Language helps with student retention among SOSU students

Over the past year, the City of Copenhagen has collaborated with Studieskolen to provide language support for SOSU (social and health care assistant) students during their internships. The objective is to assist students who aren't native Danish speakers in successfully completing their education. The partnership is being extended because the highly-focused language support has proven effective.

For social and health care assistants (SOSU in Danish), effective communication with citizens is essential. They must be able to communicate about diabetes, dementia and urinary tract infections. Many SOSU students with Danish as their second language need language support to complete their education.


  • Studieskolen provides language support at over 40 internship sites in the City of Copenhagen, primarily in nursing homes and home care
  • Thorough screening of each individual before starting
  • Documented progress
  • In 2021, 155 SOSU students received language support

A total of 155 SOSU helpers and assistants from the City of Copenhagen have received language support. The students have shown significant progress, with only four students discontinuing their internships due to language challenges. Therefore, Education Copenhagen has recently decided to extend its collaboration with Studieskolen in 2022.

"Working as a SOSU helper and assistant places high demands on professional communication. The model we have developed in collaboration with Studieskolen helps students effectively address their individual challenges. We can see that the students are evolving. We can observe the progress," explains Department Head Bettina Krüger from Uddannelse København (the office that organises internships in the City of Copenhagen).

Effective communication with citizens is paramount in caregiving

The students particularly struggle with pronunciation, specialised vocabulary, and documentation. Studieskolen has created a tailored program to train in these areas.

Students encounter difficulties in communicating with citizens, some of whom may have dementia and hearing impairments. Inadequate communication can be frustrating. If a citizen displays a frustrated facial expression, what does it mean? Here, the student must express their professional observations. Is the citizen angry, sad, depressed, or desperate? The job demands linguistic precision.

A student must be able to convey observations and express their professionalism to colleagues, relatives and other collaborators. Simultaneously, they must comprehend instructions. For instance, what does it mean to prepare a citizen for breakfast? Does it involve washing their hair or simply ensuring the citizen is dressed?

Practice-oriented education

SOSU students with Danish as their second language need to train both professionally and linguistically. Studieskolen's offering is individually tailored, and students are only away from their internships for one and a half hours per week. This is a significant advantage. It ensures practice-oriented education where students can work on situations they have just experienced and immediately apply what they have learned.

More information:
For more information, please contact Department Head Majbritt Jensen at or by phone at +45 24 45 50 05.