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Multilingualism and Cosmopolitan

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									Multilingualism: policy, practice and teaching
Università degli Studi di Catania
December 21 2009

    Multilingualism and Cosmopolitan
    Citizenship in Europe
       Challenges and directions in teaching and
       learning less commonly taught languages

     Dr. Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen
     UCL Teaching Fellow in Danish
     Director BA in Language & Culture
     University College London
Aims and objectives

 • knowledge about the EU as a multilingual community and
   the state of languages and language education within some
   EU member states

 • knowledge of recent policies regarding languages and
   multilingualism within the EU

 • to query the place for cosmopolitan citizenship within the
   national and transnational structures of the EU

 • to investigate practices for teaching and learning foreign
   languages considering contemporary challenges to the
   national paradigm.

 1. Introduction: Europe and cosmopolitan citizenship.

 1. Language policies of the European Union.

 1. Questions

 1. Break followed by discussion

 1. Challenges for teaching and learning less-commonly-taught
    languages in the EU.

 1. Workshop on teaching and learning languages in a
    cosmopolitan EU in schools and higher education.

 Cosmopolitan   Policies for a    Teaching less-
   European     Multilingual     commonly-taught
  citizenship     Europe            languages
Any language is human prior to being national: Turkish,
French and German languages first belong to humanity
and then to Turkish, French and German peoples.
                       Leo Spitzer, “Learning Turkish” (1934)

                             All men are entitled to present
                             themselves in the society of others
                             by virtue of their right to common
                             possession of the earth’s surface.
                                   Kant, “Perpetual Peace” (1795)

                         National one-sidedness and narrow-
                         mindedness become more and more
                         impossible, and from the numerous
                         national and local literatures there
                         arises a world literature
                         Marx and Engels Communist Manifesto (1845)

“  Es ist zeit zu fragen, welchen Sinn das Wort Weltliteratur,
   in Goetecher Weise auf das Gegenwärtige und das von
   der Zukunft zu erwartende bezogen, noch haben kann.
                  Erich Auerbach , “Philologie der Weltliteratur” (1952)

   Da Goethe dannede ordet Verdenslitteratur, var Humanisme
   og Verdensborgeraand endnu alment hyldede Tanker. I de
   sidste Aartier af det 19de Aarhundrede har en stedse
   stærkere og hidsigere Nationalfølelse trængt disse Tanker
   tilbage. Litteraturerne bliver i vore Dage bestandigt mere
   nationale. Jeg mener imidlertid ingenlunde, at Nationalitets-
   og Verdensborger-Aand udelukker hinanden.
                            Georg Brandes, “Verdenslitteratur” (1899)
Europe and Cosmopolitan Citizenship

    Cosmopolitan citizenship

“   The cosmopolitan ideal combines a commitment to humanist
    principles and norms, an assumption of human equality, with a
    recognition of difference, and indeed a celebration of diversity.
                                                     Mary Kaldor (2003)

    Cosmopolitan outlook
    Local, national, ethnic, religious and cosmopolitan cultures and
    traditions interpenetrate, interconnect and intermingle –
    cosmopolitanism without provincialism is empty, provincialism
    without cosmopolitanism is blind.
                            Ulrich Beck, Der kosmopolitische Blick, 2004
Entropa (2009)

                 sculpture created
                 by Czech artist
                 David Černý under
                 commission for the
                 Czech Republic to
                 mark the occasion
                 of its presidency of
                 the Council of the
                 European Union
Charter of Fundamental Rights
                                 Article 21
 1. Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race,
 colour, ethnic or social origin, genetic features, language,
 religion or belief, political or any other opinion, membership of a
 national minority,
 property, birth, disability, age or sexual orientation shall be

 2. Within the scope of application of the Treaty establishing the
 European Community and of the Treaty on European Union,
 and without prejudice to the special provisions of those
 Treaties, any
 discrimination on grounds of nationality shall be prohibited.

                              Article 22
            Cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
 The Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic
Portal to the EU
Europe, Language, Culture

 “    Those who know nothing of foreign languages, knows
      nothing of their own. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

 “    One does not inhabit a country; one inhabits a language
      (Emile Cioran)

 “    If I had to start again today with the construction of Europe,
      I would begin with the culture (Jean Monnet)

 “    The language of Europe is translation (Umberto Eco)
Multilingual Europe

Languages in the European Union
 • 23 official languages, 3 alphabets, representing 27 states
 • More than 60 minority and regional languages in EU
 • German is the most widely spoken mother tongue in the EU
 • English spoken by 38% of EU citizens as first foreign language.
 • At least 175 nationalities present within EU borders
 • In the EU about 50% of all children in primary education learn a
   foreign languages

Eurobarometer survey 2006
 • 28% knows two languages in addition to their mother tongue
 • In 7 EU countries between 50-66% know no foreign language
 • 84% think that everyone in EU should speak a foreign language
 • 50% support the mother-tongue-plus-two Barcelona objective
 • The main reasons for foreign language are holiday and work
Multilingual Europe

EU policies concerning languages and multilingualism
 • European language day (26 September)
 • 2007 multilingualism as policy area
 • “Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and shared commitment”
   (2008 resolution)

 • Knowing languages fosters mobility, raises awareness of what is
   common, and increases respect for cultural differences
 • EU firms loses business through lack of language skills
 • Multilingualism itself is an economic growth sector
 • Institutional practice of EU to ensure democracy for all citizens
 • Language learning as individual self-improvement
 • Language learning is lifelong learning
 • Mother-tongue-plus-two goal
 • linguistic diversity
an asset for Europe and shared commitment”

“    The harmonious co-existence of many languages in Europe
     is a powerful symbol of the European Union's aspiration to
     be united in diversity, one of the cornerstones of the
     European project. Languages define personal identities, but
     are also part of a shared inheritance. They can serve as a
     bridge to other people and open access to other countries
     and cultures, promoting mutual understanding. A successful
     multilingualism policy can strengthen life chances of
     citizens: it may increase their employability, facilitate access
     to services and rights and contribute to solidarity through
     enhanced intercultural dialogue and social cohesion.
     Approached in this spirit, linguistic diversity can become a
     precious asset, increasingly so in today's globalised world.

                                             European Parliament resolution, 2008:

            Multilingual Europe
            – Multiculturalist or
Less Commonly Taught Languages

      As taught at UCL   Central or East European Languages:

      Danish             Serbian/Croatian
      Dutch              Czech
      Ancient Greek      Hungarian
      Hebrew             Polish
      Icelandic          Romanian
      Latin              Bulgarian
      Mandarin           Slovak
      Norwegian          Ukrainian
      Swedish            Finnish
UCL Alternative Languages
UCL BA in Language and Culture

         Challenges to teaching languages
       in a multilingual and cosmopolitan EU

   • Theories:
      o What should we consider as central to language
   • Methods:
      o How should we teach and learn languages?
   • Materials:
      o With what should we teach languages?

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