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The VALEUR project (2004-2007) took as its focus the ‘additional’ languages of Europe. These are defined as all languages in use in contexts where they are not ‘national’, ‘official’, or ‘dominant’ languages. They include ‘migrant’ languages, ‘regional/minority’ languages, sign languages and ‘non-territorial’ languages of diasporas such as Yiddish and Romani.
The project team brought together a range of expertise in sociolinguistics and language pedagogy, planning and research from Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. We took as our starting point Council of Europe policies on plurilingualism and the desirability of promoting linguistic diversity both for individual citizenship and for social cohesion in Europe. Our aim was to map provision for additional languages in Europe, in a more systematic and inclusive way than ever before. We looked at provision at school level for different languages in different contexts in order to identify good practices to be shared.
In order to achieve our objectives we drew on the good will and enthusiasm of workshop participants, who provided a wealth of information and insights from 21 of the Council of Europe member states. We are also indebted to the work of our research fellow, Susanna Yeghoyan who was attached to ECML for 3 months. Our work is not definitive: its purpose is awareness-raising and to stimulate further activity to support the learning of all Europe’s languages.
The VALEUR project team:
- Joanna McPake, University of Stirling and
Teresa Tinsley, CILT, the National Centre for Languages (project co-ordinators)
- Peter Broeder, University of Tilburg
- Laura Mijares, Autonomous University of Madrid
- Sirkku Latomaa, University of Tampere
- Waldemar Martyniuk, Jagiellonian University