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Site Abstract

German at the workplace

Our website German at the workplace serves as an online platform for second language teachers, disseminators, companies and members of labour unions who are interested in enhancing workplace communication skills of (migrant) workers. 

We provide a range of resources for work-related second language learning as well as workplace communication skills, including a database of learning materials and some documents related to workplace needs analysis. Besides that, a glossary on central terms in these fields as well as broader socio-economic critiques of migrant labour issues can be found here.

The site is part of the project “Fachstelle Berufsbezogenes Deutsch”, (in English the specialist department on work-related German as a second language) which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and belongs to a wider federal network (Integration through Qualification). The projects focus is on enhancing first and second generation immigrants access to the labour market and also on developing advanced training pilots, which aim at facilitating the skills needed to respond to the communicative needs connected to their workplaces. 

Besides that, we develop trainings and training material in cooperation with vocational trainers. Training of basic skills like reading and writing, digital competence or ICT skills are blended with the training of communicative skills and learning techniques, in order to support and facilitate the participation of immigrants in further vocational training.

As we operate on the federal level, networking and knowledge transfer are integral parts of our work.

The Fachstelle has four main workstreams

  • coordinating an expert group
  •  delivering German language workplace training pilots; also, delivering professional development to learning providers and trainers
  • development of a quality framework for work-related German language trai
  • provision of a website ( to allow stakeholders an online platform and to support networking and knowledge transfer.

The expert group includes practitioners and learning providers, researchers, trade unions, key officials from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and from other state ministries. The group monitors German language training and advises officials and policy makers involved with the ESF language training programme.

Secondly, the Fachstelle delivers training pilots and professional development because for many German language and literacy training providers, the workplace is terra incognita. Few, for example, have ever carried out a needs assessment to develop work-related learning materials.

Correspondingly, there is very little specialist training available to support trainers.

Thirdly, to help disseminate expertise, the Fachstelle is continuously developing a quality framework (Qualitätskriterien) for work-related German language training. The framework identifies criteria that support a holistic approach to work-related language learning and includes a set of questions for practitioners to ‘audit’ the quality of their provision.

Up to date information and discussion is to be found on the site which is also meant to serve as a platform for discussion, exchange and networking.