CULTURE: EU COMMISSION, SURVEY OF LANGUAGE SKILLS IN EUROPE
(Sir Europe – Brussels) - “Offering citizens an opportunity to learn two foreign languages since childhood, in addition to their native language; creating a more open society that promotes dialogue between different communities and people; strengthening the role of languages as a way to improve professional opportunities and competitiveness”. These are the three main goals of the “multilingualism policy” adopted by the EU, which is based on article 22 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Currently, 23 official languages are spoken in the EU, which has launched several plans for the promotion and study of languages. In 2012, its language policy should be reviewed. In this respect, the EU Commission is completing a survey, which will be disclosed on 21st June, about students’ language skills. “The survey will provide a rough, large-scale overview of language skills in Europe”, which may be helpful for example for the national educational systems. The results are based on tests taken by 54 thousand 14-15-year-old students in 14 countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, France, Greece, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden). “In each country – the EU Commission reveals –, the tests measured three skills – writing and understanding of read and listened languages - in two of the most widely-taught languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish”.