print preview

Language training


In language training courses at the Military Academy (MILAC) at ETH Zurich career officer candidates are taught German, French and English in the basic training courses of study (diploma course, bachelor course and military school).

Educational goals

First national language («mother tongue»)

The aim of the course is to enable participants to express themselves skillfully and with nuance, both orally and in writing, in their mother tongue.


Second national language (German or French)

In the second national language, optimal linguistic preparedness is to be cultivated for participants in anticipation of their first assignment as career officer in German and French.


Participants acquire the skills to:

  • to be able to function fluenty in an international environment within the scope of their activity as career officers. Moreover, they learn to employ English-language sources efficiently for their studies;
  • to write texts for academic studies;
  • to reach at least level B2 according to the CEFR.

Level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages must be achieved in all languages. Language certificates with higher requirements are sought.

In addition, participants with the appropriate know-how can receive individual support to help them to prepare for external language diploma examinations:

  • German: Goethe C1 or C2;
  • Franch: DELF B2, DALF C1 or C2;
  • English: TOEIC (at MILAC) or IELTS (external);

Training programme

Depending on the basic training course of study, the following languages are taught:

Bachelor course (BLG)

2nd national language (level B2)

  • 120 lessons (two semesters plus one intensive week per semester)
  • 30 lessons military German/Français militaire (one intensive week)

English (level B2)

  •  180 lessons (three semesters plus one intesive week per semester)
  •  30 lessons military English (one intensive week)


Diploma course (DLG)

2nd national language (level B2)

  • 45 lessons (one semester)


English (level B2)

  • 45 lessons (three semesters plus one intensive week per semester)


Military school (MS)

national language («mother tongue»)

  • 130 lessons and three intensive weeks


2nd national language (level B2)

  • 220 lessons and six intensive weeks


English (level B2)

  • 130 lessons and three intensive weeks

Other activities

In addition to language teaching, services are also provided in the following areas:

  • Preparation and evaluation of teaching materials with focus on military terminology;
  • Entrance examinations within the framework of Selection 2 (language and sports examination);
  • Determination of language skills of career officers and non-commissioned officers with regard to extended stays abroak (LAK)
  • Continuing education courses in English in preparation for selections 3 and 4;
  • Carying out TOEIC examinations for professional military personnel and DDPS staff.


The first national language is considered to be: German, French or Italian.

As second national language is considered:

  • French

            for course participants with German as first national language

  • German

            for course participants with French or Italian as first national language

Sanson Schweizer


  • German and French as a foreign language
  • Training in military terminology (German/French/English)
  • Electronic training courses (e-Learning)

Cristina Maritz


  • French as a foreign language
  • German as a foreign and native language

Ernestina Soares


  • French as a foreign and native language

Andrew Clarke


  • English as a foreign language

René Machu

He taught English and German at several colleges (Gymnasium) in Switzerland and was the Coordinator for the International Baccalaureate at the German International School in Sharjah UAE until he joined the Military Academy at the ETH Zurich in 2021.

Currently responsible for:

  • teaching English as a foreign language
  • teaching German as a foreign and native language
  • translating and proofreading German and English texts


Head Language Training

Military Academy (MILAC) at ETH Zurich Kaserne Reppischtal
CH-8903 Birmensdorf
+41 58 483 50 35