- Visit every language course that is offered at your refugee home. In the case that there is none available, please talk to your supervisor – maybe there is a chance to start a course.
- In Vienna, you can go to Wiener Bildungsdrehscheibe (AWZ Soziales Wien) (German link) where your German skills will be tested and you will be assigned a suitable literacy class or German course.
- If you can afford it, take a paid course. This is an investment in your future and it will pay back very soon.
- You can join a conversation group:
- If you have children at the age of 0-3 years and you live in Vienna, you can place them in childcare while you’re at your German class. Simply contact Weltkindernetzwerk (German link).
Practice German with other people:
- If there is anybody at the refugee home who is able to communicate in German, ask him nicely to teach you some German and to practice the language with you.
- Find yourself some Austrian friends
- Join a language café („Sprachcafé“):
- Find yourself a tandem partner:
- Try to meet up daily with other refugees to practice German. To make it varied, select different topics to talk about each time you meet. Yes, that is hard work, but as they say: no pain, no gain.
Use German in your daily life:
- Set your phone, Facebook account and Whatsapp to German ( “Settings → Language” in German/Deutsch).
- Read books, newspapers and magazines in German.
- Pin some German vocabulary or phrases on the walls in your room.
- Watch movies in German or with German subtitles – including weather reports, news and advertising.
- Write your shopping list in German.
- Read German books and good night stories to your children.
- Listen to the radio while you are cooking.
- Think about sentences or an entire dialogue, write it down, learn it and practice it in real life.
- Always count in German.
- Listen to public conversations of other people – for example, in the U-Bahn
- Listen to German songs and read the lyrics on the Internet.
- Carefully read all signs – no matter whether in the U-Bahn or at the refugee home.
- Read all product packaging.
- Start your own diary in German. Try to write at least one sentence per day about how you spent your day.
- Use post-its or cards and name every object in your home with the correct German word. For example, stick a post-it with “Der Kühlschrank” on the fridge.
- Learning German also means learning to write it. In Austrian society, it is not only important to speak German, but also to be able to write and read the language.
- Practice, practice, practice. In Austria, people are not annoyed if you make mistakes. They do not laugh at you while you are practising the language. Even more – most Austrians would appreciate you speaking a little German and would be glad that you are trying.