- Minority languages
- Research & Projects
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.
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David Lasagabaster is Associate Professor at the University of the Basque Country, where he received his PhD in 1997 with a thesis entitled "Creativity and metalinguistic awareness: their influence on the learning of English as L3". He was responsible (2005-2008) for the "Multilingualism Programme" (CLIL in English and French) of the University of the Basque Country. Since 2008 he is a member of the executive committee of the International Association for LanguageAwareness.
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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.