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URPP Language and Space

Mobile teaching


In order to closely connect teaching and research at the URPP Language and Space in an innovative way, selected lectures have been held in a research-oriented manner ‘on site’. In order to do this, financial means were provided to acquire a tourguide system, which creates the technological prerequisite to hold lectures and seminars outside of a lecture hall or seminar room ‘in the field’. Teaching and Learning outside of a seminar room or lecture hall is of special significance for philology: the natural home of language is in places where communication takes place. This applies, for instance, to public places (like a station hall), in which language in both its audible and readable form is ubiquitous. This omnipresence of language in communication situations gets largely reduced when transported into a lecture hall or seminar room. The need at hand is thus for a type of mobile teaching which allows teachers and students to seek language there, where it is most at home. This requires technological aids in order to be able to easily and inconspicuously communicate in the field. Modern tourguide systems in form of intercoms (earplugs and microphone) connected by radio make it possible for teachers and students to move around in the field even in large groups and to share observations and comment on them ‘live’ on site. A pilot project that was conducted on this in the autumn semester 2013 at the Zurich main station was awarded with the Teaching Award of the University of Zurich for the year 2014. The pilot project on mobile teaching has proven that teaching in the field is a most promising extension of University teaching, which is traditionally bound to a lecture hall or seminar room; however, proper equipment is vital for this.

Project leadership

Heiko Hausendorf


Stiftung für wissenschaftliche Forschung, UZH

Weiterführende Informationen


Heiko Hausendorf gives a series of lectures at the main station Zurich

Read more about this unusal and innovative method of teaching in this UZH News post.