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Tandem learning for Ukrainian refugees with advanced German skills

[DE-Text zum Tandemlernen] If you want to find well-paid work in Germany, you not only need to have completed an education, but you also need to speak German well.

You can still get help with your written application, but at the latest during the interview employers will determine whether you have sufficient language skills.

Language courses with the technical jargon for different professions are usually not offered by the further education institutions. Often the number of registrations for B2 or C1 courses at German adult education centers is not sufficient for an economic implementation in the occupational fields in question.

With the method of tandem learning in language-area-wide video conferences, German-speaking tandem partners can train the technical jargon for various professions with job-seeking refugees. As a rule, only German is spoken during this process. This is also the reason why advanced German language skills are required for this language learning method.

For job-seeking refugees, tandem learning is free of charge if German-speaking partners can be found on our platforms who are willing to volunteer to help.

German-speaking tandem partners work unpaid. Ideally, they work in similar professions as the refugees or have gained experience there before retiring. The motivation for helpers can be altruistic or based on an interest in intercultural communication. However, the German-speaking tandem partner might also be interested in recruiting new employees or new work colleagues, e.g. in nursing professions, in the catering industry or in agriculture. Even in IT professions many Ukrainians are well educated and can quickly find work if the language skills are sufficient.

In any case, it is optimal if the volunteer speaking partner has experience in adult education, e.g. as a trainer, teacher or vocational school teacher, or in a social profession. Retirees interested in intercultural communication are also welcome if they are familiar with conducting video conferences, e.g., Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, or alfaview.

A case study of a successful language tandem already exists:

On the mentioned website you can get detailed information and watch a presentation of the initiator with a duration of 15 minutes.

The offer is not a competing offer to existing language courses, but a supplement, which takes into account that in usual groups with language lessons there is only little time for the word contributions of individual participants. If the teacher uses 50% of the speaking time and there are 20 participants, only a little over 2% of the time is left for the individual to speak.

In tandems, each partner has about 50% speaking time. This is an important addition to the existing language courses.

If the refugees do not yet have any knowledge of German, the basics must first be built up in A1, A2 and B1 language courses. These are offered by adult education centers and other educational institutions. Those who already have German language skills can find a self-assessment test at Deutsche Welle:

Those who have reached language level B1 can then register for the interview round:

Volunteer partners for the language tandems should themselves have level C2 if they speak German as a second language. This means they speak German just as well as someone who grew up in Germany.