European Centre for Modern Languages

Language for work competences

Checklists of competences useful to professionals and others, to support work-related majority language (L2) learning by migrants and ethnic minorities
Setting 1
Setting 2
Setting 3
Setting 4

Setting 4: Learner, L2 teacher, L2 learning provider, employer/management, colleagues (e.g. as mentors), trade unions and workers’ representatives

L2 teacher
L2 learning provider
trade unions and
workers’ representatives

This setting focuses on the workplace and its actors and stakeholders: employers and managers, colleagues (as mentors), trade unions and workers’ representatives. The learners are usually employees, but can also be job seekers.

The learning may take place there directly at work and through work, or (partly) in the classroom on the premises of the company or of the language providers.

Sometimes the support integrates formal, non-formal and informal learning.

The focus is on the needs/requirements of the workplace. L2 development is necessary to meet the demands placed on language and communication skills through globalisation, changes in work content and organisation as well as new technologies and companies’ needs for L2-speaking employees.

It aims to improve work processes, communication between management and employees and among them. It also aims to make jobs more secure, improve the learners’ participation in work and enhance their career prospects.

Examples of Setting 4

ArbetSam (Sweden)

The ArbetSam project (2011-13) aimed to embed an innovative system of sustainable learning in adult social care workplaces in the Stockholm region of Sweden. ArbetSam’s approach was developed in response to two issues.
View example 

Engineering English (Canada)

This is an integrated 10-month programme delivered onsite at an engineering company over 40 sessions by a language learning provider. The target learners are migrant engineers, from non-English-speaking countries.
View example

Sprachtraining, Sprachcoaching, Sprachmentroing (Germany)

This programme integrated classroom L2 tuition with in- job language coaching and mentoring to support migrants with low level German language skills, working in a potato producing and processing business.
View example