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Learning German

October 7, 2015

Learning the language is essential to find your bearings in Germany as fast as possible. Here you can find out where refugees can get help to learn German.

young man learning german in a language course
Source:  iStockphoto

Learning the language is essential to find your bearings in Germany as fast as possible. Immigrants have far better chances on the labour market if they can speak German. This is why the Federal Government has decided to offer language courses early on to asylum applicants with good prospects of remaining in the country. The steps are as follows:

1. Integration courses

On approval of your application for asylum and issuance of the residence permit you are usually obliged to attend a so-called integration course. This consists of a language and orientation course. There are also special courses including literacy for women, parents and young adults.

You can obtain information directly from the foreigners authority at your place of residence. Asylum applicants with good prospects of remaining in the country can also already attend the integration course in the initial reception centre.

2. Programme of the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)

To find a job and be successful at it, it is important to improve your knowledge of German. This is why special courses are available where you can develop your occupational language skills. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) provides courses for this at selected schools in the so-called ESF-BAMF programme (supported by the European Social Fund). The courses combine German lessons, vocational qualification and an opportunity to get to know an occupation in a traineeship.

You can obtain information on the ESF-BAMF programme and registration from the Federal Employment Agency or the job centre.

Comprehensive Language Programme (CLP)

The Federal Government has also decided to take a more integrated approach to the whole of language skills development and coordinate general and occupational language learning better in future as part of this. The integration course teaches up to language level B1 (under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), where occupational language skills development can then start up to level C1. Moreover, special modules will be provided at level C2 (e.g. physicians).

Learn­ing Ger­man

Language learning opportunities for refugees offered by the Goethe-Institut.

In­te­gra­tion course

On the integration course you will learn how to look for work, fill in application forms, to support your children in school or to meet new people.

Ger­man for pro­fes­sion­al pur­pos­es

As part of its ESF-BAMF programme, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) offers special courses in German language.