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Prezentacja (22.11.2006)

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PostWysłany: Śro 12:13, 22 Lis 2006    Temat postu: Prezentacja (22.11.2006)

The European Union is home to 450 million Europeans from diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds and they are building a single Union out of many diverse nations, communities, cultures and language groups, it is an Union built around the equal interchange of ideas and traditions and founded upon the mutual acceptance of peoples with different histories but a common future and it is now important than ever that citizens have the skills necessary to understand and communicate with their neighbours.
The range of foreign languages spoken by Europeans is narrow, being limited mainly to English, French, German and Spanish. Every Europeans should have communicative competence in at least two other languages in addition to his or her mother tongue. The European Year of Languages 2001 highlighted the many ways of promoting language learning and linguistic diversity. Heads of the State and Government in Barcelona in March 2002 recognised the need for European Union and Member State action to improve language learning.
A European Parliament Resolution of 13 December 2001 promoted language learning and linguistic diversity. On 14 February 2002 the Education Council invited Member States to take concrete steps to promote linguistic diversity and language learning, and invited the European Commission to draw up proposals in these fields.
In preparing the Action Plan, the European Commission undertook a wide public consultation involving the other European Institutions, relevant national ministries, a wide range of organisations representing civil society, and the general public. The consultation document was made available on-line in all European Union languages. A conference for representatives of civil society in Brussels on 10 April 2003 closed the consultation.

The European Union’s role in this field is not to replace action by Member States, but to support and supplement it. Its mission is to help them develop quality education and vocational training through cooperation and exchange, and to promote developments in those issues that can best be tackled at a Union-wide level.
The main tools available to the Union in this field are its funding programmes, and especially those in the fields of Education, Training and Culture.
The Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci programmes together invest over € 30 million a year in actions with a specific language-learning objective.

In the years 2000 - 2002, the Socrates programme has funded:

- 1 601 joint language projects involving 58 500 pupils and 6 500 teachers;
- 2 440 language assistantships;
- 16 563 in-service training grants for teachers of a foreign language;
- 18 projects developing training tools and courses for language teachers;
- intensive linguistic preparation courses in a less widely used and less taught language for 3 632 Higher Education students;
- 38 learning partnerships, and 12 cooperation projects to promote languages in adult education;
- 33 projects developing new language learning or testing tools; and
- 15 projects promoting awareness about the benefits of language learning and bringing language learning opportunities closer to citizens.

In the same period, the Leonardo da Vinci programme has funded:

- 750 periods of in-service training abroad for teachers of a foreign language;
- 56 projects developing language learning tools for vocational training purposes and in the workplace;
- 5 projects developing methods of validating language skills
- 4 language audits in companies;
- 120 000 transnational placements, exchanges and study visits for people in training.

The Action Plan is divided into two main parts:

Section 1 presents the context and the main policy objectives to be pursued. The Consultation Document identified three broad areas in which action should be taken:

 extending the benefits of life-long language learning to all citizens,
 improving language teaching,
 creating a more language-friendly environment.

Section 2 makes concrete proposals for tangible improvements in the short term. It proposes a series of actions to be taken at European level in 2004 - 2006 with the aim of supporting actions taken by local, regional and national authorities.



This section focuses on the key objective of extending the benefits of language learning to all citizens. Language competencies are part of the core of skills that every citizen needs for training, employment, and cultural exchange.
Language learning is a lifelong activity, for which this action plan identifies the following specific objectives:

1. Learning of a mother tongue and two other languages; making an early start.

It is a priority for Member States to ensure that language learning in kindergarten and primary school is effective. The advantages of the early learning of languages only accrue where teachers are trained to teach languages to very young children, where class sizes are small enough for language learning to be effective, where appropriate training materials are available, and where enough curriculum time is devoted to languages. Initiatives to make language learning available to an ever-younger group of pupils must be supported by appropriate resources, including resources for teacher training.

2. Language learning in secondary education and training.

In secondary education or training young people complete the acquisition of the essential core of skills that will serve them throughout a lifetime of language learning.
Member States agree that pupils should master at least two foreign languages, with the emphasis on effective communicative ability: active skills rather than passive knowledge. ‘Native speaker’ fluency is not the objective, but appropriate levels of skill in reading, listening, writing and speaking in two foreign languages are required, together with intercultural competencies and the ability to learn languages whether with a teacher or alone.
All secondary schools should be encouraged to host staff from other language communities, such as language assistants or guest teachers. In linguistic border areas there are many additional opportunities for contact between pupils and teachers from neighbouring language communities.
Socrates / Comenius School Language Projects, in which a class works together on a project with a class abroad provide young learners with genuine opportunities to use language skills through contact with learners of the same age. All pupils should have the experience of taking part in such a project and in a related language exchange visit.

3. Language learning in Higher Education.

Higher Education institutions play a key role in promoting societal and individual multilingualism. In non-anglophone countries recent trends to provide teaching in English may have unforeseen consequences on the vitality of the national language. University language policies should therefore include explicit actions to promote the national or regional language. All students should study abroad, preferably in a foreign language, for at least one term, and should gain an accepted language qualification as part of their degree course.

4. Adult Language learning.

Every adult should be encouraged to carry on learning foreign languages. Workers should have the opportunity to improve the language skills relevant to their working life. Cultural activities involving foreign music, literature or films, holidays abroad, town-twinning activities, voluntary service abroad can be promoted as opportunities for learning about other cultures and languages.

5. Language learners with special needs.

Good practice in teaching languages to learners with special needs can be further developed and new methods need to be developed for the teaching of foreign languages to such learners. During 2006, the Commission intends to collect and disseminate information about good practice in the teaching of foreign languages to learners with special needs, with particular reference to the organisation of curricula and teaching systems.

6. Range of languages.

Taken as a whole, the range on offer should include the "smaller" European languages as well as all the "larger" ones, regional and minority languages as well as those with national status, and the languages of our major trading partners throughout the world. Member States should provide adequate information to parents about the choice of their child's first foreign language, and the flexibility of school curricula to permit the teaching of a wider range of languages.
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