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The Mercator European Research Centre on
Multilingualism and Language Learning in short

In the 21st century all European citizens live in a multilingual environment. In their daily lives they come across many different languages. Consequently there is a growing interest in multilingualism and an increasing need for language communities to exchange experiences and to cooperate. The Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, part of the Fryske Akademy, meets this need by collecting, researching and studying, circulating, and applying knowledge in the field of language learning and use at school, at home and through cultural participation. The Mercator Research Centre is an independent and recognised reference centre for policymakers and professional workers in the field of multilingual education and language learning. The Mercator Research Centre brings Europe to Fryslân and Fryslân to Europe.

Mercator presents Papiamentu in Perspectief

On May 3 the report Papiamentu in Perspectief, was presented by Mercator Research Centre team members Richt Sterk and Cor van der Meer to Christopher Frans, advisor to Bonaire representative Dirksz. Dirksz himself was unable to attend, due to the political situation on Bonaire.

The report Papiamentu in Perspectief appraises an earlier report by the TaalUnie and offers a different perspective on the position of the Dutch language in education on Bonaire. The original TaalUnie report offered a set of recommendations to stimulate Dutch on Bonaire but met with criticism for being too Dutch minded. Therefore the province of Fryslân commissioned Mercator to critically analyse the report of the Taalunie. In November 2015 Dirksz already visited Fryslân and the provincial government. The deputy of language and culture, Sietske Poepjes, felt connected to Bonaire because of the similar language situation in Fryslân and Bonaire. 

Download Papiamentu in Perspectief, een kritische analyse van het rapport Nederlands op z'n BESt.

Expert in the Spotlight in May: Robert Teare

The Expert in the Spotlight feature gives you the chance to interact one-on-one with our Ask the expert-section. The feature also provides interesting and insightful comments regarding the subjects mentioned above, in-depth content and exclusive Q and A’s.

Featured Expert / Area of focus

Since 2012 Robert Teare is Manx Language Officer in the Department of Education and Children at the Isle of Man Government, Isle of Man.

He also is the author of the Regional Dossier Manx, The Manx language in education in the United Kingdom which will be published in 2016.

"We are currently working on a new, sixty lesson, interactive course for learners. There will be a workbook to go with the course and we expect that the content will help adult learners as well as school pupils."


Regional Dossier Galician in Spain 2nd edition published

April 2016 - Mercator has published a new Regional Dossier: the second edition of Galician in Spain.

This second edition has been compiled by Xosé-Henrique Costas (Universidade de Vigo) and Andrea Expósito-Loureiro.

News from the LangOER project

LangOER has added an impressive collection of Open Educational Resources (OERs) to the gallery of The Learning Resource Exchange (LRE). The gallery can be viewed on the Mercator website itself through the handy widget that LangOER has shared!

On 26 & 27, 2016 LangOER will hold its final seminar in Brussels: “Open Education: Promoting Diversity for European Languages”. The seminar is organised together with EdReNe, the Educational Repositories Network. Proposals for the seminar can be submitted up untill April 30th!

Utrecht University students visit Frisia

March 23 - Students following the Master’s programme ‘Language, Humanities, and Society’ at the University of Utrecht came to Fryslân. They visited several organisations - the Fryske Akademy, Mercator European Research Centre, Afûk, Cedin and the Province of Fryslân - to learn more about applying language policy in practice. All parties involved look back at a highly successful visit, and have high hopes of repeating the excursion next year.

Dissemination by the Mercator Network of the LEARNMe White Paper continues

March 2016 - The Mercator LEARNMe project is finished, but dissemination of White Paper continues among students, government officials, NGOs and international bodies like the ECRML’s Committee of Experts. Lastweek, Elin Jones of Aberystwyth University presented the White Paper to the Secretary-General of Kontsueila (the association of Basque Social Movements).

The full and abridged versions are available on the Mercator Network website. 

Endangered Languages

The work on Endangered Languages (Phonetics and Ethnolinguistics) at the Fryske Akademy and the Mercator Research Centre is focused on the study of language contrasts, language contact and language change. We investigate the phonetic aspects of languages and dialects of minority and regional languages, in particular those of the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries. This work is supported by grants from the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the Organisation INTAS of the European Union, the British Library, Japanese Foundations and Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd.

Mercator Database of Experts

Mercator Database of Experts575 Experts in the field of European minority languages, bilingualism and multilingualism, language learning, education and language policy already subscribed to the Mercator Database of Experts! This database creates an easy and quick access to all expertise and it facilitates contacts and cooperation amongst colleagues. Are you an Expert in one of the mentioned fields and not in our Database of Experts yet? Please subscribe now!

Network of Schools

Network of SchoolsThe Network of Schools' mission is to create a platform for multilingual schools in minority regions within Europe in order to facilitate the exchange of information and experiences.