Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning
hosted by the Fryske Akademy, researches multilingual education and language learning in Europe. For policy makers and professional workers, it is an independent and recognised reference centre. Mercator Research Centre brings Europe to Fryslân and Fryslân to Europe.
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The Mercator Regional Dossiers
The Regional Dossiers focus on minority language education in European multilingual regions, and are written by experts from all over Europe.
Database of Experts
Mercator's Database of Experts gives an overview of expertise on multilingualism and minority language learning in Europe.
Endangered languages and archives
This project focuses on the study of language contact, language change, and the reconstruction of historical sound recordings. Focus areas are the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries.
Mercator partner in four new research projects
Exchanging knowledge between
Europe and Fryslân
LangUp will develop courses for youth workers in South America and Fryslân on how young people may capitalize on their minority language skills in their search for work.
Critical Skills in Life and Work, a joint effort of researchers in Austria, the UK and Fryslân, will design and implement effective training tools for enhancing key skills of highly skilled refugees and the language teachers who work with them.
More opportunities with multilingualism will develop new methods for teachers in primary schools that make use of and value migrant languages in the class room.
Holi-Frysk will serve as a pilot study, carried out in Fryslân, for the development of multilingual teaching methods for different types of secondary schools.
Mercator European Research Centre for multilingualism and language learning represents an internationally recognized, independent reference centre, where policy makers and stakeholders can obtain information and advice about multilingual education, policy and legislation in Europe, based on academic research. To obtain reliable information about small languages spoken in other European countries, Mercator closely cooperates with other European experts, institutions and universities. Research questions under study at Mercator include:
- How are less used languages embedded in the policy of Europe’s nations, and how might their position be strengthened? (e.g the LEARNMe project by the Mercator Network)
- How are less used languages embedded in the education system of Europe’s nations? (e.g. Minority languages in education in Europe: Best practices and pitfalls, Papiamentu in Perspectief)
- How might the working environment and the education system benefit from the multilingual reality that we face today (e.g. COMBI II and Teaching in Diversity)
- How can the visibility and the online presence of less used languages be improved? (e.g studies into the use of Social Media, and the digital library project Digibyb).
Mercator European Research Centre shares and disseminates collected knowledge, online and via its publications:
- The Mercator Regional Dossiers, written by experts from all over Europe, describe in-depth language education and legislation of less-used languages in Europe;
- Research reports, based on Mercator's research projects, are freely downloadable;
- Via the Mercator Network Newsletter, Mercator shares news with more than 2000 subscribers, all over Europe, about less used languages in Europe and about upcoming events;
- The Mercator library contains over 6500 books and articles concerning less used languages and multilingualism.
Mercator continuously works towards new ways to improve knowledge dissemination:
- Mercator is currently developing an online platform offering information about education and policy of less used languages
Bringing people together
Mercator European Research Centre is an academic platform where experts and policy makers in the fields of minority language education and policy can meet and exchange knowledge:
- Mercator Research Centre organizes conferences, seminars and workshops, where academics and educational experts and teachers meet and exchange knowledge and experiences.
- Together with the Mercator Network, Mercator European Research Centre runs projects, such as the LEARNMe Project (2012-2016), which provided policy guidelines, based on research and best practices, for the education of less used languages;
- With its Database of Experts, Mercator increases the visibility of academics in the field of less used languages, and offers an overview of European expertise in this field of study.
- Mercator offers an online platform, called the Network of Schools, where European schools that teach less-used languages, discuss challenges, and share ideas;
- Mercator interviews experts in the fields of minority language policy and education - what do they work on, and what drives them? - and shares these interviews online via the Expert in the Spotlight section.
Read more about our international partnerships.