Creativity, Dynamics, Best Practice
Edited By Carmen Argondizzo
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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