Information for PhD students on the modern language examination constituting a component of their doctorial defence

The Jagiellonian University's Language Centre (JCJ) conducts examinations in modern languages as a component of PhD defence programmes for PhD students studying at the University in all of its faculties with the exception of the Faculty of Languages and the Jagiellonian University's Medical Faculty Collegium Medicum.
The level of examinations in a modern language is regulated on the basis of the Regulation of the Jagiellonian University Senate of the 23rd of May 2012 designating guidelines for primary organisational units of the Jagiellonian University on the matter of instruction on PhD degree programmes.   
The examiner, who can be chosen by the PhD candidate,  is a principal lecturer in the foreign language, designated for PhD examinations by the JCJ Directorate and confirmed by the Faculty Council of the PhD candidate's faculty.   The list of examiners
An annual meeting to establish assessment standardization is attended by all examiners once during the course of a given academic year. 
The examination takes place in the presence of the Examination Commission (Ruling of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the 3rd of October 2014 concerning the course and conditions in force for PhD defence examinations, post-doctoral degree examinations and the bestowing of professorial titles) 
An examination marks record sheet of the doctoral examination in the foreign language is produced. 
A candidate who has included, as a part of the application to open proceedings leading to a PhD defence, a certificate stipulated in the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education's Ruling of the 3rd of October 2014  § 1 excerpt 4 point 1, is exempt from the requirement to take an examination in a modern foreign language.   


Consultation. Every PhD student has the right to consult with the chosen examiner prior to the examination itself. To arrange such a consultation meeting recourse is to be made to the JCJ Secretariat. One of the aims of the consultation is an evaluation of the candidate's language level as well as providing additional information on the form and scope of the examination itself.   
Examination registration. The PhD student should register for the examination by means of the JCJ Secretariat.  
The examination marks record sheet. This document is given to the examiner by the PhD candidate directly before the examination, this is an essential piece of documentation for the conducting of the examination. CLICK HERE


The aim and scope of the examination: to evaluate the candidate's ability to produce oral language input in the form of monologues and interaction that corresponds to the level of C1 as determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and in particular to ascertain to what degree the candidate is able to:
1. Present the problem area which constitutes the basis of the candidate's PhD research and deliberations through the use of appropriate linguistic means (including appropriate specialist and academic vocabulary).
2. Carry out a presentation of the problem area outlined in Pt. 1 in a cohesive and understandable manner. 
3. Engage with the interlocutor/ interlocutors through providing appropriate and relevant answers to questions asked, exchanging views on subjects more general in nature, ones not directly connected with the academic materials presented. 


Examination parts, types of interaction, the aim and duration of proceedings
Part 1
Type of interaction
Short utterances and turns; the ‘organisational' part of the examination conducted in the foreign language yet not subject to assessment; the examiner introduces themselves, subsequently exchanges pleasantries and small talk, checks the examination mark record sheet information; at the end of this part the candidate is asked if they are ready to proceed with the examination itself.
Aim To establish a conducive and friendly atmosphere for task realisation, to conduct administrative formalities for example filling out the examination mark record sheet.
Duration 3-4 minutes
Part 2
Type of interaction Longer utterances and turns; the examiner asks for a presentation of the problem area constituting the basis of the candidate's PhD thesis (the scope of the research, the premises, the research problem, the methods employed, the research results; the conclusions drawn); the candidate presents this specialist content in the form of a monologue though the examiner may ask questions to elicit substantiation or explanation of concepts or aspects of the problem area presented.
Aim the presentation of an issue in, chiefly, the form of a monologue; the presenting of a broad piece of academic discourse through description, explanation, comparison, contrast, prediction and conclusions, etc.. 
Duration 8-12 minutes
Part 3
Type of interaction Short utterances and turns on subjects relating to Part 2; discussion on the subject of further research; the candidate's academic plans, international cooperation, the practical applications of the solutions presented together with possible implications, etc., in this part of the examination it is possible to engage in a discussion not directly related to the subject of the PhD thesis itself.
Aim a broadening of the problem area; the providing of explanations, speculation on the subject of research development, the substantiating of opinions, information exchange; ending the examination by thanking the candidate and the members of the examination commission; providing feedback.
Duration 5-8 minutes


An outline description of the skills and abilities reflected by the level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Language. A C1 user can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning; can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions; can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic, educational and professional purposes; can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices; can present clear and precise descriptions, as well as presenting complex subjects, ordering and developing individual matters and being able to conclude their argument with a suitable conclusion; can cope well with listener interaction, being able to spontaneously and effortlessly reply to questions and objections.

Evaluation criteria
Grammar: range and accuracy
Lexical resource: range and appropriateness 
Coherence and cohesion of utterances