A pocketbook helps you learn language at the workplace
The pocketbook helps you learn the language at work
The pocketbook makes you active. It helps you notice in which situations you can learn Swedish during the work day. When you watch a colleague or an instructor work, you can listen to the discussion between the colleague and the customer and write down any good phrases. Or if you don't know what to say, you can write down the situation and later ask a colleague what you should say in a similar situation. In this way, you learn appropriate words and phrases for your own needs.
It is a good idea to use the pocketbook as a constant tool for language learning at the workplace. When starting a work placement or a new job, start using the pocketbook immediately. You can talk with the Swedish language teacher about the issues or situations you should pay attention to in your work. They can also advise on how to ask for support from colleagues. You get the courage to use Swedish and develop your language skills at the workplace with the help of a colleague or instructor.
When learning language skills that you need in working life, a translation programme is not enough. The translation program can easily give you the wrong word that is not suitable for that particular situation. When you ask for advice from someone who is an expert in professional jargon, i.e. a colleague working next to you, you learn the right word or phrase for the situation. The pocketbook gives you the support you need to learn the language in the moment and in the way you need it.
You must learn to use language flexibly and creatively to be able to use it in all different situations at the workplace. When you have your hands full with work, you cannot always take out your phone and search for what to say. You must have the skills to use appropriate language in the situation without aids. In these situations, a colleague or instructor is more useful than Google.
The pocketbook lets you map out when you need Swedish. You also learn language in everyday life, not just on a language course. Language is part of life, and attention should be paid to it also at the workplace. You learn more than what a language course teacher or a textbook can teach you. At the workplace, you learn the things you need in your work.
You can also use the pocketbook as a tool if you conclude a language agreement with the workplace before you start your traineeship or work. The language agreement also includes agreements on other matters that support your Swedish language learning at the workplace.
The pocketbook activates colleagues and instructors to support you in learning Swedish. They can see what is difficult for you and are able to support you with the right things and at the right time. You can stop to think about questions related to language together. This can be a good experience for both: you learn new things and your colleague better understands what you already know and what you still want to learn.
Language can be learned everywhere, and others should help you because language is best learned in social situations. The pocketbook is a good way to activate colleagues to support your language learning. At the same time, they understand what is on your mind at the time, what you can do with your language skills and what you need help with. This way, they do not expect the new employee to be able to speak Swedish even before starting work. Language learning is not just your responsibility as the entire work community can participate in its development.
The workplace is the best environment for learning the language needed at the workplace. The Swedish language teacher can guide you to utilise opportunities, but the support of colleagues is also very important. When the workplace has a positive atmosphere and you receive concrete support, you become part of the work community.
©2023 Hanna Aho & Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Pocketbook material, March 2023, produced Hanna Aho, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. The material can be found at kielibuusti.fi. Photos: All rights reserved.