Languages: French, German
Celtic, Regional and Minority Languages Abroad Project.
As an outcome of the European Year of Languages 2001 and following a wide public consultation, the European Commission has adopted an Action Plan Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity for the period 2004-2006.
The three key areas for action are:
• Extending the benefits of life-long language learning to all citizens
• Improving language learning
• Creating a more language-friendly environment.
The Commission invited proposals for projects to support the implementation of the Action Plan, and seven Europe-wide projects promoting language learning and linguistic diversity were successful.
One of the successful projects is CRAMLAP, 'Celtic, Regional and Minority languages Abroad Project', co-ordinated by Dr. Eugene McKendry of the Graduate School of Education, QUB, and director of the Northern Ireland Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research (NICILT), with partners from the universities of Oslo, Uppsala, Mannheim, Rennes and Maynooth.
Teaching of regional and minority languages internally or nationally in Europe can be found in all education sectors - primary, post-primary, higher and life-long learning education. At transnational level, however, these languages are mostly taught abroad in higher and life-long institutions only. So, for example while it is unlikely that Celtic languages will be taught in Swedish Grundskolan or Gymnasiet, they are taught in Uppsala University. Accordingly, the Higher Education environment will be the focus of the project.
CRAMLAP proposes to research the transnational provision for regional and minority languages outside their national borders in Europe through investigating ab initio provision in Higher Education. Celtic languages across Europe will be the case study focus, but provision for other regional and minority languages will be investigated. An audit of provision and evaluation of practice across Europe will be undertaken. Good practice in Higher Education teaching will be applied to the subject and the particular global experience of TESOL will be incorporated, as will educational technology in higher education language teaching, supported by the Education Technology Unit in QUB.
Dr Eugene McKendry
Graduate School of Education
Queen's University Belfast
69-71 University Street
Belfast BT7 1HL