The extended course first and foremost addresses cross-border commuters and people who already work or are looking for work in Luxembourg. Luxembourgish is a key competence for entering the job market and climbing the career ladder in Luxembourg and is also a valuable advantage for those seeking naturalisation. “The City of Luxembourg has an extremely high percentage of foreigners and a large number of spoken languages. Many international companies have offices here. Their staff often speak English, but no French. The companies themselves have asked us whether we can also offer our Luxembourgish course in English,” explains Michel Lukic, an employee of the eCity department of the City of Luxembourg. “Learning the language also familiarises people with the culture and mentality of Luxembourg. For our city network, this also means eliminating language barriers, improving communication and promoting the languages spoken in the region.” Asked about their motivation, half of the users stated in a survey last year that they work in Luxembourg and are interested in the language because of their job. Six per cent intend to move to Luxembourg, and three per cent would like to learn the language as preparation for visiting the country as a tourist.
Result of a success story
The interactive, playful and easy-to-use course was developed and financed by QuattroPole in cooperation the Luxembourg Ministry of Education. It was implemented by an interdisciplinary team from the Faculty of Sciences, Technology and Communication at the University of Luxembourg under the direction of Professor Denis Zampunieris.
Users can reach language level B1; however they do not receive a certificate or diploma. Nevertheless, the success of the website underscores the advantages of e-learning: the e-learning modules are free of charge, practical and flexible. Users can learn at home outside their working hours. Navigation on the website is easy: a simple click suffices to listen to individual words or whole sentences in Luxembourgish. Audio files can be downloaded onto an MP3 player for mobile pronunciation training. Grammar rules are explained in French and English and direct feedback allows learners to check their progress.
Luxembourgish for German speakers
The QuattroPole city network additionally offers regular Luxembourgish courses for German-speaking beginners in cooperation with the Adult Education Centre in Trier and the University of Trier: participants are taught by a native speaker in attendance classes. In between, they work in the virtual classroom: a learning platform offers clearly structured learning units, lively audio files and filmed everyday situations and communicates the national culture, vocabulary and correct pronunciation.
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