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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. Programme 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. Menu 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) Weltliteratur “ 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) Entropa: 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 Non-discrimination 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 prohibited. 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 diversity. 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 “Multilingualism: 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: Discussio n Multilingual Europe – Multiculturalist or Cosmopolitan? 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 Yiddish Arabic UCL Alternative Languages UCL BA in Language and Culture Workshop Challenges to teaching languages in a multilingual and cosmopolitan EU • Theories: o What should we consider as central to language education? • Methods: o How should we teach and learn languages? • Materials: o With what should we teach languages?
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