A very early start for foreign language learning?
Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 07:37
MEPs in the committee acknowledge that it is difficult, in particular for those whose mother tongue is English, to maintain sufficient interest and motivation in becoming proficient in other European languages, which would underpin mutual understanding and empathy across Europe.
In adopting a non-binding report originally drawn up by Christopher Beazley (EPP-ED, UK), the committee also stressed the importance of school curricula providing support measures for the European dimension. All education systems in the EU should ensure that, by the end of their secondary education, their pupils have the knowledge and competence they need to prepare them for their role as future EU citizens. The "European dimension" has two aspects: firstly, access to information about the EU, its institutions, methods and practices, and secondly, the development of linguistic skills, with learning the languages of neighboring peoples being especially important.
The committee is also recommending an exchange of best practice between all Member States with regard to language teaching and the inclusion of European content in education. Members suggest the promotion of teacher training courses to provide the necessary understanding of European issues so teachers can complement their teaching of national and local issues with European ones. (EP Press)