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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 recognized reference centre. Mercator European Research Centre brings Europe to Fryslân and Fryslân to Europe.


Mercator Network Newsletter #167

The new Mercator Network Newsletter December 2020 is here! And it is again packed with news about minority languages, multilingualism and education and a lot more!

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Former MEP Willy Kuijpers passed away

At the age of 83, Willy Kuijpers died, the Flemish politician who, with his report and resolution on Languages and Cultures of Regional and Ethnic Minorities in the European Community (1987), paved the way for the establishment of our international Mercator Network. The first EU conference of minority languages, also a result of Kuijpers' resolution, was organised in Riis (Friesland).


New study about provisions for the Frisian language

How do Frisian speakers in Friesland perceive the measures that are in place to protect and promote their language? Read it in this new article by Mercator researchers Helga Kuipers-Zandberg and Dr Ruth Kircher

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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.

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Learn more about global citizenship and multilingual practices in the classroom with Dr. Sara Ganassin (Newcastle University, UK).

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Learn more about global citizenship and multilingual practices in the classroom, with MA Bakk. Prof. Wilma Hauser (University of Teacher Education,...

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7-9 December, 2020. With presentations by Mercator researchers on the SPEAKABOO project and on the innovative multi-didactic approaches of the...

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This ENROPE Multiplier Event, hosted by İstanbul Üniversitesi-Cerrahpaşa, is a combined seminar/ workshop about 'Reflective Portfolio-Based Approaches...

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'The Basque language in education in Spain'

A new updated version of the Regional Dossier 'The Basque language in education in Spain' is now published. Ines-Mª Garcia-Azkoaga and Maite Garcia-Ruiz have updated this edition en added the latest data on the Basque language and education. The original dossier was compiled by Dr Nick Gardner and was updated in 2005.

 An overview of Mercator's regional dossiers can be found on the regional dossier page.

Research at Mercator


The 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 autochtonous lesser-used languages embedded in the educational system in European regions? (e.g. Regional Dossiers series);
  • How can you support secondary teachers of all subjects in learning ways to integrate GCE goals including plurlingualism into their daily practice in sustainable ways which will be motivating for them as educators and invaluable for their learners?  (e.g. Global Citizenship and Multilingual Competences Toolkit);
  • 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 can you stimuate young people to capitalize on their minority language skills and help them in their search for work? (e.g. LangUp).
Mercator's Regional Dossiers

Sharing Knowledge

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 almost 2500 subscribers, all over Europe, about less used languages in Europe and about upcoming events;
  • The Mercator library located at Tresoar, the Frisian centre for cultural and linguistic heritage in Leeuwarden, 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
Mercator's network in 2016

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.