Lifelong Learning Programme

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basic information

Title of the Project
Brief description
Efling, which is a labor union in Reykjavik area in Iceland, together with Mimir, adult education centre in Reykjavik, planned and carried out a training course for a target group of Polish women. The contents of the course were tailor-made to their needs and the learning results were excellent.
Target Language
Adult Education
Vocational Education and Training
Further Information



In 2010 Efling, labour union got a grant from the project "European Year against Poverty". Efling together with Mímir- lífelong learning centre decided to have a course of 200 class hours for Polish women, members of Efling, who had been unemployed for a long time.


The objective was to activate a group of unemployed people who needed to improve their Icelandic language skills, their self image and to become stronger candidates when looking for a job.


A timetable was created with a great variety of subjects. Skilled freelance teachers were contacted to carry out the training. The subjects were the following: Icelandic, pronunciation of Icelandic, social studies, computer skills, English, self-image support, visual arts, nutrition, competence portfolio, academic/job counselling, gymnastic exercise, social activities including a trip to Reykjanes.


The women came voluntarily to the course, after receiving an invitation from Efling. The evaluation of the course showed that the students improved their self-image, they felt stronger when seeking for jobs and felt better in general.

Why the European Language Label?

The approach was very much tailor-made which had an impact on the good results. As many of the teachers spoke Polish language, the results were best seen among the Polish women. Atli Lýðsson, from Efling, introduced the project, once it was over, in a conference in the City Council House, dedicated to "European Year against Poverty and Social Isolation".

Activities following the award of the European Language Label

The experience has encouraged to realise the Yrkja-course again, and for new target groups, including also men.

Assessment of the Impact of the European Language Label

Recognition for the good work that was done in the project. Increase of motivation among the project team.

Recommendations for future applicants for the ELL

Try to find the right people to be involved in the project. Motivation and enthousiasm are relevant for a succesful project.


Consistency with European Policies in the field of Language Learning

Cultural awareness of migrant languages

VOLL - Vocationally oriented language learning

Social exclusion - disadvantaged learners

Consistency with European, National and yearly priorities

The project has a concrete target group of Polish migrant women who need language training and training for the social integration. The language training is combined with other skills. A detailed training programme has received good learning and integration results. There is a continuation of the project as new training has been organised after the first one.



Polish immigrants are the largest group of immigrants in Iceland. Efling labour has about 20 000 members, 3000 of them are Polish. "YRKJA" does great work in language learning for a big population of immigrants in Iceland. I like the emphasis of integration of language learning and active participation in society, as well as the structured cooperation between the adult learning centre and the labour unit with regard to language learning.


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Comments on this Case Studies

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.10.29

Posted by Mary Phelan (Ireland)

Message: Not speaking the language of the host country enhances marginalization among migrants, women are especially vulnerable in this area. The fact that this programme is tailored to these women\'s needs makes it even more valuable. It encourages their autonomy and enhances their chances to communicate and therefore integrate.

Date: 2014.09.19

Posted by Marika Pursiainen (Finland)

Message: Being employed enables the social inclusion. Language skills are needed in working places.It is profitable to include labour unit in the project because learners are empowered by the idea of being emploeyd as their language and job seeking skills improve.

Date: 2014.08.20

Posted by Kati Valtonen (Finland)

Message: Tailor-made programme which led to positive impact and good results among participants. The model developed in the project is easy to transfer to other target groups which strenghtens its sustainability. Language learning is integrated to other subjects like active citizenship which gives more authenticity and concrete framework for the learning process.

21 December 2014

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