Date: 8 September 2022 and 9 May 2023, Germany
ECML experts: Matilde Grünhage-Monetti, Alexander Braddell and Christophe Portefin, Language for Work website, network and insights
Local organiser: Matthias von Gehlen, Goethe-Institut
Participants: 24 (8 September 2022) and 49 (9 May 2023)
“Developing the language of the immigration country (L2) for adult migrants for and at work is teamwork.” This could be the motto of the Language for Work (LfW) National Support for Germany 2022/23. This was split into two events: a face-to-face round table, during the 25th Metropolis Conference, Berlin on 8 September 2022 and an online Workshop on 9 May 2023.
The round table (Fair Migration section) presented the point of view of L2 practitioners, researchers and providers, as well of employers and trade unions, stressing the need for partnership and joint action. The audience welcomed this systemic approach. The Clavis magazine for Labour Market and Integration reported on it along with other nine workshops in a special edition dedicated to the conference (www.bmas.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/EN/Topics/Labour-Market/imcb-2022-voices-and-insights.pdf? __blob=publicationFile&v=2).
The second event brought together L2 research and practice, business, trade unions, workers’ councils, labour administration and BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees). They discussed structures and conditions for fair, effective and sustainable ways to support migrant workers learning German for and at work.
In both events language was discussed as instrument for action in the context of work, constructing and giving meaning to ones’ own activities and enabling the speakers to act upon their world. Such an understanding requires approaches embedding language learning in the context in which it is used and gets its meaning: the workplace.