Slide 2

Report
Tapping the Full Potential of Languages:
the Multilingualism Policy of the
European Commission
Vladimír Šucha, Director
Directorate-General for Education and Culture
European Commission
11 May 2009
The Roots of language policy
 Equality of official languages > Council
regulation of 1958
 Official language assigned by the Member
State > from 4 to 23
Political framework for languages
 Shared competence for education
 Two main objectives:
 To raise awareness of the EU’s linguistic
diversity
 Communication in mother tongue plus two
languages for citizens
Communication on Multilingualism:
an asset and a shared commitment
For intercultural dialogue and & cohesion
For prosperity: competitiveness &
employability
Lifelong language learning in all sectors
The media, new technologies and translation
External dimension of multilingualism
Dialogue of Cultures
Literary translation in the Culture
Programme
Implementation (1): Co-operation with
Member States for Education & Training
Open Method of Co-ordination:
• Common objectives
• Indicators and benchmarks
• EU reference tools supporting national reforms
• Monitoring of progress
For Languages:
• Language competence indicator
• Thematic groups
Implementation (2): Two Platforms
for Promoting Multilingualism
Involving:
• the Business Community
• the Civil Society
Lifelong Learning Programme 2007-2013
Comenius
Erasmus
Leonardo
Grundtvig
School
(incl. preprimary
education)
Higher
Education
Vocational
Adults
Transversal Programme
4 key activities – Languages = KA2 (ex-LINGUA)
Jean Monnet Programme
Funding opportunities related to languages
Bilingualism in education policy
• Before 1962 : bilingualism a disadvantage
• 1962 : “balanced bilinguals” can outperform
monolinguals
• After 1962 : start of appreciating bilingualism
Early Language Learning in
Multilingualism Policy
Council of Barcelona 2002:
“teaching at least two foreign languages from a
very early age”
Action Plan 2004-2006:
“Language learning in kindergarten and primary
school is effective, for it is here that key
attitudes towards other languages and
cultures are formed and foundations for later
language learning are laid.”
Promoting effective language teaching
• Teacher mobility
• Early start
• Training for the multilingual classroom
What is the Commission currently doing
for promoting Early Language Learning?
1. Building up a network of relevant +
representative organisations
2. Conference on early language learning in
Brussels, 24-25 September 2009
More about multilingualism
DG EAC:
http://ec.europa.eu/education/languages/index_
nl.htm

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