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IP/07/1396

Brussels, 26 September 2007

"Enhancing motivation for language learning" - the recommendations of the High Level Group on Multilingualism

The High Level Group on Multilingualism transmitted today to Commissioner Orban its final report with recommendations to the Commission for actions in the field of multilingualism. The Group, comprising 11 experts from across Europe, was set up in response to the 2005 Communication “A new framework strategy for multilingualism”[1]. The Group was given the remit to "provide support and advice in developing initiatives, as well as fresh impetus and ideas for a comprehensive approach to multilingualism in the European Union".

"The recommendations of this group are very valuable. This report can inspire concrete projects", Commissioner Orban said. "For instance, research into aspects of multilingualism where there are currently gaps in our knowledge. How language learning can be promoted outside formal educational settings; how to encourage language learning at an older age; how multilingualism can be used for integrating linguistic minorities?"

The report of the Group concentrates on several areas: raising awareness and enhancing motivation on language learning; the potential of the media in evoking, enhancing and sustaining motivation for language learning; languages for business; interpretation and translation – new trends and needs; regional or minority languages; research into multilingualism

Some of the findings of the Group are:

  • Launching information campaigns among parents, young people, organisations active in the fields of education and culture, decision makers, etc. to raise the awareness concerning language learning.
  • To increase motivation, the group recommends its inclusion as part of the leisure activities, such as sport; including it in extra-curricular activities of young students; providing so-called "edutainment" on television, which combines education and entertainment. Subtitles are considered a good way of teaching languages.
  • The High Level Group on Multilingualism draws attention to the potential of immigrants as a source of language knowledge and as an opportunity for companies to use their linguistic and cultural abilities in order to enter the markets where immigrants come from.
  • Professionalising the training of third countries languages, such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Russian, by creating pan-European benchmarks is considered important for boosting the competitiveness.
  • Developing masters in translation and interpretation, developing higher education programmes in the field of legal, court and community translation and interpretation are other recommendations of the High Level Group on Multilingualism.

The full report of the High Level Group is available at:
http://ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lang/doc/multireport_en.pdf

For more information on the languages in the EU, see:

http://europa.eu/languages/


[1] COM(2005) 596 final / IP/05/1451


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