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Learn German for the workplace

16. November 2017

How vocational language courses can help you find work

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People who speak German will find it quicker and easier to adapt to life in Germany. Language skills improve your ability to communicate with other people in day-to-day life and in the workplace. Having good German increases your chances of getting a job and achieving professional success.

For this reason, the Federal Government offers vocational language courses aimed at people from an immigration background. These courses are available throughout Germany. You can choose between basic and special modules: the basic modules teach the German language skills that are generally required in the workplace. The special modules develop your specialist vocabulary and teach you the German words and phrases you need for specific occupations.

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On this page, you can find all the key information about our vocational language courses.

You can improve your German within a very short space of time, and become acquainted with the idiosyncrasies of working in Germany. Your new language skills will make it easier to start your career and develop your individual abilities. You will become familiar with all the key terms of the profession in which you would like to work. With these language skills, you will be able to find a suitable job more quickly. The courses will also benefit people who already have a job, and help them in their day-to-day work.

Depending on your language skills and needs, you can complete basic or special modules on our vocational language courses. The modules usually end with an exam. If you pass the exam, you will receive a certificate, which you will need to be able to work in certain occupations.

In the basic modules, you will learn:

  • The German language skills that are generally required in the workplace
  • The vocabulary and expressions you will need in your day-to-day work
  • How to write and understand professional emails and letters
  • General knowledge about interviews and employment contracts

Lots of what you learn in the basic modules will also be helpful in day-to-day life outside work.

In the special modules, you will learn:

  • Specialist German vocabulary required for specific occupational fields, for example teaching or the technical sector
  • Supplementary knowledge required for the process of achieving professional recognition

The special modules will help you to get into your chosen profession. The courses will be of benefit even if you already have a job, and will make things easier in your day-to-day work.

Attendance is free of charge if you do not currently have a job.

You only need to make a small contribution if you are already in work and not receiving any additional benefits from the Federal Employment Agency (Agentur für Arbeit). Your employer may pay your cost contribution.

If you successfully complete the exam, you can apply to have half of the cost contribution reimbursed.

The language courses are aimed at people who have migrated to Germany, EU citizens and German nationals from an immigration background. To attend our vocational language courses, you must have completed our integration course or achieved at least Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL). B1 means that you can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters. You can find more information about the language levels at your local employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit) or job centre (Jobcenter).

If you are not currently in work:
Simply speak to your intermediary at your local employment agency (Agentur für Arbeit) or job centre (Jobcenter), who will advise which language schools offer vocational language courses. They will also assist you with any other questions.

If you are already in work:

If you are already in work, undergoing training or in the process of achieving professional recognition, you can contact the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees directly. Please email the office responsible for your Federal State:

Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia

Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland


Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein

Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia

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