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This is the last blog that will be posted on this site as the website will no longer be independently maintained.

Language Rich Europe is a network funded through the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission. It was co-ordinated by the British Council which also made a significant financial contribution and elicited the support of sponsors. Perhaps more important than this financial and organisational underpinning was the fact that the British Council, traditionally associated with its global support for British culture and the English language was taking a lead on a project which was unequivocally promoting multilingualism within Europe. This belief is very much at the heart of its promotion of diversity and inclusion worldwide. The Language Rich Europe partnership involved 20 countries and three regions and in addition to the British Council offices it brought together over 30 partners – cultural agencies such as Instituto Camões and the Goethe Institut, universities, and research and information centres. A particular role was played by Tilburg University whose colleagues developed and co-ordinated the Europe-wide research which was published in 19 languages in Language Rich Europe: Trends in Policies and Practices for Multilingualism in Europe.

In March 2013 the Language Rich Europe network of partners presented 10 key recommendations at the European level to the European Parliament, the Council of Europe and the European Commission and made a further 80 recommendations at country and regional level. Language Rich Europe’s legacy will be marked by the extent to which these become embedded in policy and practice.

The British Council will continue to promote networks such as Language Rich Europe which help transform understandings of languages and reflect their richness as a vital contribution to social and economic development globally. A new initiative Language Rich Africa will be looking at ways – at both policy and practice levels – to inspire positive attitudes towards multilingualism as key to a stable and prosperous Africa.

Meanwhile key outputs of the Language Rich Europe will be made available on the British Council websites, and for more information contact Adrian.odell@britishcouncil.org

With thanks

Simon Ingram-Hill
Project Director, Language Rich Europe

Languages Speak Up Competition Winner Shortlisted for £1000 Award

Khafi Kareem, the winner of our Languages Speak Up Competition, has been shortlisted for a Shell Livewire Award. If successful, she stands to win £1000 towards her start up Language Experience UK (www.LangExpUK.com), which delivers interactive language immersion workshops for young people using theatre in education.

A polyglot who speaks five languages (French, Italian, Yoruba British Sign Language, as well as her native English), Khafi has had the opportunity to live, work and volunteer in Italy, France, China and America, which accelerated her language learning. Having grown up in a family who could not afford school trips abroad, she understands that not all young people have the opportunity to travel. She believes that this should not be a barrier to language learning and wants to give young people the opportunity to actively experience the language and culture of the language they are learning through the Language Experience UK workshops.

Early Language Learning: Theory and Practice in 2014

Department of Language Studies, Umeå Uiversity, SwedenAre happy to announce the first international conference at Umeå on the theme of young children learning second and foreign languages

Early Language Learning: Theory and Practice in 2014

Umeå: 12th -14th June, 2014

In the year when Umeå celebrates its role as European Capital of Culture 2014, we would like to welcome you to join us during the long summer days in northern Sweden for an international conference, “Early Language Learning: Theory and Practice in 2014” at Umeå university.

The conference focuses on early second and foreign language learning in school contexts, reviewing contemporary challenges for young children, aged 3-12 years, learning languages in many different school contexts worldwide. This specialist conference offers opportunities for researchers, language teachers, language advisers and policy makers to develop links and establish networks, helping to expand the pool of research expertise in this field.

Registration and more information about the conference

 

Does English still borrow words from other languages?

www.poliglotti4.euEnglish language has “borrowed” words for centuries. But is it now lending more than it’s taking, asks Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

Knowledge of what is being borrowed, and from where, provides an invaluable insight into the international relations of the English language.Today English borrows words from other languages with a truly global reach. Some examples that the Oxford English Dictionary suggests entered English during the past 30 years include tarka dal, a creamy Indian lentil dish (1984, from Hindi), quinzhee, a type of snow shelter (1984, from Slave or another language of the Pacific Coast of North America), popiah, a type of Singaporean or Malaysian spring roll (1986, from Malay), izakaya, a type of Japanese cafe (1987), affogato, an Italian dessert made of ice cream and coffee (1992).

One obvious thing that these words have in common is that not all English speakers will know them.

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