woensdag 3 februari 2010

"Languages in EuropeTheory Policy Practice" opens website


We live in a period of unprecedented movement - of capital, of goods and of people. Contact between people and countries has never been easier or more frequent. In such a changing and volatile world, communication across cultures becomes very high stakes.

Such communication is indispensible for international relations. It underpins wealth creation, enables individual mobility and grows employment. Communication is itself a major economic and cultural activity.

Multilingualism has to play a key role in this world where English has greatly facilitated the global impact of the "communications revolution". However, English – even as a lingua franca - also poses key cultural, social and psychological challenges.

In such a complex world, simple indicators of identity – national citizenship or national culture - are challenged. People share allegiances to an ever widening range of social groups and cultural icons – local, national, religious, sporting, artistic. In each case, language can be a major factor.
The issue of multilingualism has been hotly debated over the last ten two decades, and despite much effort and progress, the way we first apply theory to policy, and then put the resulting policies into practice can still have varying results.

This project aims to address these issues and formulate the questions which need to be asked to help language policy have a more central role in national and international policy debates.

The LETPP project brings together decision makers and stakeholders in business, education and government to look at case-studies, exchange ideas and consider actions. We can then start to decide what the next steps need to be to "unlock the gates of languages" to the citizens of the next decade.