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Languages, opening doors to cultures
Learning a foreign language is a condition of cultural exchange. It is also a necessity for Europeans, who are required to move, work and communicate within an expanding European Union.
Accordingly, on the basis of the Council Resolution of March 1995 on improving the quality of language learning and following the publication of the Commission's White Paper "Teaching and learning: towards the learning society", the Union encourages the learning of at least two foreign languages in addition to the mother tongue, and develops new teaching methods paving the way for innovation, mobility and new technologies.
In 2003, the European Commission presented an Action Plan for the promotion of language learning and linguistic diversity (2004-2006). One of its main goals is to encourage Europeans to know at least two languages in addition to their maternal language. The Commission has proposed different measures in order to realise this plan such as the creation of an information portal by 2006 which would provide information for professionals and the general public on available training opportunities and the advantages of speaking several languages, etc.
programme also affords opportunities for language learning through
exchanges and mobility measures organised for the benefit of young Europeans.
New methods of learning
The European Commission also provides citizens with information and advice on ways of learning languages. Various Community programmes support the use of new information and communications in the teaching of languages.
The eLearning initiative is designed to help European education and training systems to adapt to the new economic, social and cultural environment created by the spread of digital technologies. One of its priorities focuses on language learning.
Behind the scenes, research into language-learning methods and technologies is conducted within the research framework programme, with particular emphasis on education and training, under the User-friendly information society programme.
|Last update: 03-05-2006|