How and where can you learn German?
- Welcome courses
- Initial orientation courses
- Integration courses
- Vocational/Professional language promotion
- Further possibilities
- Other possibilities
Besides initial orientation, the welcome courses offered by the federal state in some preliminary reception centres also provide initial elements aimed at promoting the learning of the German language. They are open to all residents who are currently not subject to mandatory school attendance. Such courses are structured as compact courses over a maximum of two weeks in the preliminary reception centres, and consist of thirty teaching units.
Initial orientation courses
Initial orientation courses are available throughout Schleswig-Holstein. These courses ("Starter Package for Refugees in Schleswig-Holstein": abbreviated to STAFF SH) are available on principle to all asylum-seekers in the community in which they are accommodated. This form of learning the language teaches you basic communication patterns in German and provides you with additional information on habits, modes of social behaviour and advisory and support services that are offered on the spot. Such initial orientation courses are offered by language-course providers acting throughout the federal state, such as the Association of German Adult Education Centres in Schleswig-Holstein, in cooperation with additional regional partners on the spot. A course comprises 100 teaching units, generally spread over ten weeks, with ten teaching units per week.
You may find information on STAFF courses in Schleswig-Holstein under the following links:
Integration courses are German-language and orientation courses which can be successfully concluded with an internationally recognized certificate. In these courses, you can learn about such everyday topics as living and working in Germany, health and leisure or German culture and politics.
Integration courses take place at different locations in Schleswig-Holstein. It depends on your country of origin, on your residence status and on your level of proficiency in the German language whether you are able, or perhaps even obliged to attend an integration course.More detailed information on the different kinds of course available and their contents, on who can participate in these courses or may be obliged to attend, on the rights and obligations of participants and on where to find a course provider may be obtained from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF):
Important information on these integration courses can be downloaded in several languages from the following link:
Vocational/Professional language promotion
Information on the courses offered and on conditions for attendance at courses provided at national level in vocational/professional language training may also be found under:
There are 2.5 million persons in Germany who can write single words but who are not able to read or write whole sentences. One out of seven grown-ups can read or write whole sentences but are only able to comprehend continuous texts with considerable difficulty, according to a survey conducted by the University of Hamburg in 2011. Assistance is provided in such cases by the Federal German Association for Literacy and Basic Education; the information made available is also read aloud on the webpages of the association. The search-button points to courses available in the vicinity. Opportunities offered online are also described.
The Federal German Association for Literacy and Basic Education provides advice anonymously for persons with difficulties in reading and writing and for their families under the telephone hotline 0800 – 53 33 44 55.
The E-learning portal made available by the Association of German Adult Education Centres gives you the opportunity to learn German online at integration course level (A1 – B1). The portal also provides a German-language course with a wide variety of materials for promoting literacy.
The E-learning portal can be accessed free of charge and may be found in several languages under the following link:
Information in your language on the different levels of language proficiency defined in accordance with the joint European framework (CEFR) can be found under the following link:
Below we list a collection of other possibilities available free of charge. The list shown on our website can in no way act as a substitute for specialized didactic appraisal.
Such programs can be used to support you in your efforts to learn the German language. However, you should not put your trust in apps alone to help you learn the German language. Apps cannot – and should not – be a substitute for language courses and practical training in everyday situations.
Arrival app (Ankommen-App)
You will find a great deal of information in this excellent app on your first steps in Germany, on German culture and German people and on asylum procedures, work and training. It also provides a very good opportunity for you to learn your first words and phrases in German.
"I want to learn German" ("Ich-will-Deutsch-lernen")
This website provides a German-language course at levels A1-B1 and a German-language course at level A1; it contains a wide variety of materials to promote literacy in German as a Second Language. It is also possible to study and improve your knowledge of German at the Workplace and Professional German.
The site can be used for self-study purposes or also as teaching material for integration or other German-language courses.
"City of Words" ("Stadt der Wörter")
Play the game which will introduce you to the German language.
A vocabulary trainer app for persons with no prior knowledge of German.
25 videos with the 100 most important sentences in German
The “Learn German for Refugees” app by papagei.com provides 25 interactive videos with the 100 most important sentences in German, and aims to improve your vocabulary and pronunciation during your first weeks in Germany. The app from papagei.com can be downloaded for iOS and Android.
There is a course in literacy for persons speaking Arabic on YouTube.
The additional videos may be found under the following link: