Foreign Employees and Danish Language Classes are Part of Troldtekt’s DNA

The West Jutland company Troldtekt, known for its acoustic panels, invests purposefully in its employees with Danish language classes. Foreign employees participate in lessons at the company, which both strengthens safety and the working culture. Learn what this investment means for Troldtekt and what the employees gain from the lessons.
Anna kursist
Troldtekt’s foreign employees come from different countries and different cultures. They are glad that they have the opportunity to improve their Danish during working hours.

Danish lessons ensure safety and improve communication

In the middle of the West Jutland heath lies the company Troldtekt, known for its production of acoustic panels. Since the company’s first major factory was put into use in 1935, its location has been important; close to both raw materials and in an area with plenty of labour, and for many years, foreign labour has also contributed to Troldtekt’s growth.

“Having foreign employees is part of Troldtekt’s DNA. We have families who have been here for over 30 years, and today we have employees from many different countries, and it works really well for us. We have a genuine interest in each other, and everyone helps each other,” says production manager Kim Snebang.

All communication in the factory is in Danish, and since both quality and safety are of great importance, Troldtekt has prioritized language lessons for its foreign employees.

“All our employees must be able to communicate together. They must give precise handovers to each other, both for safety reasons but also when we need to optimize processes in production. But we also want our employees to become good at Danish so they can use the language when they are not at work.”

Work-Related Language and challenging tasks

Troldtekt’s foreign employees meet for Danish lessons every Thursday for 19 weeks in one of the company’s large meeting rooms. Their teacher, language consultant Chantal Nehme, who drives from UCplus Language Center in Ringkøbing, is pleased that Troldtekt, like several other companies in the area, chooses to hold Danish lessons at the workplace.

“There are many advantages to having Danish lessons at the workplace. It is, of course, time-efficient for the company, but it also provides a number of learning benefits. We can easily incorporate the employees’ work routines and see where they might need to expand their vocabulary or clarify some grammar.”

During the three hours they have together, the employees go through a wide range of language tasks. They practice their oral skills in discussions about relevant topics, and they become aware of linguistic details in more focused tasks. Last but not least, there is a focus on each of them strengthening their work-related language.

“I make sure that everyone, in turn, shows me around the parts of the factory where they work, and here they are responsible for telling me everything they do and why they do it. I ask questions along

the way, and it is an exercise that both shows them how much they know about their work and how much Danish they can speak. And it helps to motivate them to become even better.”

Anna kursist

Relevant Topics Lead to Good Discussions

Syria, Romania, Bosnia, and Ukraine; Troldtekt’s foreign employees come from many different countries and diverse cultures. However, they share a common motivation to improve their Danish skills, and they are happy that Troldtekt provides them with the opportunity to do so at the company.

Oleksander from Ukraine has worked at Troldtekt for seven years. He says it has been many years since he last ‘sat at a school desk,’ and he feels that it is good to refresh things, and it motivates him to read more and participate in discussions.

Massoud came to Denmark from Syria nine years ago, and he finds that the course improves his Danish.

“Language is the key that opens all doors. I am glad that I do not need an interpreter, but that I can contact the bank and the doctor myself, and that I can talk to both my boss and my colleagues.”

Nikolai from Romania has lived in Denmark for 14 years. He did not attend language school, so he taught himself Danish, but it has not been entirely sufficient, and he is glad that he has been given the opportunity to learn more.

“I have children who go to school, so coming here helps me both at home and at work. I learn new words, and I can explain better during work meetings or when I need to hand over to a colleague.”

Almir from Bosnia received asylum in Denmark as a 16-year-old teenager in 1995, and in three years’ time he can celebrate his 30th anniversary at Troldtekt. Denmark and Troldtekt have truly become his new home – so much so that he wants to become a Danish citizen. To achieve this, he must first pass the PD3 language test before he can take the final citizenship test. He uses the lessons to improve both his written Danish and oral skills.

“It is good for me to refresh the grammar, and I like that the lessons are not superficial, but that we work with interesting themes and are challenged to talk about socially relevant topics. It is clear that it motivates us to think and express our opinions.”

Anna kursist

Oleksander from Ukraine, Nikolai from Romania, Almir from Bosnia, and Massoud from Syria find that the Danish lessons help them every day – both at work, at home and in their spare time.

Help your international employees learn Danish

UCplus offers a range of flexible solutions for company Danish. Lessons can take place at the workplace, at the nearest language centre, or through online instruction.

UCplus handles all coordination and provides skilled instructors who conduct Danish lessons at the employees’ level.

It is possible to apply for lost earnings if the lessons are held during working hours. UCplus also helps with the application process.Read more here