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European Centre for Modern Languages

About Language for Work

The network was created through a project funded by the European Centre for Modern Languages, part of the Council of Europe.

Why work-related L2 learning?

The logic chain

  1. Integration of migrants is essential for society
  2. Work is central to migrant integration
  3. Communication is central to modern work practices*
  4. The ability to communicate effectively at work is crucial for migrants, employers, wider society
  5. Work-related language learning matters!

* Workers need to understand work, safety and quality issues, understand workplace rights and responsibilities, participate in relevant social networks, access training, etc., to cope with change and progress , and more…

Complex, boundary crossing

Work-related L2 learning is complex and boundary crossing – this field encompasses work, migration, intercultural communication, social policy, learning, language, literacy, linguistics, labour market, people management…and more.

It occurs in a range of contexts, including

  • Pre-employment L2 learning for immigrants, also emigrants
  • L2 learning in vocational schools
  • Work-related learning in integration courses
  • L2 learning for specific occupational areas, qualifications
  • Workplace L2 learning

Work-related language learning is multi-dimensional, many faceted – but its various strands are strongly connected.

Contact us

Three ECML projects

  1. ECML support for the LfW field dates back to 2000 and the project Odysseus‐Second Language At The Workplace.
  2. The LfW network and this website was created by the ECML project Developing migrants’ language competences at the workplace (2012‐2015).
  3. Currently ECML is supporting the project Tools for professional development (2016‐2018). View the video below.

 NEW  Quick Guide to work-related language skills

Available in Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Irish, Italian, Spanish and Swedish

Find out more

Would you like to translate the guide into your language? If so, please let us know via the contact form.