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including hands-on report and interview with Wilhelmine Berg, project manager “I learned German at work” in the Network IQ Lower Saxony

“I learned German at work”

Recommendations for suitable language courses and more effective communication in companies

Starting position/challenge

Numerous companies and institutions are faced with the challenge of encouraging their migrant employees so that they can confidently deal with their language-related tasks. Support for learning and developing these skills has become an important issue for many companies. General German courses often do not deliver the desired results.

From the Network IQ, employers repeatedly demanded information on the topic of “work-related German language”. The companies want to sensitize themselves about these questions and increase their ability to act with the knowledge of targeted language courses and in-house support  facilities. 

Implementation of the brochure

The challenge with the creation of supporting information materials was to present complex facts in a concise manner to the target group. To ensure this, special emphasis was placed on integrating the knowledge of companies into creating these materials. In cooperation with the IQ Competence Centre for Work-Related German Language, the educational organisation Volkshochschule Braunschweig, as the implementing organisation of the project in the IQ regional network Lower Saxony, looked at the experience gained so far on “German at work”. Based on this information and materials, the brochure “I learned German at work. Integrating work-related German language into the company” was created.

The publication provides employers as well as human resource managers in chambers and educational institutions with a quick overview of the ways in which they can further develop the linguistic skills of migrant workers. Different procedures are presented: The development of workplace-oriented language courses; possibilities to make the communication in the workplace more effective; hints as to how language learning can be integrated in the work day; as well as the use of language mentors. In addition, the brochure provides information on funding opportunities and contact persons on the subject.

Summary

The cooperation with the IQ Competence Centre for Work-Related German Language proved to be very successful from the perspective of the project managers, because different experiences could be bundled during the preparation of the brochure. The handy format with brief, clear texts as well as tried and tested examples has proven itself and received a good response from numerous companies.

By incorporating the experiences of companies with language learning offerings and in-house support services for on-site language learning, the brochure provided precise suggestions that companies can pick up and implement  directly.

Addressees for transfer:

Companies, chambers and educational organisations

Brochure “I learned German at work”:

In the brochure “I learned German at work. Integrating work-related German language into the company”, published by the Network IQ Lower Saxony, companies and institutions will find tips and ideas on how to find and integrate a good and appropriate language learning offer for their employees, how communication in their businesses can become more effective and how new employees can be integrated faster into the daily workflow with the help of language mentors.

Project:

“Work-related German language”

Implementing organisation:

Volkshochschule Braunschweig GmbH

Project contact:

Wilhelmine Berg, Alte Waage 15, 38100 Braunschweig, Tel.: +49 (0)531/24 12 455, wilhelmine.berg(at)vhs-braunschweig.de