What is the language learning policy in your country?

The question of multilingualism and culture diversity are brought to attention of authorities of European countries and decision makers in education field. The majority of Europeans appreciates language skills, but still most of them will not be able to speak in any other language except their own. However, accordingly to a survey conducted by the British Council in Europe, USA and Russia among highly educated young people at average age of 29, everyone speaks fluently at least one foreign language and about 40% of them speak two foreign languages.

That shows, how the class of future leaders appreciates the importance of language learning. European authorities also keep track of micro languages, which are endangered while national minorities are getting smaller. In countries with multicultural societies, like for example in Lithuania, almost one third of children go to bi- or trilingual schools.

In Europe it seems that the language barrier is the last barrier. Since people consider English as a lingua franca in the whole western world, most commonly they chose English as a second language to learn. However, language education is organized differently in each European country and is not of high quality in many of them. As a result, it is still not obvious that in Europe you will be able to communicate in English in any country you choose.

On the other hand, the position of English as the international language nowadays seems to be established. Research conducted in Great Britain show that this is the reason, why British students don’t learn foreign languages. Young people consider it pointless to learn any other European language. At the same time languages like Latin, Ancient Greek or Welsh, become popular in education.
It seems that European officials can’t decide, which are best policies for support of language learning, nor can they decide what are languages that should be taught at school. However, all of them agree that poor language skills will be in the future a serious obstacle in growth of the economy and competitiveness.

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