuals and parts of teams.
Starting on February 1, 1973, the authorities of the Department organise methodology seminars for their teachers, which are then to be turned into doctoral courses. Scientific and didactic employees take obligatory part in the courses; some of them take up doctoral studies.
SPNJO is moved to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering building at Piotrowo 3a, in which the Department is still located today. At that time it is also given space for its own library and a new lab.
After Wanda Piwowarczyk, M.A. retires, Stanisław Niemczycki, M.A., becomes Head of the Department for one year. From 1978 to 1981, Ferdynand Czogalla, M.A., is Head of the Department. Thereafter, according to the new PUT authorities’ election rules, Ludwik Lange, M.A., is appointed Head of the Department.
In 1975, the Council of the Department is created, which from now on deals with issues related to its overall operation. The Council meets once a month and discusses plans for didactic work, methodological and behavioural issues, modern language teaching methods, reports, teaching results, textbooks and many other issues.
The Council of the Department represents its employees and operates to this day under the name ‘Centre of Languages and Communication Board’.
In April 1975, the Department organises the Foreign Languages National Symposium.
At the request of the University authorities and particular departments, our employees translate specialist technical texts written in Polish into various foreign languages and offer their help to all scientific researchers.
In the next election, Elżbieta Czogalla, M.A., lecturer of German, is elected Head of the Department and remains in the positionfor 12 years. In the academic year 1985/86, the Department’s library is opened, functioning as part of PUT’s scientific libraries to this day.
Between 1985-95, the Department is run by Elżbieta Czogalla, M.A. During this time, it extends its didactic base and its rooms are modernised. New tape recorders are bought and the teachers’ rooms obtain new equipment. The Department is the first interfaculty entity to obtain a state-of-the-art photocopier.
The library, which at the time does not have many books (only two cases in a small room next to the main office), is moved to a separate room, and since then it has functioned as the SPNJO Library. Technical equipment and its maintenance is supervised by Henryk Szymański, M.Sc. Eng., who runs the Technical Section. The Department also helps plan equipment for one of the rooms of the Polish-German Academic Centre.
In terms of didactics, English classes last 7 semesters, then 6, and after 1990, the number is reduced to 4. Classes start at 8 a.m. and finish at 3 p.m. After 3 p.m. teachers have additional duty hours, which they spend in the language laboratory, where, for example, they show films in foreign languages.
In 1985, for the first time in the history of the Department, and after intensive efforts, it establishes contacts with the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Warsaw. In the future, students may have the possibility of undertaking internships abroad.
In 1994, the unit’s name is changed once again to the Department of Foreign Languages.
In 1995, the first English Language Olympiad for students of Poznan University of Technology is held. The objective of the competition is to spark interest in the culture of Anglo-Saxon countries and to test knowledge of the English language. Starting in 2000, the Olympiad is organized across the country in Polish technical universities. To this day, the Centre of Languages and Communication has organized the annual Polish National Olympiad of the English Language for Students of Technical Universities. Honorary Patronage is taken by His Magnificence Rector of Poznan University of Technology, the Consul of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and the Chair of the Polish Irish Society. The 1st stage is organised at particular universities and then students of technical universities and maritime academies come to Poznan for the final competition. The 2nd stage comprises a written and oral test. The winners of the Olympiad receive numerous awards, including a language course in the UK for the best participants.
Between 1995 and 2013, the Centre organised 18 language olympiads.
CLC PUT Modern times: 1996-2013
In 1996, English language teacher, Liliana Szczuka-Dorna, M.A.,, is appointed Head of the Department of Foreign Languages following democratic elections, and continues to fulfil this position to this day. Between 1996 and 2004, many changes are introduced both in the Department of Foreign Languages ?
In 1996, Poznan University of Technology introduces new financial policies. The DFL as an interfaculty unit also benefits from the distribution of funds. This leads to changes in the organisation of the work of its staff; additional DFL activities are launched in the form of commercial courses for students, PUT staff and the local community of the Rataje district. Classes are held from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., Monday to Thursday. On Fridays, classes finish at 3.00 p.m., but at weekends they are run for part-time students from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
An ever increasing number of students requires a greater number of classrooms. The Department of Foreign Languages undergoes a major overhaul. The library is equipped with modern bookshelves, reading desks, two computer workstations and is moved to a new room. Teachers’ offices are renovated and converted into classrooms. A staff room with a kitchenette and a photocopier is also made available.A new Computer Lab opens, featuring 30 computer workstations with multimedia software for learning foreign languages available to PUT students and employees. All the classrooms are provided with TV sets and videocassette recorders.
In the area of teaching, the DFL implements a new teaching system approved by the Senate of Poznan University of Technology. Students receive a so-called teaching hour credit for learning an individually chosen foreign language. Students obtain the credit in the form of one-semester courses of 60 hours each. They then decide in which semester they wish to begin a course in a foreign language. Students have to complete their course by the 6th semester of their studies. Final exams are held for all students during both winter and summer sessions. The written part of the exam always takes place on the first day of the session. Exams in the Centre are currently organised in accordance with the European Credit Transfer System. Students with a very good command of a foreign language and who hold appropriate certificates may be exempted from a foreign language course and may, within the limit of available hours, choose to learn another foreign language.
The Department of Foreign Languages of Poznan University of Technology provides a choice of the following languages: English, French, German, and Italian. Other languages are offered at the request of the Faculty Board and students. From 1998, following a decision by the Senate of Poznan University of Technology, the exam grade in a foreign language is included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average. On 24 March 1999 all the changes are authorized by the Resolution of the Senate.
In 2003, the Department of Foreign Languages of Poznan University of Technology introduces a pilot semester of teaching a foreign language for specific purposes for students finishing their foreign language course. Students are taught to deliver individual and group presentations, write CVs and covering letters, and prepare summaries. They learn specialised terminology relevant to each faculty.
In 2004, upon Poland joining the European Union, the system of higher education is also changed. Our University implements new policies following the directives of the Bologna Treaty.
Some of the most important objectives of such a type of education are to promote mobility among students and staff, to introduce a three-level studying system based on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) and to extend the participation of PUT students and employees in the lifelong learning process. All these objectives are supported by the DFL in their work.
The most important change in the Department of Foreign Languages after 2004 is the introduction of the teaching of foreign languages for specific purposes in its syllabi. Teaching foreign languages for general purposes was previously limited to learning how to operate effectively in the international job market and in daily life situations. The most significant issue, now, however, is learning how to communicate effectively using a foreign language for specific purposes characteristic of a given field of study.
A foreign language course in the Centre of Languages and Communication of Poznan University of Technology for first-cycle full-time studies currently comprises 120 hours taught over 2 semesters. The Centre offers English, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Polish for foreign students. Classes are held in groups with different ability levels formed on the basis of placement tests taken by students during their first meeting.
The essential aim of each foreign language course is to consolidate the knowledge students acquired in secondary school and to broaden it, taking them to at least B2 level, at which they are "able, in a wide range of topics, to formulate clear and detailed opinions in speaking and writing, and to explain their viewpoints in matters under discussion, considering the advantages and disadvantages of various solutions.”
In the academic year 2011/2012, fundamental changes are introduced in the description of teaching modules in the Centre of Languages and Communication, which includes elements such as students’ skills, their knowledge and social competences. Teaching effects are defined in respect of the knowledge acquired by the students, their understanding and their ability to use this knowledge. The teaching module description cards contain the syllabus, professional literature, methods of assessing the effects of teaching and the number of ECTS points.
The Resolution of the Minister of Science and Higher Education of 2 November 2011 concerning the National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education regulates the description of teaching effects in 8 teaching areas and the description of teaching effects which lead to the acquirement of engineering competences.
The Centre of Languages and Communication of Poznan University of Technology develops syllabi for foreign language courses for specific fields of studies based on the National Qualifications Framework. The teaching effects define the requirements that students need to meet following studies in a given teaching cycle, and allow for the comparison of diplomas obtained in various institutions of higher education in Europe.
After taking a course in the CLC as part of first-cycle studies, students are able to communicate orally and manage negotiations, present their professional profile, read with comprehension articles from technical magazines, write business letters and academic texts.
A foreign language course during second-cycle studies is based on the modules of a foreign language for specific purposes connected with a given area of studies. The course prepares students to undertake activities in their professional and personal lives. Students are also prepared for further studies, for traineeships and to begin work in Europe and beyond.
As part of third-cycle studies, an English language course teaching English for Academic Purposes is offered to PhD students of Poznan University of Technology.
Foreign students, taking their courses at PUT under the Life-Long Learning–Erasmus program, attend a one-semester Polish language course. Upon finishing the course, students know basic vocabulary in Polish and are able to communicate in real-life situations.
In 2011, the DFL supplements the range of foreign languages offered with a course in Chinese. The course is run at elementary level.
In the academic year 2012/2013, following a Regulation by the Rector of Poznan University of Technology the Department of Foreign Languages is transformed into the Centre of Languages and Communication of Poznan University of Technology. Currently, it has 71 employees, including 67 language teachers, lecturers and senior lecturers, as well as 4 members of administrative staff.
The CLC operates two computer labs with 20 computer workstations equipped with multimedia projectors and a sound system. One of the labs serves as a media facility making it possible for undergraduates, graduates, PhD students and university staff to learn foreign languages on their own. Teachers on duty in the lab are always ready to help. Materials for self-teaching can be found on site as well in the Centre Library during the time the Media Library is open.
Lecturers and students alike can use the Centre Library, whose book collection numbers 7,200 volumes. The library offers several reading desks for readers to use reference books. The magazines available are offered in English and German and are subscribed to by the Centre.
All the CLC lecture rooms are equipped with fixed multimedia projectors with screens and sound systems. Lecturers have at their disposal a separate internet-enabled computer workstation. The Centre also has TV sets with a DVD player – one mobile, two fixed, as well as mobile multimedia projectors with sound. The Centre features an interactive whiteboard and all the teachers have CD players at their disposal.