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It is essential, and considered as a priority here at Mines Nancy, for any engineering student to have a good command of a minimum of two foreign languages and to learn about new cultures.

As a result, students are required to register for a compulsory English course, as well as follow a course in the other foreign language they studied at high school or start a new foreign language.

In addition, they can study a third foreign language, which is optional, from their first year at the Ecole des Mines de Nancy or begin a new language during their last year of studies.

Foreign languages represent approximately 20% of a student’s curriculum. The syllabus includes cultural and cross-cultural courses and is designed so as to enable students to take full responsibility for their language training and become independent or proficient users. Teaching methods include traditional classes as well as autonomous work accompanied by academic tutors.



Laurence MASSEMIN - Head of Foreign Languages

03 55 66 27 82 -

Elisabeth JAKOB - Head of German

03 55 66 27 87-

Petra NORROY - Head of English

03 55 66 27 92 -

Iluminada MATA - Head of Spanish

03 55 66 27 88 -

Alexandra NAWROT - Secretary

03 55 66 27 83 -

The organization of language teaching

Language acquittal
In their first and second years of study at Mines Nancy students learn (a minimum of) two foreign languages of which English is compulsory. A certain number of language credits must be validated before graduation. The first year language entry tests define a student’s level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and determine his/her objectives and progress. Students entering Mines Nancy directly in their second year also take a compulsory language entry test in two foreign languages, the results of which determine their objectives and progress.

First year student

 Language acquital requirements before graduation:

  • pass all language classes and modules (English, second foreign language and, in some cases, third foreign language)
  • gain approval for the self-learning programme
  • progress to the next level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)  in English and the second foreign language.

However, it must be noted that:
for the second foreign language the minimum requirement is B1

for English the minimum requirement is B2

  • the student must take and pass a recognized external language test/certificate at the required level – i.e. according to the objectives fixed on entry - in both compulsory foreign languages

Passing a recognized language certificate in a third foreign language (optional) in no way replaces the certification requirements in English or the second foreign language.

Students entering Mines Nancy directly in the second year

Language acquittal requirements before graduation:

  • pass all language classes and modules
  • reach a (minimum) B2 level in English according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and take and pass a recognized external test/certificate.

Students entering Mines Nancy directly in the second year may be exempted from learning a second foreign language if their level in English is considered as not sufficient to allow them to progress simultaneously in both languages, in which case the student will benefit from extra tuition in English.


Foreign Language Courses




English and 2nd foreign language for non-beginners*

Second foreign language*


Third foreign language* (option)


Language Enforcement

1st year

Self-Learning = equivalent to 25% of language learning time

The objective of this programme is for a student to learn how to fix language-learning  objectives and organize his/her work  accordingly.

1 class/week (English)

2 classes/week (2nd foreign language for non-beginners)

2 classes/week

1 class/week 


NB: the student is committed to learning this language for the full two years

1 class/week

 NB: the student registers for a semester

2nd year


Classes require a varying degree of self-learning. 

This calls for a certain amount of responsibility on the part of the student-engineer:

-respect of deadlines

-intellectual integrity.

Students having reached a C1 or C2 level: 1 class/week 

All other students: 2 classes/week (or its equivalent)

2 classes/week

1 class/week

 NB: the student registers for a semester

3rd year

1 class/week (or its equivalent) 

Students having reached a C1 or C2 level and who have satisfied all language acquittal requirements may be exempted from class.

1 class/week

Students may choose to begin learning a new language.

* The following languages are offered at Mines Nancy if the minimum threshold of 8 students is reached: German, Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and, for foreign students, French as a Foreign Language (FLE).

Foreign language course: independent learning and responsibility

Help in making choices

At Mines Nancy students actively participate in the structuring of their language studies and plan their own learning strategy with the help of a foreign language teacher (language-learning mentor).

Observation Phase
During the opening weeks of the first year students follow workshops and introduction classes in self-learning techniques and new languages and are guided by the First Year language Coordinator as well as a designated foreign language teacher who acts as their mentor. This period is intended to help the student in his/her choices regarding their second and/or third foreign language.

Entry Tests

All students take a compulsory entry test in English and German or Spanish in order to assess their level.

Signing up to language goals and objectives – the language-learning contract

Each student, with the help and guidance of their language-learning mentor, makes their language choices and fixes learning objectives (e.g. exam level) according to the entry test results and his/her language ambitions. The student makes a formal promise to fulfil these objectives and, if applicable, regularly attend classes in a third foreign language.

Language-learning mentor
This foreign language teacher is responsible for overlooking the student’s language learning as a whole and provides guidance in the self-learning programme.

The language-learning mentor is available to help, guide and answer any questions regarding the student’s language-learning requirements or the aims and objectives signed up to in the language-learning contract. A student may also ask advice from either the First Year language Coordinator or the different Heads of languages.
At the end of the first year the language-learning mentor approves (or not) the student’s work in the self-learning programme. The mentor may ask for further information regarding a student from any of his/her foreign language teachers.

Foreign Language Assessment

Assessment is based on knowledge acquired and progress made in terms of the course objectives. This takes into account the student’s level and involvement.
Assessment table

A (Excellent)Outstanding progress made during the semester. Total commitment. Excellent attendance.
B (Very good)Regular attendance. Noticeable progress thanks to hard work and personal commitment.
C (Good)Committed student. Regular attendance. Consistent hard work, despite results occasionally being slightly below standard.
D (Satisfactory)Results are generally satisfactory, however, more effort and commitment are required.
E (Minimum Pass)Little effort on the part of the student. Minimal progress made.
Fx (Narrow Fail) Attendance and effort are below standard.
F (Fail)Unsatisfactory results due to a lack of commitment and/or attendance.

When two teachers are involved in the same course, the assessment is made in partnership.
A student’s grade and appreciation comments are communicated to him/her during the last class of the semester.

Continuous assessment and regular attendance

The system used is one of continuous assessment and requires constant effort and involvement from the student throughout the semester. Repeated absence from class or a lack of personal work therefore has significant impact on the final grade. If a student does not obtain a pass mark for a course extra work is given by the teacher(s) responsible for the course.
This extra work is given after the teachers’ end-of-semester student assessment meeting.


Language Tests and Certificates







Preliminary English
Test (PET) or
BEC Preliminary

Cambridge First
(FCE) or
BEC Vantage
or IELTS 6/6.5
or TOEFL iBT 95

Advanced (CAE),
grade C
or IELTS 7/7,5

CAE grade A
or Certificate of
Proficiency in English
or IELTS 8 or above

TOEFL iBT  101-107 points (C1) 108 points or above (C2)
GermanZertifikat B1Zertifikat B2Zertifikat C1Zertifikat C2

TORFL (base level)

ItalianCILS Livello 1CILS Livello 2CILS Livello 3 
ChineseHSK ElementaryHSK StandardHSK Advanced 

Japanese Language Skills Test. Level 4

Japanese Language Skills Test. Level 3

French as a Foreign Language

TCF B1 (including writing and speaking skills)

TCF B2 (including writing and speaking skills)

TCF C1 (including writing and speaking skills)

PortugueseDE PLE B1   



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