Language Rich Europe has had a very busy few months! In this post, LRE Director Simon Ingram-Hill reflects on some of the project’s recent activity.
After the launch events across the 25 participating European countries and regions this summer and the 50+ consultative workshops so far held, there was major LRE media coverage in a number of countries not least Scotland on 26 November about the lack of foreign language competence in UK hurting British business competitiveness.
We have just held our first major international conference at the British Academy with 160 policy makers and high level practitioners, debating key results from the research findings. British Council CEO Martin Davidson then launched the English version to 250 stakeholders of LRE’s CUP publication ‘Trends in Language Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe’.
Other indications of how seriously this project is being taken: the full report is to be published in 19 other languages; we presented LRE to the all-party parliamentary committee on Modern Languages at the House of Lords on 10 December; key recommendations are being formulated for presentation at the European Parliament Brussels on 5 March.
And best? At the Report’s launch Caroline Parker signed a number of songs to much applause reprising her acclaimed performance at the Paralympics 2012 opening ceremony. Sign language by the way is an official minority language in many European countries.