• Die aktuellen Hygieneempfehlungen der VHS Neukölln finden Sie hier.
  • Beachten Sie unser umfangreiches Angebot an Online- und Blended-Learning-Kursen unter www.berlin.de/vhs-neukoelln/kurse.
  • Weitere Informationen zu unseren Öffnungszeiten und zur Terminvereinbarung finden Sie hier.
  • Das Anmeldeformular sowie Informationen zum Anmeldeverfahren finden Sie hier.

Literacy Integration Courses

Buchstaben im Setzkasten
Image: Amador Loureiro Unsplash.com

Consultations for German courses

Consultations for German language classes take place from Monday to Thursday between 9.30am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm.

You can make an appointment by phone (030) 90239-3388. Our advisors remain at your disposal for enquiries also via E-Mail.

Closed on school holidays.

What is a literacy course?

The literacy course (under §13 Abs. 1 S. 3 Ziff. 3 of the Integration Act) aims to teach German while learning to read and write using the Roman alphabet. It consists of 1200 teaching units language course (45 minutes per unit), from level A1 to A2, giving you the necessary vocabulary to interact in the everyday life, dealing with authorities, interactions with your neighbours and peers, and everything that enables genuine participation in German society, followed by a 100 teaching units orientation course designed to provide you with information about life in Germany and knowledge about the country’s legal system, culture and recent history.

Your entry level will be determined by the course provider in a test before the course starts.

What are the benefits?

Non-EU citizens must fulfil a number of requirements in order to obtain the right to a permanent residency in Germany. Among them are, gaining sufficient knowledge of the German language as well as a basic understanding of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany. The ‘Integration Course Certificate’ is designed to meet these requirements.

The language skills acquired in the integration courses will make your everyday life in Germany easier and increase your opportunities on the labour market. Moreover, if successful, you may apply for the German citizenship after only seven years of legal residence in Germany.

Who can take part?

If you cannot read or write, the literacy integration course is for you. Under the Residence Act, different rules apply in regard to costs and rules of participation. Please refer to one of our advisors for more detailed information.

In principle, anyone whose German skills are not adequate for the everyday life and belong to the following groups may take part in literacy course:

  • Immigrants who have already been living in Germany for a long period of time.
  • EU citizens
  • German Nationals

If you are not yet entitled to attend an Integration course, you may complete an application with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

A Certificate of Eligibility is valid two years.

An obligation to attend an integration course may apply if:

  • you received your residence permit after 1 January 2005, and you cannot make yourself understood in German at a simple, adequate level.
  • you receive unemployment benefit II and the office from which you receive unemployment benefit II requires you to attend a course.

Children, adolescents and young adults who are still attending school may not take part in the integration course.

How can you enrol?

Registration for an integration course takes place with one of our advisors.
We will confirm your eligibility. In case you were not yet in possession of a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugee, we will help you submit your application.
Our Advisors will then carry out an assessment test. The result will help us determine which stage of the course you should begin with.

Please bring the original certificate of eligibility.

Taking the final exam

The final examination consists of a language test and the test related to the orientation course. If you can prove in the language test that you have a sufficient command of German, at skill level A2, and if you pass the test relating to the orientation course, you have successfully completed the integration course and are awarded the “Integration Course Certificate”.

If you were not successful you will only be given a certificate confirming the results you achieved. Participation in the final examination is free of charge.

Repeating the course

In the event that you were unable to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of German after the first 900 teaching units, despite having attended the course regularly, you will be able to repeat up to 300 teaching units of the language course on a one-time basis.
Participation in the language examination is not necessary for the application for repetition of 300 teaching units.


In order to achieve the set goal of the integration course, you should participate to the course in due form. This means attending the course regularly (80% attendance) and taking part in the final examination.
Consistent attendance is also important for the reimbursement of travel expenses or the potential repetition of lessons at a later date.
We will provide you with written confirmation of your participation at the end of each module.


You might be exempted from contributing to costs if you receive unemployment benefit II or social assistance, or if you find it difficult to pay the contribution because of your low income. You must establish this with your advisor upon enrolment. Please bring verification of your financial status (copy of the relevant certificate, such as a notification of unemployment compensation II, social benefits, etc.).

It is recommended to submit your application well before the course begins, as the costs exemption does not apply retroactively.

In case you qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility but are not exempt from contribution costs, the fee of each module must be paid upfront (prices set in accordance with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees). However, you may be entitled to a partial reimbursement of the tuition fees.

Anyone without a Certificate of Eligibility may enrol without funding, providing there are still places available.


Specificities on the textbooks needed for the course will be given to you in the first lesson. You will be responsible for the purchase of the books.

Partial reimbursement of tuition fees

If you successfully completed the integration course, you may be able to claim half of the cost contribution, subject to the following conditions:

  • no longer than two years must have passed since receiving the confirmation of eligibility to attend the course
  • attendance must be at least 80%
  • you must have passed both the “German test for immigrants” (DTZ) language test and the “Life in Germany” test.

Once all the previous conditions are met, you must submit and send a signed application to the regional office responsible for you.

Courses overview