Knowledge of languages is at the heart of a successful Europe. Multilingualism enables communication and understanding, key elements in inspiring Europe’s many diverse cultures to work together towards common goals.
Language teaching is therefore of central importance. By encouraging students to learn other languages from an early age, language teachers are helping young Europeans to become:
- more open to other cultures
- more able to move and work freely across borders
- more able to compete effectively in the global economy
The EU has also supported the development of a multilingual, on-line resource centre for foreign language teaching - Lingu@net Europa.
The European Language Label is an award scheme that recognises innovation in language teaching and learning. The scheme is co-ordinated by the European Commission, but the Label campaigns are administered at a national level and Labels are given to projects in EU Member States and other participating countries by national juries.
CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning. Curriculum subjects that students normally study in their national language are studied through the medium of a foreign language.
With a view to the possible introduction of a framework that will standardise qualifications for language teachers across Europe, the European Commission funded the preparation of the “European Profile for Language Teacher Education - A Frame of Reference”.
In doing so, the Commission hopes to encourage government policies aimed at improving the quality and innovation of language teaching. It is hoped that this improvement will then act as a catalyst for greater financial investment in language teacher training by 2010.
The objective of multilingual comprehension initiatives is to foster the comprehension of similar foreign languages, on the basis that it is easier to learn to understand a foreign language than to speak it fluently.