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Language Café gets lifelong learning award
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21/05/2010 00:00:00

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 sign-language.

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 Exclusion."


    The awards recognise projects in school education (funded by the EU 'Comenius programme'), higher education ('Erasmus' programme), adult education ('Grundtvig' programme) and vocational training ('Leonardo da Vinci'), as well as for 'Languages' and 'Information and Communication Technologies'.

    Further information

    "Education and training for social inclusion. European Success Stories" includes details about the winning projects plus 20 others shortlisted for the European Awards for Lifelong Learning:

    European Commission: The Lifelong Learning Programme:

    Lifelong Learning Programme annual conference 2010 - 'Looking beyond 2013':

    The European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010:

    Contact at Southampton University

    Paula Davis, Project Co-ordinator

    Tel: 023 8059 3970 or



    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.

    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

    Last update: 30/10/2010  |Top