Edited By Magdalena Olpinska-Szkieko and Loretta Bertelle
Minority Language Education in Poland and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
1. Poland – language situation
In spite of its truly multicultural past and multilingual heritage, contemporary Poland belongs to the most homogenous countries in Europe, as far as ethno-linguistic diversity is concerned. Although criticized by numerous specialists and activists of minority organizations in regard of methodology and completing, the results of two censuses carried out in the 2001 and 2011 leave no illusions from the past: the share of autochthonous national/ethnic minorities does not exceed 1.5 percent of the country’s total population. Linguistically, the image of the country is even more uniform – Poland is almost entirely monolingual, and the heritage languages are hardly present in public, including the visible and audible language landscape. Of course, this statement does not concern the profile of foreign language teaching, learning and command, which have dramatically changed during the recent two decades, making Poles one of the most (foreign) language-friendly societies in Europe. That language-friendliness, in many respects more intentional than actually exercised on a polyglotic level, is apparent if one analyses the results of European Commission’s cyclical surveys Europeans and their languages published as Eurobarometer Report1. From one hand:
on the other hand:
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