Learning Center for Migrant Women
Person to contact
Thu: 0:30 - 3:30 p.m.
- Migrant women from Latin American countries
- Migrant women on social welfare programs
- Women affected by trafficking
Educational programs at the Learning Center
The ability to understand and to make oneself understood, to be able to express oneself and make a contribution are not simply tools for leading an independent and self-determined life, they are the cornerstones for equal opportunity and participation in society.
Since 1989 the Learning Center at LEFÖ provides migrant women a variety of educational opportunities and measures. The educational programs at the Learning Center aim to support migrant women through offering programs that fit their extremely diverse and individual life situations and through strengthening migrant women in their autonomy, self-confidence and decision-making skills. Inscribing self-reflection and (self) confidence into one’s own biography of learning, education and work is a key element to building commitment and competence for pursuing life-long learning, which is an indispensable basis for social and labor market integration (not only) for migrant women.
In order to achieve this, it is necessary that the course facilitators also engage in a self-reflexive, critical examination of their own value systems, approaches, educational methods and practices.
Here, participants are able to choose from and/or combine a variety of courses in which the transfer of language, knowledge and skills takes place. The programs are set to account for the diversity of schedules and interests of migrant women, which enables active participation and exchange to take place among the learners as well as with the teachers.
Our educational seek to create learning situations that give the participants an opportunity to become proficient in their use of the German language, particularly in everyday situations, through lively and practical exercises in a women-only space.
The Learning Center is part of LEFÖ’s holistic counseling concept that aims to ensure the course participants access to comprehensive social counseling capable of responding to the complex life situations of migrant women and creating optimal conditions for regular course attendance.
LEFÖ was partner in the ESF Program Target 2 project “Learning Centers for Migrant Women” (ESF – European Social Fund) “Desiring Language and Education” (Lust auf Sprache und Bildung)
From February 2008 until January 2012 the network project “Learning Center for Migrant Women” (situated within the framework of the ESF Program Target 2) was accomplished by LEFÖ in cooperation with two other migrant women’s organizations in Vienna - Peregrina and Orient Express. The “Desiring Language and Education” project took place at the LEFÖ Learning Center. LEFÖ also coordinated the joint module civic education.
During this four year ESF project phase, the Learning Center focused on fundamental skill building.
A significant added value of this project for the LEFÖ Learning Center was the expansion of its courses by offering creative and experimental courses to its program. In an effort to provide learners with the necessary support and backing, greater emphasis has been placed on educational counselling, which is a key interface to the labor market.
See here: Vlatka Frketić, Political. Education. Migrants. A Study from Learning Center for Migrants. Published by LEFÖ- Counselling, Education, Support for Migrants, 2011.
Two New Learning Programs in LEFÖ- Learning Center (since 2012)
Fundamental (Basic) Skill Building in “Initiative Adult Learning”
The fundamental skills courses offer a combination of education in reading/writing and ITC (Information and Communications Technology) in addition to problem solving strategies and learning German as a second language.
This arrangement of courses reflects LEFÖ’s history, which has always helped migrants who are lacking in education.
The semester course offerings are diverse courses in regard to reading, writing, arithmetic, computer education and German as second language at the course level of Alpha3, A1, A1+, A2, ÖSD - Basic Level/A2 (In accordance with the European Frame of Reference for Language) with integrated ITC computer offers.
“Learn.Progress” in the ESF projects “More Languages = More Decision Making” (2012-2014)
Language is knowledge. Language is experience. Austria is multilingual.
The LEFÖ-DaZ- course shows that language is more than just print on paper or a way to communicate. Language shows knowledge and language is temporary and cultural made. Through language, ideas and interests are articulated and identities are constructed and represented. Not all languages are culturally seen in the same manner, some languages are elevated while others are diminished. Society’s judgment of language is reflected in education.
- Basic German (reading / writing / Alpha3; A1; A1+; A2 in accordance with the European Frame of Reference for Language) with optional childcare
- Pilot course (new course material: suggestions for creating didactic situations / A1; A1+; A2)
- Preparation for the Austrian Language Diploma (ÖSD) preliminary level (A2) and German certificate (B1)
- Writing workshop and additional workshops within the framework of the Autonomous Learning Center
- Computer meeting point
- Educational counseling
- Realization of the Target 2 project “Learning Center for Migrant Women” and the module “Political Education”
- Excursions, for instance to the public library
The use of cultural passports is excited in the Learning Center. More details at: www.hungeraufkunstundkultur.at
Certified Adult Education in LEFÖ
Since September 2011, three colleagues from LEFÖ are wba-certified (which stands for the Austrian Academy of Continuing Education). This shows a high expertise in the area of adult education.
Transnational Expert Forum Language and Migration
LEFÖ is partner in the transnational Expert Forum Language and Migration.
Austrian Language Diploma (ÖSD) Exam Center
Since 1997 LEFÖ is an accredited ÖSD exam center. Here migrant women can complete the required examination for the language diploma and receive the A2 certification for basic level German and the B1 German certificate. Proof of an A2 level diploma fulfills the requirement of German language proficiency necessary for the Integration Contract and for applications for Austrian citizenship.
European Frame of Reference for Languages
The courses at LEFÖ and the Austrian Language Diploma (ÖSD) examinations are fully compatible with the common European Frame of Reference for Languages.
Network Language Rights (Netzwerk Sprachenrechte)
LEFÖ is part of the Language Rights Network (a network of experts working in science, theory and practice). Their website includes a collection of statements and political activities concerning the issues of integration and language.
- all women who receive social welfare are eligible to participate in the courses at LEFÖ.
- Social assistance recipients receive a social pass which entitled to discounted use of public transport and enables the use of so-called social markets. More details at: www.wien.gv.at and www.wienerlininien.at.
Events and projects
Phonetics and speech creativity in the LEFÖ Learning Center
Persuasive speech in everyday life depends to a large extent on the occurrence, that is the body language and off to another great part of conscious speech. Clarity, coherence, security in speech - all trained in phonetics. Emphasis, clarification through different tempos and emotional colorings are trained in the language design. With this workshop LEFÖ tries to make the learners curious about the German language and show a playful, artistic use it. This results in daily life skills to increase verbal and interpersonal level. Phonetics thus represents a contribution to an empowerment training.
A workshop on “body awareness with a focus on phonetics - communication and experience with the body" took place at the Center, providing playful exercises to practice clear pronunciation. The workshop created a framework for self-awareness, within which the participants could explore the interdependence between convincing ways of speaking in everyday situations and body language
In July 2009, the educational seminar “[Civic] Education and Migrant Women / Holistic Approaches, Critical Engagements” took place in which, along with reports and discussions, different teaching methods for German as a foreign or second language were presented. LEFÖ presented the “ELFCHEN” method.
In April 2009, a workshop on “wellness” took place. Prior to the actual workshop the writing workshop prepared a collection of household recipes. The broad repertoire from different countries and various climate regions around the world (most of the products are available in local supermarkets) with the great range of knowledge for using these ingredients for healing, beauty and wellness was brought together into a manuscript of recipes with illustrations. The workshop was successfully concluded with a demonstration of practical examples of intercultural wellness techniques for our everyday lives.
In February 2009, in cooperation with the Austrian Society for Political Education a workshop on civic education was held for the course facilitators and project staff participating in the Target 2 network “Learning Center for Migrant Women.”
“Taller” Painting Studio for Women: organized upon the initiative of those learning at the Center, there is now a regular studio painting workshops. The studio creations, such as oil paintings, fabric appliqués, textile painting and jewelry were presented at the Südwind Festival (June 2009) and at the 12th District (Meidling) Green Party women’s award ceremony (September 2009).
The pilot course submitted for the Austrian State Prize for Adult Education 2009 under the category INNOVATION. The pilot course was nominated for the National Award.
Café Melange - an art installation
As a project contribution to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, the art project Café Melange was initiated: from 29 August to 5 October the Café Melange "traveled" with a container installation as a mobile, interactive cafe through Vienna. In cooperation with the writing workshop of the LEFÖ learning center a poster series was designed to enrich the container installation. The installation of Café Melange was issued in the municipal library of Vienna.