The three German-speaking countries in Europe have developed a cooperation to revise and develop international diplomas for German as a foreign or second language – a very interesting topic for and in Switzerland. The University of Fribourg has been commissioned by the EDK to participate in the project with the German partners Goethe Institute (GI) and The European Language Certificates (telc) as well as the Austrian association Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch (ÖSD). The revision work on the certificate for German as a foreign language (new: Zertifikate Deutsch ZD, level B1 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) was successfully completed at the end of 1999. Since then, the partner institutes GI, telc and ÖSD have been able to offer the ZD worldwide. In the years 2003 through 2005, the cooperation partners developed the certificate ZD j, an equivalent certificate adapted for young people.
The focus of current work is the continuation of various projects that concern assuring the quality of the ZD and ZD j. In 2009, the partners began tackling the first revision of the ZD in keeping with the Council of Europe’s manual and under consideration of the latest tendencies in research in the field of testing. When finished, the new test should have a modular character – an innovation on the market for international language certificates.