European Expert Seminar: Cultural Education and Civil Society-How can Languages Contribute?

Organized jointly by the Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning and The Basque Country Education Board in Leeuwarden/Ljouwert, Fryslan,  25-27 May 2011, the 5th European Expert seminar called upon experiences on scholars and practitioners from 11 countries, also from minority institutions. The main themes addressed were:  the need to integrate cultural and linguistic aspects in language learning; how school curricula can cater for minority culture, in particular its heritage aspect; sustainable diversity & intercultural responsibility; the need to re-conceptualize the paradigm culture-language-identity; and the global perspective on intercultural education.

ECMI expert Ewa Chylinski participated with a presentation on “Cultures and Languages “to go”” addressing the issue how languages can contribute to the improvement of cultural education inclusive of minority languages and cultures, making both available to all members of societies.  The discourse on European multilingualism is presented from the perspective of national languages as an added value, yet in practice, reduced to a functional skill. In particular minority languages are perceived as belonging to the minorities rather than being regarded as part of languages and cultures for the benefit of all. The roles of civil society, minority organizations and personal choices are impacting selection and transmission of many cultural goods through the language and at different levels and needs of language and culture acquisition. Following the principle “coffee to go”, it will allow to expand the palette of languages and cultures available in Europe.

The Basque government and Mercator, pleased with the results of the cooperation, decided to continue working together signing a declaration of intent for the period 2012 - 2015. In this period research will take place on bi- and trilingual education, with special attention to English as foreign language teaching, and results will be exchanged. The situations in both regions related to minority languages are quite similar and thus they can learn a lot from each other.

For further information, please  contact: Ewa Chylinski at chylinski@ecmi.de 
For more on Mercator Research, click here (http://www.mercator-research.eu/)


Place and date: 07.06.2011                          


ECMI founders:

The German Federal GovernmentThe German
Federal Government
The Danish GovernmentThe Danish
The Federal State Schleswig-HolsteinThe Federal State