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EU Language Policy


Action Plan for Languages

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The European Commission adopted the Action Plan “Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity” (2004-2006) on 27 July 2003, after an extensive preparation and consultation process:

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  1. 13 December 2001 - at the end of the European Year of Languages, the European Parliament adopted a Resolution recommending measures to promote linguistic diversity and language learning
  2. 14 February 2002 - the Education and Youth Council adopted a Resolution asking the European Commission to submit proposals for promoting linguistic diversity and language learning
  3. November 2002 - the Commission opened a consultation as part of the process of preparing the proposals, during which more than 300 substantive responses were received and independently analysed
  4. 10 April 2003 - the consultation process was rounded off with a conference in Brussels, during which promotion of linguistic diversity and language learning was discussed
  5. 27 July 2003 - adoption of the Action Plan by the Commission
 

Content of the Action Plan

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The Action Plan proposed 45 actions to be carried out between 2004 and 2006, with the aim of supporting initiatives taken by local, regional and national authorities.

There were three broad categories of actions:

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  1. extending the benefits of language learning to all citizens as a lifelong activity - actions in this category address teaching languages at all levels (pre- and early-school, secondary education, higher education and adult learning)
  2. improving the quality of language teaching at all levels - actions in this category relate to the creation of “language-friendly” schools, language teacher training and supply, teaching other subjects through the medium of foreign languages, and testing language skills
  3. building an environment in Europe that is favourable to languages by embracing linguistic diversity, building language-friendly communities, and making language learning easier (e.g. by bringing language learning facilities closer to the people who need them)