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Learning languages

Why is it important to learn a foreign language?

Living in an age of global communication, where the currency is language, the promotion of multilingualism is one of the cornerstones of the European project and a powerful symbol of the European Union's aspiration to be united in diversity.

Learning new languages has a big impact on social cohesion and enhances economic competitiveness.

Languages are bridges between cultures, create new links both for business and mutual understanding and enable citizens to take maximum advantage of job, study and travel opportunities across the continent. Knowing other languages is the key to mobility within the EU, which is a top priority in the new 7-year programme Erasmus+.

Who raises awareness on languages policy?

The European Union is not a lonely actor in this process. It has joined forces with Member States, local authorities and social partners, working hand in hand in order to raise awareness of the value and opportunities learning foreign languages and reach the objective of enabling citizens to communicate in two languages in addition to their mother tongue.

What has been done so far?

According to surveys, less than a third of all Europeans speak at least two additional languages.

Education is the key to reaching objectives on a sustainable long-term basis. The education systems in each country and the future generations are crucial in meeting the challenges of multilingualism. Through evidence-based policy; innovative ways of learning and teaching such as content integrated language learning and computer assisted language learning; and catering for linguistic diversity of our classorooms, education in Europe can support every learner in improving his/her language  skills. Evidence also shows the importance of supporting language learning from the earlyage in the life of our learners.