Cultural diversity

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“A Rewarding Challenge—How the Multiplicity of Languages Could Strengthen Europe”

In a February 1, 2008 release, the European Commission notes that in this year dedicated to intercultural dialog, “the EU is keen to learn how it can promote language learning.” To this end, it has commissioned a report from a group of leading experts. The report’s key recommendation, according to the release, is that “the EU should encourage all Europeans to learn a ‘personal adoptive language’ akin to a second mother tongue.”

“A good knowledge of other languages builds bridges and promotes understanding between cultures,” said multilingualism commissioner Leonard Orban. The European Commission press release added that the report’s findings should fuel discussions at the inaugural ministerial conference on multilingualism on February 15, which will be attended by education ministers from every EU country.

Entitled “A Rewarding Challenge—How the Multiplicity of Languages Could Strengthen Europe,” the report is available online at

http://www.ec.europa.eu/education/policies/lang/doc/maalouf/report_en.pdf

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