European Centre for Modern Languages

Language for work gallery

Gallery 1: When you don’t understand, it feels like your eyes are shut

Portraits of migrants at work with their eyes shut illustrate strikingly just how vital communication is – for the individual and those around them. The gap between feeling you can’t communicate and feeling helpless is a small one.

Veit Mette took these twenty photographs for the project‘komma‐NRW – Kommunikation am Arbeitsplatz’ / Workplace communication, funded by the Förderprogramm Integration durch Qualifizierung (BMAS).

The project aimed to develop the work‐related language skills of migrant staff. It was carried out by the AWO and the Internationaler Bund in Bielefeld, by the VHS in Duisburg and by Bildungswerk für Friedensarbeit in Bonn. Migrant workers could improve their work‐related language skills through special courses, tailored to meet their language needs at work.

Thanks to the course participants, who agreed to feature in these photographs.

Gallery 2: Educational cards from France circa 1930, illustrating 14 different jobs


Gallery 3: Taxi drivers

Taxi drivers in Frankfurt photographed by Mara Monetti and Xenia Drebes.