Working across borders to enhance language proficiency and job mobility
A cross-border project is helping to promote and develop greater cultural understanding and job mobility by building the language ability of its participants.
The integration of the European Union has enhanced freedom of movements for workers. They can migrate from one country to another in order to take advantage of job opportunities. However, although borders may be falling, some cultural and language barriers remain.
Linguacluster provides language and cultural enhancement in French, German and Dutch, and promotes cross-cultural understanding between people in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Linguacluster begins at school. Students take part in cultural exchanges, both virtual and actual. The programme helps schools develop links with partner schools in other countries to facilitate the exchanges.
The exchanges last one to three days, and give the students first-hand knowledge of different languages and cultures. They are geared towards students in primary and secondary school.
Improves job mobility and enhances face-to-face interaction
Vocational students are looking to improve their skills, and Linguacluster provides professional traineeships. Working with professional organisations, students encounter the customs and languages of other countries - and in the process improve their professional and linguistic skills.
Besides direct, hands-on experience, students can also take part in language training in five identified professions – office management, receptionist, logistician, sales representative and ICT. The trainings are all available online.
In an effort to enhance cultural and linguistic knowledge across borders, Linguacluster has developed a book. This book teaches readers about both their area and the participating regions. There are also theatre workshops, multi-lingual singing performances and a cross-border soccer cup.
In all, Linguacluster was able to reach over 8 000 participants to the project activities and developed didactic material which will serve future generations of pupils, teachers, employees and jobseekers until 2018.
Total investment and EU funding
Total investment for the project “Lingu@cluster” is EUR 4 150 820 of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 2 075 410 from the Operational Programme “INTERREG IV A Euregio Maas-Rhein” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.