What makes learning German difficult

Level of education, family constellation, health risks and the living situation can negatively influence refugees’ individual language learning capability. This was the result of a recently published analysis by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) within a large research project to evaluate the integration courses.

Refugees with a higher level of education find it much easier to acquire the German language than refugees with a lower level of education. Anyone who has had little or no experience in a school system has not “learned to learn” and thus acquired new fundamental knowledge in a structured manner. For refugees who live separately from their nuclear family in Germany, the separation and the associated concerns about relatives abroad often lead to distraction and a lack of concentration in language learning. As a result, these refugees learn more slowly. Many refugees run the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder. This significantly limits the ability to concentrate in class. When staying in a shared accommodation, there are often no opportunities to retreat to study or to use the German language. This also makes language acquisition difficult. Refugees in private accommodations, on the other hand, are not only more satisfied with their accommodation, but also acquire better knowledge of German.

These disadvantageous refugee-specific requirements do not apply to all refugees. However, if they are present and, especially if several of them are combined, this “has a significant impact on language acquisition and thus on overall social participation”, according to the authors of the study. The results were obtained from interviews with refugees, with teachers and providers of integration courses, and from statistical surveys.

The analysis can be found at: https://www.bamf.de/SharedDocs/Anlagen/DE/Forschung/Kurzanalysen/kurzanalyse4-2020-fluchtspezische-zonen-deutscherwerb.pdf?__blob=publicationFile&v=5

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Foto: tünews INTERNATIONAL; Mostafa Elyasian.

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