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Insights into Language Education Policies


Edited By Manuel Jiménez Raya and Terry Lamb

Insights into Language Education Policies is of particular interest to academic researchers, policymakers, and teaching professionals interested in language education. It aims to provide the reader with critical insights into language education policies in diverse countries around the world. The chapters examine from different perspectives (for instance, migration and minority languages, indigenous languages, and content and language integrated learning [CLIL] instruction) the measures adopted in these settings to foster (modern) language learning, underlining their strengths and weaknesses and suggesting future avenues and courses of action to enhance plurilingual education in these particular contexts and beyond.

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From European to national policies in language education: Plurilingualism and the case of Portugal1 (Flávia Vieira and Maria Alfredo Moreira)


Flávia Vieira and Maria Alfredo Moreira

From European to national policies in language education: Plurilingualism and the case of Portugal1

There can be no question that the freedom of choice of language is a fundamental cultural right. Furthermore, in multilingual settings, it seems just as urgent that people can participate in public communication without being subject to dominant language use. Therefore the right to use one’s own language and communicative competence (of various degrees) in other language(s) must be seen as complementary elements for democratic citizenship. (Breidbach, 2003: 21)

Abstract: This chapter examines the different language policies enacted in primary and secondary education in Portugal with the aim of analyzing their potential or lack of it for improving plurilingual education in the country. In this sense, it will particularly focus on the teaching of foreign languages as curriculum subjects and migration and minority languages. On the one hand, the chapter describes the impact of recent language policies which place emphasis on the teaching of English but neglect concepts such as intercultural competence and plurilingualism. On the other hand, it analyses the current situation of migration and minority languages in the Portuguese school system. In doing so, the chapter seeks to raise issues that are locally relevant but may also resonate elsewhere.

Keywords: plurilingualism, foreign language education, minority languages, migration languages

1 Introduction

Plurilingualism has been a major concern in European language policies that challenge language hegemonies...

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