About us

About us

The Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre is an interdepartmental unit of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Our offer is addressed to students and academic staff of the three faculties concentrated in the Jagiellonian University Medical College: Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy and Faculty of Health Sciences. We mainly offer courses designed for future health care professionals, and we place particular emphasis on learning a specialised language with respect to the profile and field of study. Our courses also include general and academic components. We create original materials and programmes to meet the needs of our students.


The origins of the Language Centre date back to 1950, when the Centre for the Practical Study of Foreign Languages was established at the Medical University, which was created as a result of the separation of the Faculty of Medicine from the Jagiellonian University and soon transformed into the Medical University. Initially, the Centre educated students of the Faculties of Medicine and Pharmacy, and later also of the Faculty of Health Sciences. When the Medical University rejoined the Jagiellonian University in 1993 as the Medical College, the Centre for Practical Foreign Language Teaching became part of the Jagiellonian University Language Centre. This state of affairs continued until 2014, when a separate entity was established: the Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre.


The Language Centre runs classes for students in four modern languages English, German, French and Spanish. Our classes are attended by approximately 2,000 students per year in first and second degree programmes. The course levels and teaching content are adapted to the requirements of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Depending on the level of students’ language skills, some groups have classes at a higher level than recommended. The curricula refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The teaching staff of the Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre conducts foreign language examinations in doctoral programmes by being part of the faculty examination committees.

Our lecturers also conduct the language examinations required for doctors to become specialists.

The teaching staff of Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre is actively involved in international activities in the field of teaching and assessing language competence in medical English. They have participated, among others, in the following projects:

  • Standardised Language Certificate for Medical Purposes (sTANDEM); as part of the project, international examination standards were developed to test competence in specialised medical language. www.standem.eu
  • English for specific purposes in Science – Therapeutic Professions (ESP-T); the project has developed an e-learning course in medical English with a special focus on terminology related to the professional work of physiotherapists, speech therapists and occupational therapists.  www.esp-t.eu

Testing English for Specific Purposes in Science (TESPIS); the project has developed an examination standard to test knowledge of specialist language for selected scientific fields. www.tespis.eu


The Jagiellonian University in Krakow, as a public university, according to its Statute, “educates and brings up students (…) in accordance with the ideas of humanism and tolerance, in the spirit of respect for truth and conscientious work” and is obliged to prepare students to “independently solve the tasks posed by modern life” (§1).

The Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre operates in accordance with the Statutes of the JU and is part of the implementation of the University’s mission, facilitating the process of learning foreign languages and thus developing the skills necessary for personal and professional development. The realisation of this mission is made possible by:

  • offering high quality educational services in a friendly atmosphere of equal opportunities, support and openness,
  • supporting learners’ own development,
  • supporting the professional development of teaching and administrative staff,
  • developing and implementing curricula in accordance with the principles of the latest pedagogical approaches.

Knowledge of a foreign language should, in our understanding, help students to become competent healthcare professionals. We place particular emphasis on developing teamwork skills, the ability to communicate and show understanding to patients and their families. Knowledge of a foreign language should enable our students to acquire content knowledge through reading professional literature and attending academic lectures and conferences. Our students should also be prepared to present the results of their work and research in medical fields orally and in writing.

At the same time, we believe that the use of a foreign language facilitates the establishment and deepening of social contacts and contributes to personal development.


We believe that the best way to achieve our goals is through an eclectic approach, in which elements of the action approach. This is because we want our students to be able to communicate in foreign languages, i.e. undertake linguistic activities in their private lives, at university and at work. This is why we try to place emphasis on the practical application of language skills. We attach importance to grammatical and phonetic correctness and to vocabulary enrichment.


The didactic approach of the Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre is based on the conviction that people learn languages in different ways and for different reasons. Therefore, when planning the didactic process:

  • the content of the courses should correspond to the needs and interests of the learners,
  • the methods and techniques used in the courses should correspond to the learners’ level of language competence,
  • the courses should develop communication skills in the broadest sense; we want to facilitate learners’ development not only of linguistic competence (grammar, semantics or pronunciation), but also of pragmatic and intercultural competence (producing and understanding oral and written texts) and of strategies that can be applied in professional, academic and private contexts regardless of language (e.g. learning strategies or techniques for working with source texts),
  • the courses should allow contact with authentic and original written and spoken materials to a degree that depends on the learners’ competence and expertise,
  • the courses should offer specialised language learning, but also a general as well as an academic component.

 We also believe that learning a foreign language can and should be a rewarding challenge. We offer students a variety of materials, often authentic, and engage them in stimulating tasks.

Teaching staff

There are more than 30 people working at the Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre. They form a competent and qualified team, specialising in teaching medical language. They are constantly developing their professional skills through self-education, obtaining degrees and participating in conferences and trainings.

The teaching team of the Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre is guided by the principle that, in order to achieve the stated aims of education, it is necessary, in particular, to:

  • promote an approach that places the learner at the centre of the teaching process,
  • inform learners about the objectives of courses and classes and the expected learning outcomes,
  • adapt, as far as possible, teaching techniques to the needs of individual students and the group,
  • provide a variety of activities in the classroom and ensure the appropriate dynamic of the classes,
  • create a good and supportive learning atmosphere,
  • ensure that learners are actively involved in the learning process through communicative tasks,
  • provide feedback to learners during class and on homework, including correcting errors as appropriate,
  • provide time in class to reflect on what has been done in class (e.g. in relation to the lesson objectives),
  • present, practise and evaluate the use of language in context,
  • give clear instructions.


 We believe that student autonomy should be developed. Students should learn to evaluate their own progress and possibly undertake additional work. The didactic activities of the Jagiellonian University Medical College Language Centre are based on the assumption that, in order to optimise the achievement of specific learning outcomes, learners should:

  • become aware of their own language needs,
  • be aware of their strengths and weaknesses as language learners,
  • develop learning strategies appropriate to themselves, including language learning,
  • be aware of the social and cultural context of the languages they use (including their mother tongue),
  • be able to evaluate their own progress and set their own language goals,
  • take responsibility for the development of their own skills in order to achieve their own objectives, and improve them both through cooperation in a group and through systematic, independent work as part of a programme of study,
  • make use of indicated teaching materials, including materials of a specialised nature, which may be helpful in the autonomous development of various skills, as well as validated Internet sites containing materials for independent practice of grammatical or lexical questions,
  • take an active part in planning the courses as far as possible,
  • actively participate in the implementation of individual lessons using, as far as possible, original texts of their own choice.