The British Council has longstanding experience in supporting the teaching and learning of English and the development of language education policies across the world.
From our perspective as a cultural relations organisation we believe that competence in and use of several languages is an essential tool to ensure better understanding and cohesion between and within societies. It is also well known that higher levels of multilingualism improve a worker’s employability and job mobility while opening doors to new business markets.
Language Rich Europe will therefore creates an informed dialogue with leaders in government, educational institutions, public services, business and the media across Europe, highlighting the importance of multilingualism in achieving more prosperous and stable societies. It aims to encourage and enable these leaders to take a more strategic approach and increase investment in language education and use of languages across society.
Language Rich Europe is co-funded by the European Commission and we are working with a wide network of partners and specialists in all 19 participating countries, including EUNIC, the European Union’s Network of National Institutes of Culture.
We will carry out professional research that will result in an innovative and interactive measurement tool called the “Index of Multilingual Policies and Practices in Europe”. This Index will help visualise the role of and support for multilingualism in the participating European countries and highlight good practice. It will measure how these countries perform against
European standards in the following 7 areas:
Databases on language diversity; Languages in (pre-)primary education; Languages in lower and upper secondary education; Languages in adult vocational and university education; Languages in public services and public spaces; Languages in business; Languages in the media;
Languages covered by the index will include
•Minority languages spoken in regions
•Minority languages spoken by immigrants
The results will be published in 18 languages through a book and on our forthcoming interactive website.
We will invite professionals from various sectors in each country to discuss the results, share good practice and develop action points for their area of work.
Language Rich Europe will also provide guidelines for language teaching and learning, which will be distributed to the 8,000 EUNIC teachers and their 2,000,000 students around the world. Finally we will create an online forum via our Language Rich blog. We invite you to join in the discussion and voice your views on the role of languages or share your personal experience.
Participating countries include Austria, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
In order to know more about Language Rich Europe, please download the fact sheet.
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