Southampton University's Language
Café is one of six EU-funded educational projects winners of the 2010
European Awards for Lifelong Learning. The Language Café project offers
an innovative approach to language learning in a relaxed environment for people
of all ages and backgrounds. Some 29 cafés exist in eight European countries,
with some offering more specialised help for immigrants and people who use
Alison Dickens, Language Cafe project co-ordinator, said:
“This award really goes to all the language café goers who made and continue
to make the Language Café Project such a success. It is heartening to see so
much enthusiasm for the idea and we think it has great potential in supporting
informal language learning for non-traditional learners. "
"We are particularly looking forward to our new Community Language Café,
beginning in Southampton in June, which will bring together teachers who
are working outside mainstream education and support them in sharing
teaching ideas and resources, and help them gain greater recognition for their
work,” she added.
The other winning projects come from Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the
Netherlands and Norway and involve partners from many other European countries.
All were chosen because they were excellent examples of what can be achieved by
working together across borders to promote learning for all, regardless of age
or social group.
The awards were announced at a conference in Barcelona on the post-2013
future of the Lifelong Learning Programme – one of EU's main programmes for
education and training. The conference focused on how best to develop the EU's
support for cross-border exchanges of students and teachers, as well as
transnational partnerships between education and training institutions, and
simplification of the way the EU's Lifelong Learning programme is managed.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, European Commissioner for education,
culture, multilingualism and youth, Androulla Vassiliou, said:
"The EU's Lifelong Learning Programme supports transnational projects in
education and training that really make a difference at grassroots level. I
congratulate the six winning projects: they can be particularly proud of their
contribution in this European Year of Combating Poverty and Social