A very interesting conference is organised by the Institut Libre Marie Haps in Brussels, on 4 December. Plenary speakers will include Barbara Seidlhofer, University of Vienna and Diego Marani, European Commission, Directorate General for Interpretation.
In ‘The benefits and challenges of linguistic diversity in Europe,’ Leonard Orban (2009), European Commissioner for Multilingualism, strongly expresses his commitment to preserving and promoting European linguistic and cultural diversity. Yet a special Eurobarometer study on Multilingualism, launched by the Directorate General for Education and Culture in 2005, clearly indicates that while English is only the second most widely-spoken mother tongue in Europe, it is by far the most widely-spoken foreign language throughout Europe, with 38% of EU citizens stating that they have sufficient skills in English to have a conversation. The conference wishes to address the issue of English as a European lingua franca seen from the perspectives of Linguistics, Translation Studies, Literature, and English-Language Teaching.
More information about the conference can be found on the Institut Libre Marie Haps website.