Europe


Europe

Meet the linguists: the new French government is packing some pretty intimidating skills

22 May 2017 (The Conversation)

One of the most striking features of the recent French presidential elections and the subsequent nomination of a new prime minister and his cabinet has been the attention paid by the French media to the linguistic competences of the nation’s politicians.

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Call for case studies or practical examples of the use of instruments and frameworks for language teacher education and development

22 May 2017 (ECML)

The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is compiling case studies or practice examples of the use of instruments and frameworks that describe the competences and experiences of language teachers and, with respect to language-related issues, of all teachers.

They are inviting teachers, teacher educators/ trainers, administrators/officials at all levels, and employers to share their experiences of using these instruments. The practice examples will be published on the website of the current ECML project Towards a Common European Framework for Language Teachers.

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Euroscola dates for autumn 2017

16 May 2017 (European Parliament)

Euroscola brings together about 600 students from all over the European Union for a day in Strasbourg discussing aspects of European integration, in multilingual working groups of 100 students. It is open to students aged 16-18 and the European Parliament offers a subsidy towards the costs of the journey to Strasbourg.

As working groups consist of students from several member states it is essential that participants have a sound knowledge of at least one other European Union language. For practical purposes knowledge of French is necessary as during the "committee" meetings in the afternoon, students are expected to think and speak in a language other than their mother tongue. The debates are held mainly in French and English.

Dates for the autumn term 2017 are now available.

To find out more and to apply, visit the Euroscola website.

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Falkirk win at Euroquiz final

16 May 2017 (SEET)

Congratulations to the P6 team from Comely Park Primary School, who won the Scottish European Educational Trust’s National Euroquiz Final 2017, which took place in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on 15th May 2017.

Team members Tamsin Gold, Edwin Walker, Robyn Dewar-Young and Jaymie Jones were crowned SEET’s Euroquiz Champions 2017 at the national final. The winners were closely followed by St Leonard’s Primary School team from South Lanarkshire, in a nail-biting final round. Sciennes Primary School from Edinburgh also did incredibly well, winning the prize for third place.

Euroquiz is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, a non-political charity, which promotes education about language learning, Europe and the wider world amongst Scotland’s young people.

See the attached press release for full details about this year's competition and participating schools.

If your school might like to take part in future competitions, visit the SEET website for more information.

Read more...

Related Files

Related Links

Third Place in Euroquiz 2017! (Sciennes Primary School, 15 May 2017) - post includes photos and links to the event on Parliament TV.

Why Brexit won't spell the end for our European exchange programme

6 February 2017 (The Telegraph)

It was at the end of February last year, that myself and my fellow languages students found out where we would be spending our third year abroad.  Most of us had chosen to study at various universities across Europe with the help of Erasmus, the European Union’s university study programme that has benefited hundreds of thousands of young people both in Britain and on the continent over the past 30 years. 

Little did we know then that four months later, the British public would vote to leave the European Union, and as the 23 June loomed, it dawned on us how Brexit might impact our studies abroad.  Will leaving the EU mean that Britain will also leave the Erasmus programme?  Many of us were expecting our elaborate year abroad plans to suddenly become scuppered, but in short, the answer is no, and eight months later, Britain’s involvement in the Erasmus scheme remains unchanged.

However, one can’t help but wonder how much longer Britain’s involvement in Erasmus will last.  With Article 50 set to be triggered no later than the end of March and the Prime Minister announcing our exit from the Single Market, will the EU continue to consider us part of a scheme that is so dependent on the free movement of people?

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Related Links

A student's plea to Brexit negotiators: keep the Erasmus scheme (The Guardian, 7 February 2017)

European Language Gazette issue 35 (December 2016)

6 January 2017 (ECML)

The latest edition of the European Language Gazette has just been published. This provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources), its partners and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe. It focuses on language education and national developments in the member states and beyond.

Read more...

LFEE Europe immersion courses in France and Spain 2017-18

6 January 2017 (LFEE)

LFEE Europe has been an international course provider since 2002. Our team of experienced and fully qualified native teachers are committed to promoting French and Spanish language and culture throughout Europe. Funding for all our courses is available through the European Union Erasmus+ Programme.

For more information see the attached flyer or visit the LFEE website.

Read more...

The best places to study for a degree in Europe

8 December 2016 (The Guardian)

Studying abroad is a fun way to grow up. You travel. You meet new people. You get out of your comfort zone. It shows you’re willing to get out, leave your home town, and go see the world. 

As it stands, some European countries enable Brits to study without paying tuition fees or incurring anywhere near as much debt as they would in the UK. Living costs can also be cheap. Many learn a new language and experience a different teaching style. Some stay on and find jobs. Others fall in love and life takes a different direction altogether. Whatever comes of it, studying in Europe is worth considering. Here’s a roundup of our top destinations.

Read more...

A map showing how many foreign languages children study at school in different European countries

3 December 2016 (The Independent)

Learning foreign languages is key to getting ahead. The UK used to be much better teaching languages in schools, but in recent years we've been outdone by our fellow Europeans.

Recently data from Eurostat was transformed into a map by linguist and cartographer Jakub Marian.

Based on their most recent data from 2013, it shows what European countries teach foreign languages to their young populations.

Read more...

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2017

28 October 2016 (European Parliament)

Since 2008, the European Parliament together with the ‘Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen’ have each year been inviting young people from all EU Member States to submit projects run by and for youth showing an active participation in the development of Europe.

Young people aged between 16 and 30 from any EU Member States can submit projects for the European Charlemagne Youth Prize. Projects can be submitted individually or, preferably, in groups.

This year's competition is now open and invites projects on EU development, integration and European identity issues which must be submitted by 30 January 2017.

Visit the website for more information.

Read more...

Plan now to avoid post-Brexit languages crisis, say MPs

17 October 2016 (BBC News)

The government must plan now to avoid a post-Brexit languages crisis, say a cross-party group of MPs and peers.

Trade talks after leaving the EU will need more UK officials with language skills, say the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages. There is already a languages skills shortage but currently the UK can rely on other EU nationals "to plug the gap", say the group.

Ministers say their reforms are already boosting language learning in schools.

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Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #2

7 October 2016 (University of Cambridge Research)

In the second of a new series of comment pieces written by linguists at Cambridge, Dr Heather Inwood, Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Chinese Literature and Culture, argues that Britain needs to improve its language skills to build trade relations and break through cultural divides.

Read more...

Related Links

Opinion: Brexit and the importance of languages for Britain #1 (University of Cambridge Research, 26 September 2016)

European Day of Languages 2016

19 August 2016 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on the 26th of September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone.

SCILT is helping schools across Scotland to celebrate by distributing materials developed by the ECML. These resources are free to order and act as excellent prizes and rewards.

Visit our European Day of Languages 2016 webpage for information on how to order packs, for ideas on how to celebrate, and to find out how your school could feature in our EDL2016 blog.

Read more...

EPALE focus: European Day of Languages

11 August 2016 (European Commission)

On the 26 September EPALE (Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe) is celebrating European Day of Languages. We love languages at EPALE – learning new languages can help share information and experiences across borders, broaden our cultural horizons and improve cognitive function.

In honour of European Day of Languages, we’ll be hosting a day-long discussion which will be moderated by language teacher and polyglot Alex Rawlings (link is external) and EPALE’s thematic coordinator for Quality, Andrew McCoshan. We’re looking for people who are passionate about language learning to take part in the panel discussion – if this sounds like you, get in touch.

We’re also on the lookout for articles, opinion blogs, resources and case studies about language learning.

Visit the website for information on how to contribute and take part.

Read more...

Brussels, tá mé ag teacht

4 June 2016 (Irish Times)

More than four decades after Ireland joined what was then the European Economic Community the country is about to reach another milestone in its membership of the European Union.

In the coming months Ireland is to ramp up the number of Irish speakers working at the organisation, as Irish is due to become a fully fledged official working language by 2022.

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‘How will we fare in post-Brexit trade negotiations if no one has studied MFL?’

2 June 2016 (TES)

There are few things so depressing about the current schools system as the precipitous decline in languages, writes this veteran education journalist.

If one thing that has saddened me over the past couple of weeks, it is that modern foreign languages has been the first core subject to be axed by a major exam board.

For at least two decades I have campaigned, cajoled and done what I can to persuade the powers that be to do more to promote languages in schools.

Read more...

West Dunbartonshire win at Euroquiz final: St Mary’s Primary team named Euroquiz Champions

18 May 2016 (SEET)

Congratulations to the P6 team from St Mary’s Primary School Duntocher, who won the Scottish European Educational Trust’s National Euroquiz Final 2016, which took place at Heriot Watt University yesterday (17th May 2016).Team members Anna Dalrymple, Molly Hall, Nicky Borthwick and Owen Graham were crowned Euroquiz Champions 2016 at the national final. The winners were closely followed by St Margaret’s Primary School team from Fife, with their fingers on the buzzer in a nail-biting final round. Alloway Primary School (South Ayrshire) and St Leonard’s Primary School (South Lanarkshire) also did excellently, both coming in at third place.

Euroquiz is run by the Scottish European Educational Trust, a non-political charity, which promotes education about Europe and language learning amongst Scotland’s young people. 31 teams of primary six pupils came from all across Scotland to attend the final, all hoping to raise the trophy as winners. All teams demonstrated an impressive level of knowledge about European countries, history, culture, current affairs and the EU. All participants were a credit to their schools and worked really well together in their teams. The finalists were put through their paces by quizmaster and Director of SCILT Fhiona Fisher and Head of the European Parliament Information Office in Scotland, Per Johansson, who read out the answers. Well done to everyone who participated in Euroquiz 2016!

Ministers acknowledge the key role of languages and language education

19 May 2016 (ECML)

The importance of language education and the added value of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML), were highlighted at the Council of Europe Conference of Ministers of Education, Brussels, 11-12 April 2016.

The focus of the conference was the Council of Europe flagship Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture. This new educational tool for teaching democracy and democratic values has been developed by the Council of Europe with input from over a thousand teachers and experts across the continent. It sets out a series of 20 key competences needed to play an active role in democratic society and explains how these can be defined and measured.

Mock Council of the European Union 2016

16 May 2016 (British Council eTwinning)

Do your students want to learn to negotiate in an international environment?

Don't forget you can now apply to be one of 30 schools from across England and Scotland to take part in the annual Mock Council of the European Union, to be held at the Foreign Office in London on Thursday 17 November.

In the Mock Council, 30 schools are each assigned the role of an EU member state or an EU institution and simulate a meeting of the EU's Council of Ministers on two topical EU policy proposals. Two students from each school must research these policy areas and represent their adopted country or institution at the Council meeting.

Students are encouraged to use foreign languages where possible in the discussions to reflect the multilingual nature of the EU; interpretation into English is provided.

This year there will be an additional role for one school to represent 'the media'. The aim of this role will be to generate interest before, during and after the event, through interviewing participating schools. 

Applications are welcome from secondary and further education colleges across England and Scotland. The application deadline is 29 May 2016.

Further information and application forms can be found on the Mock Council 2016 website, along with highlights from the 2015 event.

Read more...

Eurovision contestants should have the courage to sing in their own languages

15 May 2016 (Independent)

Apart from being pointedly political, Jamala’s [winning] full-throttle blast against Russian colonialism was – inevitably these days – delivered for the most part in English. So, in fact, was Russia’s own entry, "You are the only one". Ditto Estonia, Croatia and virtually everyone else, except for the Austrian contestant who bravely risked singing in French.

It is easy to see why almost all the contestants taking part in Eurovision these days prefer to sing in English rather than their own tongue. They fear they won’t win unless everyone gets the message. [...] Still, one cannot help feel a certain melancholy about this trend. It is a sad day when even the French feel they have to sing in English.

Read more...

eTwinning webinar training May 2016

3 May 2016 (eTwinning)

Want to get started on your eTwinning journey? The following two webinar sessions will help you find out all you need to know.

  • Step 1 - Finding your eTwinning partner (17 May, 4.30-5.30pm)
  • Step 2 - Starting your eTwinning project (19 May, 4.30-5.30pm)

Visit the webinar website to find out more and sign up for one or both of the sessions.

For more information about eTwinning generally and see example projects, visit the British Council's eTwinning website.

Read more...

Teacher Academy: a European response to teachers' professional development needs

25 April 2016 (European Commission)

With rapidly changing societies, Europe’s 5 million teachers are facing an increasing number of challenges and demands in their daily work in the classroom. The Teacher Academy, the School Education Gateway’s new service, is here to help teachers across Europe.

Teachers are increasingly expected to play a key role in addressing some of the challenges for our societies linked to technological, social and economic changes. However, teachers often face a range of barriers to accessing professional development, ranging from a lack of relevant courses and conflicts with work schedules to the high cost for some teachers of taking advantage of what is on offer (OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)).

To address these barriers and support teachers in their daily work in the classroom, the European Commission has now launched Teacher Academy as part of its School Education Gateway portal.

Read more...

Study abroad: The world is your classroom

19 March 2016 (The Telegraph)

It’s cheaper, yes; but British students are finding other, more surprising benefits in studying abroad.

After thumbing through countless prospectuses, working out predicted A-levels and totting up the price of university, British students are picking up their passports and searching farther afield for an education.

Since 2010, there has been an explosion in English-taught degree programmes in continental Europe. Of the top 1,000 universities in the world offering 36,500 English-taught programmes, 75 per cent are outside Britain.

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‘Teachers should do more to ensure that the benefits of EU membership are understood by our students’

22 February 2016 (TES)

Teachers are, in the majority, internationalists and understand the benefits of collaboration across different countries, writes a leading educationist.

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60% of lower secondary level pupils studied more than one foreign language in 2014

1 February 2016 (Eurostat)

Learning a foreign language at school is very common in the European Union (EU), with around 18 million lower secondary school pupils (or 98.6% of all pupils at this level) studying at least one foreign language in 2014. Among them, nearly 11 million (59.9%) were studying two foreign languages or more.

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Erasmus+ funding for schools

11 January 2016 (Erasmus+)

Schools planning to apply for Erasmus+ funding in 2016 can benefit from tailored information and support to increase your chances of making a successful application. This includes live Q&A webinars taking place between January and March and pre-recorded webinars giving overviews and advice on completing applications.

Further links and details can be found in the Erasmus+ January bulletin which can be accessed online.

Read more...

Who needs Oxbridge? Meet the British students headed for Europe

3 October 2015 (The Guardian)

Hiroki Takano is not having a good day. “I lost my wallet, and then I realised I’d locked myself out of my apartment.” He sighs. Takano, 21, from Maidenhead in Berkshire, is at the end of his first week of lectures at university. But though this is the sort of thing that happens to freshers with alarming predictability, it’s a bit more complicated in his case. Takano isn’t in Leeds, or Manchester, or Durham, and he can’t just pop into the nearest branch of his bank. He’s in Copenhagen, roughly 600 miles from home.

Over the last fortnight, approximately half a million new undergraduates have embarked on student life at universities across the UK. 

[...] As tuition fees in the UK have risen, studying for a degree abroad has become an appealing alternative. So much so that, according to British Council research published earlier this year, up to a third of British students are considering overseas study.

Read more...

EDL 2015 blog

2 October 2015 (SCILT)

How did you celebrate the European Day of Languages 2015? Visit our EDL 2015 blog to hear how schools used language cafés, Bollywood dancing, calligraphy and singing to celebrate language learning in Europe this year!

If you would like to feature in our EDL blog then send some colourful photos and a description of your activities to scilt@strath.ac.uk.

Read more...

EDL 2015 - not long to go!

17 September 2015 (SCILT)

It's now only one week until the European Day of Languages 2015, how is your school celebrating?

If you are still looking for ideas there are plenty for primary and secondary classes on our EDL webpage, along with links to websites and other resources.

Let us know how you celebrate and we will feature you in our EDL 2015 blog. We will even pick some of the most innovative events to highlight in our next newsletter!

Email scilt@strath.ac.uk with a short blurb and some colourful pictures from your event, ensuring you have the relevant photo permissions. 

Read more...

EDL 2015: Ideas to celebrate in your school

28 August 2015 (SCILT)

This year SCILT's European Day of Languages packs have been more popular than ever! We are now officially out of stock, having sent materials to over 70 schools and posting out more than twice as many packs as last year.

However, there are still lots of ways to celebrate EDL in your school and SCILT has put together great ideas to support you in your celebrations. We have grouped them into primary and secondary ideas and provided a suggested timeframe for each activity.

Visit our EDL 2015 webpage to download our suggestions and to find many more ideas and resources.

Read more...

European Day of Languages 2015

13 August 2015 (SCILT)

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on the 26th of September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone.

SCILT is helping schools across Scotland to celebrate by distributing materials developed by the ECML. These resources are free to order and act as excellent prizes and rewards.

Visit our European Day of Languages 2015 webpage for information on how to order packs, for ideas on how to celebrate, and to find out how your school could feature in our EDL2015 blog.

Read more...

Mock Council of the European Union 2015

4 August 2015 (British Council)

Do you teach 16-18 year old students? Applications are now open for 30 schools or further education colleges from across England and Scotland to take part in the 2015 #MockCouncil of the EU in London on Thursday 26 November.

In the Mock Council 30 schools are each assigned the role of an EU member state or an EU institution and simulate a meeting of the EU's Council of Ministers on two topical EU policy proposals. Two students from each school must research these policy areas and represent their adopted country or institution at the council meeting. Students are encouraged to use foreign languages where possible in the discussions, to reflect the multilingual nature of the EU; interpretation into English is provided.

Visit the British Council website to find out more and how to apply by 23 August 2015.

Read more...

European Language Gazette 26 - June 2015

22 June 2015 (ECML)

The European Language Gazette, the ECML's e-newsletter, provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources), the Language Policy Unit and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe, as well as our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

Read more...

French teachers walk out over elite class axe

22 May 2015 (Scotsman)

The French government is proposing ending elite language programmes and giving individual schools more say in how pupils spend their time, fearing the education system and France’s future is threatened by unequal opportunity.

Read more...

Euroquiz 2015 Final

11 May 2015 (SEET/Scottish Parliament)

Well done to all the teams who took part in this year’s Euroquiz final in the Scottish Parliament, but especially to the winners, Carmondean Primary School from West Lothian.

For more information about the competition, see the attached press release or visit the SEET website.

Read more...

Related Files

Related Links

Primary school Euroquiz 2015 – winners (Education Scotland blog, 12 May 2015)

European Charlemagne Youth Prize

13 January 2015 (European Parliament)

The Charlemagne Youth Prize is organised jointly by the European Parliament and the International Charlemagne Prize Foundation in Aachen and awarded each year for projects which foster understanding between people from different European countries.

The projects are run by people aged between 16 and 30 and winning projects should provide models for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community.

Past winners include youth exchange programmes and artistic and internet projects with a European dimension.

The deadline for submissions is 2 February 2015.  More information and guidelines for submitting applications are on the website.

Read more...

Related Links

The European Parliament also provides a number of online teaching resources and opportunities for schools to learn about the European Union and related issues.

European Day of Languages - new features on the ECML website

24 September 2014 (ECML)

The ECML dedicated European Day of Languages website has a great variety of ideas and resources to celebrate EDL 2014 in your school. This year there are a number of new features on the website:

  • Versions of the website in 28 different languages
  • Sign language game - find out European country names in International Sign Language and test yourself
  • Language trivia - some well-known and not so well-known characteristics of specific languages
  • European Day of Languages Photo Contest 2014 - anyone of any age in a Council of Europe member state can enter, this year's theme is 'Language learning in action'

as well as language facts, games, quizzes and much more! Visit the ECML European Day of Languages website to find out more about the new features and to access these wonderful resources.

Read more...

European Day of Languages - Council of Europe Statement

24 September 2014 (Council of Europe)

To mark the European Day of Languages, the Council of Europe Secretary General, Thorbjørn Jagland, has issued the following statement:

European Day of Languages: challenging mindsets and embracing diversity

“On 26 September we celebrate Europe’s rich linguistic diversity. Let us take a moment to remember the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupery – that language is often the source of misunderstandings. Language can be used as a weapon, as an excuse to discriminate and humiliate.

Together we can ensure that languages, rather than being the source of misunderstanding, become the key to intercultural dialogue and mutual respect. To do this, we must challenge existing mindsets and embrace diversity.

The Council of Europe demonstrates a strong commitment to all of Europe’s languages: through its work on the protection of regional or minority languages, in developing common standards for teaching and measuring linguistic competence, and in supporting states to implement inclusive approaches to language education. 

So while we celebrate the Day of Languages today, in Strasbourg, in Graz together with the European Centre for Modern Languages, and through the many innovative events taking place all around Europe, let us recognise the powerful role languages play in helping to build and maintain tolerant, peaceful and inclusive societies.” 

Euroscola – dates now available for 2015!

6 June 2014 (European Parliament)

Euroscola brings together about 600 students from all over the European Union for a day in Strasbourg discussing aspects of European integration, in multilingual working groups of 100 students. It is open to students aged 16-18. Dates are now available to book between January and May 2015. Visit the website for more information and to apply.

Read more...

European Elections and the Future of Linguistic Diversity

13 May 2014 (Language Rich Europe blog)

In a fortnight’s time it’ll be the European elections. NPLD is eager for a new approach on languages to be adopted to explore the potential benefits – personal, social and economic – that linguistic diversity has for Europe.

Read more...

CEFR Web Conference 2014 - recordings available online

31 March 2014 (CEFR Web Conference)

The Summary and Recordings from the 2014 CEFR Web Conference are now available online.

Read more...

E.U. Fights to Get Everyone Speaking Same Language on Education

16 March 2014 (New York Times)

In 2002, government leaders of the member states called for “at least two foreign languages to be taught from a very early age,” and in 2005, the Union’s executive body, the European Commission, declared a long-term objective “to increase individual multilingualism until every citizen has practical skills in at least two languages in addition to his or her mother tongue.”

Read more...

Euroscola 2014

20 February 2014 (Radio Lingua Schools)

See the multilingual presentation given by Scottish students, Daniel and Heather, on behalf of the UK at this year’s Euroscola in Strasbourg.

Read more...

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2014

19 November 2013 (European Commission)

The European Parliament and the Foundation of the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen invite young people from all the EU member states to participate in a competition on EU development, integration and European identity issues.

The 'European Charlemagne Youth Prize' is awarded to projects, which:

  • promote European and international understanding
  • foster the development of a shared sense of European identity and integration
  • serve as a role model for young people living in Europe and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community

The projects can focus on the organisation of various youth events, youth exchanges or online projects with a European dimension.

Submissions for 2014 are now invited.  Applicants should be 16-30 years of age and should apply by 20 January 2014. Entries in all official languages of the EU are eligible.  Visit the website for full details.

Read more...

Euroscola

18 November 2013 (European Parliament)

Euroscola is a unique event for schools to learn about European integration by experiencing it first hand. Students from the 28 EU Member States are selected to become a Member of the European Parliament for one day at the Parliament's premises in Strasbourg.

They take the floor in plenary and committee sessions to debate and vote on resolutions on current affairs, all the while practising their language skills and making friends with fellow students from across Europe.

Teachers also have the opportunity to meet their colleagues and exchange and feedback about their own classroom practices & experiences.

The latest event has just taken place over 17 and 18 November 2013.  To learn more about it, and to find out how to participate in a future event, visit the Euroscola website.

Other European Parliament teacher resources are also available via the link below.

Read more...

Our Europe Film Competition - Promotional Video

12 November 2013 (SEET)

Sophie, Jessica and Mark talk you through the 2013 Our Europe film competition run by Scottish European Educational Trust and Radio Lingua. Get the chance to make a movie and win an iPad for you and your school.

Read more...

Why should the British bother with languages?

10 November 2013 (The Boar)

Something must be done to address the disastrous inability of the British to learn languages, as the changing state of language means that we could find ourselves in the perilous position of being able to communicate with only ourselves.

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English should be Brussels' official language, Flemish minister says

23 October 2013 (EurActiv)

If Brussels aspires to be an international city, it should make English its official language, the Flemish minister for education Pascal Smet has told EurActiv. “For the next twenty years, English will dominate as a global language. It is the language of the political world, of the diplomatic world, the tourism sector,” Smet told EurActiv on the margins of the launch of a project to boost multilingual education in the Belgian and EU capital.

The Flemish minister of education spoke at the launch of the so-called Marnix Plan for a multilingual Brussels, a bottom-up project to promote language learning in the Belgian capital, giving priority to French, Dutch and English.

Read more...

New study abroad programme makes languages an EU priority

21 October 2013 (The Guardian)

Language learning is an EU priority, Androulla Vassiliou, EU commissioner for education, culture and multilingualism, has said. Launching the revamped Erasmus+ programme, Vassiliou said languages are essential for addressing unemployment and social mobility within the European Union.

"Languages are one of our six priority topics under Erasmus+," Vassiliou said. "Whether it is for mobility for language learning, partnerships between institutions for language teaching, or policy support, it is one of our priorities."

The Erasmus+ programme will provide grants for more than four million people across the EU to study or train abroad. It comes into force in January 2014 and aims to address the language skills deficit holding back young people from international jobs.

Read more...

Postcard from... Brussels

1 October 2013 (The Independent)

The EU has been celebrating its diversity of language, with press releases timed to coincide with the European Day of Languages last week boasting that “Love is... Multilingualism”. Unfortunately, such love does not appear to spread to Britain.

While two-thirds of people surveyed across the EU’s member states said they could speak a foreign language, that figure is around 38 per cent in Britain.

Read more...

Sarah Breslin: New Executive Director of the ECML

1 October 2013 (ECML)

Thank you, Waldek! Welcome to Sarah!

The ECML is pleased to inform you that Sarah Breslin takes up her new duties as Executive Director of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe today 1st October.

Sarah is a passionate linguist, with a thorough understanding of both policy and practice in language education and general education, having worked in a range of sectors and countries since she graduated with first class Honours in French and German from the University of Glasgow in 1986.

Read more...

Celebrating Multilingualism

24 September 2013 (Language Rich Europe)

This Thursday September 26 we will have the opportunity to celebrate the importance of language learning during The European Day of Languages.  But what is it all about? Multilingualism is an essential tool that allows people to achieve their full potential in both their professional and private lives. Learning a new language is also an experience of sharing other people´s culture and points of view. EUNIC and its members recognize the value of multilingualism and act concretely on local level throughout the year. On occasion of The European Day of Languages, a range of events are organized by EUNIC clusters around the world.

Read more...

Key Findings: Languages in business – 70% of companies do not keep record of staff language skills

16 September 2013 (Language Rich Europe Blog)

Language Rich Europe developed a survey to explore the language strategies of companies, to find out whether they prioritise and support language training for their employees, and also to establish the range of languages used to communicate with customers and in promotional materials. The criteria investigated are divided into three main categories: general company language strategies, internal language strategies, and external language strategies.

Read more...

Key Findings: Languages in audiovisual media and press

2 September 2013 (Language Rich Europe blog)

Language Rich Europe research provides a rich source of cross-national insights into multilingualism and that goes beyond the education sector. You can browse all of the national/ regional profiles but in this post we focus on Languages in audiovisual media and press.

Read more...

Key Findings: Languages in further and higher education

19 August 2013 (Language Rich Europe blog)

Language Rich Europe research provides a rich source of cross-national insights into multilingualism across the education sectors. You can browse all of the national/ regional profiles or simply focus on further and higher education by reading on.

Read more...

Case Study: Taaltaske (‘Language Pack’) – Early Language Learning in Friesland

22 July 2013 (Language Rich Europe blog)

Language Rich Europe promotes the sharing of good practice in the area of multilingualism. On our website, you can read and submit your own case studies.

In this post, we focus on one from the Dutch province of Friesland, which is actively promoting early language learning.

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More Scots to get the chance to study abroad

19 July 2013 (TESS)

The number of young people from Scotland given the opportunity to study or train abroad is expected to double under new funding from the EU, it has emerged.

The Erasmus+ programme will replace the traditional Erasmus programme, which caters mainly for undergraduates and has sent more than 70,000 students from the UK to spend time abroad as part of their studies.

The revamped scheme will bring together a number of other programmes aimed at school and college students, as well as the existing Erasmus provision. The idea is to create a “one-stop shop” to make it easier for young people to arrange study or training placements abroad.

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Languages in Europe: We can't afford to rely just on a lingua franca

29 April 2013 (British Council)

Our Language Rich Europe research shows, among other things, that there’s a tendency that English is beoming the most widely chosen language at schools in Europe. That’s not much of a surprise as English has established itself as the lingua franca across Europe, with 51% of EU citizens speaking it as their first or second language. In comparison, German comes second with a total of 27% of EU citizens speaking it. English is also the language predominantly used on the web and for business.

According to an estimate by META (Multilingual Europe Technology Alliance), 2000 languages worldwide will not survive in the globalised digitised world in a business and academic context. What does that mean for Europe? I have recently attended the Closing Conference of Language Rich Europe - so here are some thoughts...

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Immersion Courses in France and Spain for Primary and Secondary School Teachers - Autumn 2013

22 March 2013 (LFEE)

This is our 12th year working under the Comenius programme and our expertise in delivering Training Courses for teachers is now recognised by all European National Agencies. Our courses are fun and motivating, and take place in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Lyon, and in Malaga, the capital city of the Costa del Sol in Andalucía.

Participants are encouraged to speak in the target language as much as possible in social situations and on the cultural excursions. Different levels are catered for as the class is often broken into smaller groups.

Successful applicants receive support from the European Union Comenius Lifelong Learning Programme available through the British Council. The grant of up to €2,500 fully covers the course fee, subsistence and accommodation, as well as travel expenses.

There are still a few places available for this autumn, so take advantage of this opportunity now.  See the attached flyer for course details, dates and how to apply.

'Our Europe' film competition semi-final

20 March 2013 (SEET)

On Monday 18 March secondary pupils from all over Scotland joined Scottish European Educational Trust and its partners at SocietyM in Glasgow to take part in the 'Our Europe' film-making competition semi-final.

The event saw six teams create the most wonderful, dynamic films about Europe and how the European Parliament impacts on their daily lives. These innovative films offered students the chance to work on an engaging interdisciplinary project, combining Modern Languages with Modern Studies and Media/ICT.

Congratulations to Bearsden Academy and Douglas Academy, who secured the top two places and will go forward to the final of the competition, which will be held at Scotland House in Brussels in June.

More information about the competition and those who participated in the semi-final can be found on the attached flyer.

European Charlemagne Youth Prize 2013

29 January 2013 (European Parliament)

"The European Charlemagne Youth Prize" aims to encourage the development of European consciousness among young people, as well as their participation in European integration projects.
The Prize is awarded to projects undertaken by young people which foster understanding, promote the development of a shared sense of European identity, and offer practical examples of Europeans living together as one community.

For further information about the competition and to apply, visit the website.  Submission deadline now extended to 18 February 2013.

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The Catalan language is still in danger, despite its resurgence

23 November 2012 (The Guardian)

Other languages have a state to defend them and their speakers don't have to contend with a state that acts against their tongue.

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Scots fare worst in bilingualism study

14 November 2012 (The Scotsman)

Scots have fared worst in a Europe-wide initiative designed to foster bilingualism.
The study, which was led by the University of Edinburgh and backed by the European Commission’s Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), recruited 25 monolingual families from five European countries.

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European personalities urge EU leaders to back Erasmus

9 November 2012 (European Commission)

More than 100 European personalities from the worlds of education, art, literature, economics, philosophy and sport have signed an open letter to EU Heads of State and Government in support of the threatened Erasmus student exchange programme. The signatories come from every Member State of the EU and include the Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar, the president of FC Barcelona Sandro Rosell, Nobel Prize winner Professor Christopher Pissarides and several Olympic champions.

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Related Links

Record Number of UK Students Study or Work Abroad in Europe with Erasmus (British Council, 16 November 2012)

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