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European Projects in University Language Centres

Creativity, Dynamics, Best Practice


Edited By Carmen Argondizzo

This volume offers a collection of best practices carried out in university contexts with the aim of highlighting the relevant role that Language Centres play in the field of language learning and the benefit they receive from European project planning. Issues such as intercomprehension, integration and diversity, interlinguistic models in disadvantaged migration contexts, audio description, cinema and translation as well as crosscurricular studies for university students, learners’ assessment, the promotion of plurilingualism in enterprises and in the legal field are tackled with special attention on the theoretical and practical dimensions that projects need to consider during the planning, implementation and dissemination actions. The variety of topics shows the daily liveliness that University Language Centres experience and the energy that they offer to the national and international communities. Thus the final chapter attentively explores strategies of Quality Assurance which further enhance the value of team work and project work within and beyond the academic context. This has the aim of promoting both cooperation that crosses geographical boundaries as well as quality in project dynamics which encourages a wide-angled multilingual and multicultural perspective.
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Policy Officer and Coordinator of the European Language Label in DG Education and Culture, European Commission

Following the recommendations of the 1995 White Paper on Teaching and Learning – Objective 4: Innovative ways to learn languages -, the European Commission (EC) launched in 1998 a pilot project called “European Label”. Its initial aims were to identify and disseminate innovative projects in language teaching and learning at a European level. Nearly 150 projects were awarded the Label in the very first year of the competition (1999), in 15 so-called “pioneer countries”. This bears witness to the great potential of this initiative, which led to the entirely appropriate decision, in 2001, to transform the European Label in a Europe-wide initiative in its own right called “European Language Label” (ELL). The following year – 2002 – marked an important milestone in the field of Multilingualism: in the conclusions of the European Council held in Barcelona, the ambitious objective of “Mother Tongue + 2” was proclaimed: all citizens should have the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in two foreign languages, in addition to their mother tongue. Since 2002, the ELL has contributed enormously to Multilingualism, with more than 2100 projects1 awarded in the countries that have joined the initiative. These now number 27: 25 EU countries (with Belgium involving three language communities: Dutch, French and German), Iceland and Norway.

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