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The Zurich University of Applied Sciences is represented in the CLARIN-CH Consortium by Prof. Cerstin Mahlow, from the School of Applied Linguistics, Institute of Language Competence.

The community from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences provides CLARIN-CH language resources and expertise in language sciences, and it is actively involved in research projects involving language resources.

Language resources

The Swiss Web Corpus for Applied Linguistics (Swiss-AL) corpus. It is the largest multilingual corpus in Switzerland and includes texts from over 350 relevant actors in public communication. It currently contains 8 million texts, including news items, specialist publications and parliamentary minutes, websites of political parties, companies and universities, statements by business associations and NGOs. Flexible data processing enables data-supported and data-driven analysis options on social and political discourses. The Swiss-AL corpus is available for research here.

Schools and Institutes involved in CLARIN-CH

School of Applied Linguistics

1. Institute of Language Competence

Group of German as Foreign Language
Areas of expertise:

  • Applied linguistics
  • Basic competences in reading and writing
  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Digital literacy
  • Foreign and bilingual didactics
  • General writing competence in vocational education
  • German linguistics
  • Integration policy and intercultural education
  • Interlingual differences and interlingual influences
  • Language didactics: explicit and implicit options for controlling learning processes
  • Language level evaluation procedures
  • Moral education
  • Profiles of language course leaders in the integration field
  • Political education
  • Role of formulaic language in language acquisition
  • Use-based models of first, second and foreign language acquisition

Group of Digital Linguistics
Areas of expertise:

  • (Computer) morphology and phraseology
  • Development of NLP-based methods for the analysis and visualisation of text production
  • Digitality
  • Digital transformation and its socio-cultural and pedagogical/didactic implications
  • Text and Discourse Linguistics
  • Language and Politics/Political Linguistics
  • Language and Law/Legal Linguistics
  • Language Use in the 20th Century
  • Language Criticism
  • Language Ideology
  • Linguistic analysis and modelling of writing processes
  • Postcolonial Language Studies
  • Writing technology and document engineering

Group of Professional communication and knowledge transfers
Areas of expertise:

  • Didactics of writing
  • Expert-layman communication
  • Specialised text production
  • Specialised text linguistics

Group of Interculturality and language diversity
Areas of expertise:

  • Communication with authorities
  • Culture and language
  • Gender-equitable language
  • Functional-pragmatic language and discourse analysis
  • Inclusive language
  • Individual and social multilingualism
  • Institutional communication
  • Intercultural communication
  • Language policy and language-political aspects of multilingualism
  • Language comparison and language contrast
  • Linguistic relativity
  • Medical communication
  • Pragmatics
  • Scientific and administrative language
  • Swiss-German sign language

Group of Language competence and knowledge transfer
Areas of expertise:

  • English as a world language in work and education
  • German as a foreign language
  • Psycholinguistics (Language Production)
  • Sign language (structure and processing; development of a European reference framework)
  • Spatial linguistics
  • Training language competence in the first language

2. Institute of Translation and Interpreting

Areas of expertise:

  • Applied Discourse studies
  • Audio description
  • Automated text translation
  • Automated subtitling
  • Automation and the usability of human-machine interfaces
  • Conference and community interpreting
  • Communication in multilingual settings
  • Distance interpreting
  • Ergonomics of translation
  • Extended Translation Competence
  • Human-machine communication
  • Information design
  • Intersemiotic translation
  • Interconnectedness between imagery, metaphors and cognitive models
  • Intralingual translation
  • Intelligent information
  • Information management
  • Interpreting studies
  • Impact of language technology
  • Multilingualism in Working Contexts
  • Multimodal communication
  • MT literacy and human-AI interaction
  • Neural networks and machine learning
  • Professional translation
  • Revision and Quality Assurance
  • Text and discourse linguistics
  • Technical communication
  • Translation processes and professional translation
  • Translation in the Swiss Context
  • Translation Theory and Practice

3. Institute of Applied Media Studies

Areas of expertise:

  • Business Modeling and Entrepreneurial Communication
  • Comics journalism
  • Data journalism
  • Digital storytelling
  • Journalism
  • Journalism Quality & Quality Management
  • Information design
  • Innovation in Journalism
  • Interactive data visualization
  • Media Accountability & Ethics
  • Media Use
  • Media Literacy
  • Media in Development
  • Media Linguistics
  • Media convergence
  • Multimodality
  • Organisational Communication and Management
  • Organisational Communication and Public Sphere
  • Organizational and Strategic Communication
  • Radio journalism
  • Storytelling and Design
  • Strategic Management and Public Governance
  • Visual semiotics

School of Health Sciences

Health Sciences Research Unit

Areas of expertise:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Digital health
  • Health monitoring
  • Health literacy
  • Life-course perspective on health
  • Public health with a focus on child and adolescent health

School of Engineering

Centre for Artificial Intelligence

Areas of expertise:

  • Algorithms and complexity
  • Dialogue Systems
  • Data Science
  • Efficient Algorithms and Complexity
  • Machine Learning
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Social Media
  • Software Engineering

School of Management and Law

Areas of expertise:

  • Applying natural language processing
  • Business information systems
  • Corpus Linguistics
  • Data analysis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Intellectual Property and Innovation
  • Machine Learning
  • Statistical Methodology and Research Design
  • The language and usage of law

School of Applied Psychology

Psychology Institute

Areas of expertise:

  • Children
  • Conflict resolution
  • Digital media
  • Media socialisation
  • Media competence
  • Media education
  • Social skills, opportunities and risks
  • Violence, sexuality and media
  • Violence prevention
  • Young people and media

Diagnostics and Counselling Section

Areas of expertise:

  • Career guidance
  • Chatbot coaching communication guidance
  • Coaching
  • Online coaching

Section for Media Psychology

Areas of expertise:

  • Brand Psychology
  • Communication
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Media Psychology
  • Research Methods

School of Life Sciences und Facility Management

Bio-Inspired Modelling & Learning Systems Unit

Areas of expertise:

  • Bio-inspired Computing
  • Deep Learning
  • Machine Learning
  • Modelling of Complex Systems

Current research projects


1. The project Digital Literacy in university contexts (DigLit) (Prof. Triantafyllia Liana Konstantinidou, Prof. Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow, Prof. Dr. Cerstin Mahlow) is carried out in collaboration with the Pädagogische Hochschule Zürich PHZH, the Berner Fachhochschule BFH and the Université de Neuchâtel. As digitalisation progresses, new technologies can offer valuable support to academic writers. However, research and practice show that students and their lecturers are often not aware of the applicability of available tools and are unable to exploit their full potential. These are the issues addressed by the DigLit project, supported by swissuniversities and the partner institutions. The challenge of this project is to make purposeful use of the benefits of Artificial Intelligence-related technologies in language teaching and learning as well as academic writing, while eliminating associated problems such as inefficient and misleading communication and misuse (e.g. plagiarism). This project aims to demonstrate how Artificial Intelligence-related technologies can be systematically and meaningfully introduced into higher education teaching and counselling; the competent use of these technologies by lecturers will be promoted; students will be empowered to improve their writing with the help of intelligent machines. To achieve this goal, it evaluates the applicability of different types of digital multilingual writing support at Swiss universities and raise awareness among current and future users of the opportunities and risks involved. [Ongoing]

2. The project Development of placement tests and systematic introduction of language examinations at Zurich International School (Prof. Joachim Hoefele, Prof. Triantafyllia Liana Konstantinidou, Institute of Language Competence) aims to introduce a standardised, coherent system of placement tests and language examinations in order to promote the German competences of the students in a targeted manner. The project is developing two CEFR-based placement tests; in this context, workshops are being designed and conducted in which teachers are taught the language acquisition levels (German as first and second language) in the various skills and familiarised with the content, concepts and objectives of the Goethe language examinations for children and young people. [Ongoing]

3.The project Knowledge Communication and Transfer: Promoting Writing Competence in Vocational Education and Training - Concept, Implementation and Evaluation (Prof. Joachim Hoefele, Dr. Karin Madlener-Charpentier, Prof. Triantafyllia Liana Konstantinidou, Institute of Language Competence) examines for the first time the language and text-related writing competences of vocational learners with and without a migration background in the Germany-Austria-Switzerland. Lake Constance region. The results make targeted support diagnostics and didactics possible that take into account the heterogeneous linguistic resources of the learners. [Ongoing]

4. The project Gemeinsame europäische Referenzrahmen (GeR) websites for the sign languages of Switzerland (Prof. Jörg Keller Paul, Institute of Language Competence) aims to develop the competence descriptions for communicative competences in Swiss German Sign Language, and make these descriptions accessible in a video version. These descriptions were developed in close cooperation with Swiss deaf people at the ZHAW and then statically validated. In the future, they will serve as a reference for course objectives and competence assessments of a specific language competence level (A1-A2-B1-B2-C1-C2) in a total of 14 scales for productive and receptive areas of communication. [Ongoing]

5.The project Swiss Global Competence Lab (Prof. Patrick Studer, Institute of Language Competence) works towards the internationalization of the curriculum (IoC) in Swiss higher education context. The primary objective of this project is to build a dynamic organizational unit, called Swiss Global Competence Lab (SGCL), which is capable of responding to trends and emerging needs in internationalization of higher education in Switzerland. The SGCL is envisioned as the leading Centre of Excellence for R&D, teaching and services in the area of IoC. It also facilitates international collaboration and consultation with leading experts in the field (e.g., Center for International Higher Education in Boston, USA; the Network IoC Global in Action, Australia). [Ongoing]

6. The project Informed Consent in an Understandable Form (Prof. Felix Steiner, Institute of Language Competence) is funded by the Federal Office of Public Health and aims to contribute to improving comprehensibility for medical laypersons. To this end, the project is using applied linguistics to develop tools that support researchers and ethics committees in the formulation, review and editing of information and consent documents and optimise the quality of information discussions. [Ongoing]

7.The project End-to-End Low-Resource Speech Translation for Swiss German Dialects (Prof. Mark Cieliebak, Dr. Jan Milan Deriu, ZHAW School of Engineering, Centre for Artificial Intelligence) is funded by the SNSF. This project investigates the application of recent findings in Speech Translation to Swiss German. Speech Translation (ST) is the task of translating spoken utterances in one language into written text in a different language. It serves as an essential tool for breaking down language barriers in various communication settings and a promising means in preserving endangered languages. It investigate how ST can be applied to Swiss German dialects, i.e. to translate speech in Swiss German into text in Standard German. This has numerous important real-life applications, e.g. voice bots such as Siri or Alexa, interview transcription, generating meeting protocols, evaluation of call-center dialogues, etc. [Ongoing]

8.The project DOSSMA – Detection of Suspicious Social Media Activities (Prof. Mark Cieliebak, Prof. Pius von Däniken, ZHAW School of Engineering, Centre for Artificial Intelligence) is funded by the Federal government. The project investigates suspicious and malicious behaviour on social media platforms. In a first phase, we will compile an extensive survey report on the areas that are currently being researched, including the respective state-of-the-art, existing solutions and initiatives. This report will serve as a basis to pinpoint one or two suited topics where our expertise in the NLP domain is a good fit, and we will aim to make a scientific contribution to advance the state-of-the-art in a second phase of the project. [Ongoing]

9. The project Spread of Fake News and Hate Speech on Social Media in Switzerland (Prof. Pius von Däniken, ZHAW School of Engineering, Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Prof. Gregor Waller, ZHAW School of Applied Psychology, Section for Media Psychology) is funded by the ZHAW digital / Digital Futures Fund. [Ongoing]

10.The project Employing Natural Language Processing to identify inconsistencies in companies’ non-financial communication (Dr. Tomasz Orpiszewski, Dr. Jan-Alexander Posth, Prof. Dr. Peter Schwendner, Dr. Martin Schüle, Dr. Mark James Thompson, Dr. Marc Weibel) is funded by Inoosuisse. It uses Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning tools for identifying inconsistencies in companies’ financial and non-financial communication. [Ongoing]

11.The project Cognitive Load in Interpreting and Translation (CLINT) (Prof. Dr. Michaela Albl-Mikasa, Prof. Dr. Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow, ZHAW School of Applied Linguistics, Institute of Translation and Interpreting; Prof. Dr. Lutz Jäncke, University of Zürich, Institute of Psychology) is a SINERGIA project funded by the SNSF (2018-2022). In this interdisciplinary project, researchers in the fields of interpreting, translation and neuropsychology are studying the influence of non-standard English on language processing to determine the cognitive correlates associated with non-standard input and to measure its impact on the performance of interpreters, translators, and other bilinguals. [Ongoing]

resources/zhaw.txt · Last modified: 2022/07/21 22:20 by Cristina Grisot