On the blog this week we have a guest contribution from Ulla-Alexandra Mattl and Julia Kofler. Ulla co-ordinates the activities of EUNIC in Brussels and Julia is the interface between the British Council and EUNIC. By the way, EUNIC stands for European Union National Institutes for Culture. It’s the network of international cultural relations institutes from the member states of the European Union. Formed in 2006, it currently has 29 members from 25 countries and 67 so called clusters (local networks) worldwide.
Ulla and Julia are working on a new multilingualism project called Poliglotti4.eu, which has been successful in securing funding from the European Commission. We’ve asked them to tell us a little more about it:
“After months and months of toing and froing, lively discussions, paper rustling and keyboard torture – we are here! The 29 selected member organisations of the European Commission’s Civil Society Platform on Multilingualism have completed our core mission to deliver recommendations on multilingualism to the European Commission. Sitting proudly on the Platform, a Consortium of 9 partners headed by EUNIC in Brussels has committed to creating a tool to better observe and scrutinise the constellation of European multilingualism. The result is Poliglotti4.eu, our online “language observatory”.
A language observatory
“The website Poliglotti4.eu will be launched before the summer and will be our online language observatory – a resource where we will gather and share information, research results (the research phase has just started) and opinions on everything related to multilingualism, particularly in the areas of lifelong learning, early language learning and social and community services for social inclusion. The site will address a wide range of users in e.g. non-formal education systems, social and community services, policy makers, grass-roots civil society organisations as well as policy makers and all of you who love languages. Anyone working with or in the language sector is very much welcome to get in touch, engage with the observatory, contribute and share thoughts and opinions. Let us know if you have any bright ideas!”
“In order to spread the word further about the importance of language learning, Poliglotti4.eu is currently undertaking its first action: recruiting a series of “language ambassadors” from all over Europe – EU officials, musicians, politicians, artists, etc. They can be well-known or the man/woman in the street. We interested in anyone who is multilingual, or particularly knowledgeable and active in the field of multilingualism. Each one has been telling us with much enthusiasm why languages are important and what the knowledge of speaking several languages can bring to the professional and private life. Soon you will be able to watch their video testimonies online.
We’ll post again when www.poliglotti4.eu is fully up and running. In the meantime, visit www.eunic-brussels.eu for further information and follow us on our new Facebook page to get the latest updates”
Julia Kofler and Ulla-Alexandra Mattl