- Minority languages
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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.
Every year one single day is devoted to one’s Mother Language. This day was introduced in 1999 by UNESCO to promote cultural diversity and bilingualism. To celebrate it, It Europeesk Buro foar Lytse Talen (EBLT) will show the Basque movie “Amama” in the Fries Museum. Prior to the viewing there will Capital of Culture 2016 Donostia-San Sebastián 2016 will present their joint plans with the AFUK. In addition Tresoar, LWD-Fryslan 2018 and also Mercator Research Centre will give presentations.
For more information visit the EBLT website
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Roland Verra is director of the Ladin School Office in Bolzano, Italy. He also is the author of the Regional Dossier Ladin: The Ladin language in education in Italy. This Regional Dossier has been revised by Roland Verra and will soon be published by Mercator Research Centre (approximately February/March 2016).
"The major challenge in my field of work is safeguarding the position and chances of Ladin language in a multilingual school system, where German and Italian (and also English) are perceived as more important."
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The Regional dossiers describe the position of lesser-used languages in education, give information on national and regional education systems, and include the latest statistics regarding lesser-used languages in education in Europe.
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.
The 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.