Aims and objectives

This Jean Monnet module has been developed with the main aim of introducing students with a relatively limited knowledge of European institutions to a series of important EU-issues (related not only to language policies and planning, but also to human rights, social inclusion, etc). This module adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the study of EU language policies, with a particular focus on language legislation, sociolinguistics, language education and linguistic ethnography.

Our activities cover the EU’s institutional framework and key decision-making processes, the main theoretical perspectives on European language policies and an analysis of core fields of multilingualism within a EU perspective. The module is aimed at students from such areas as Linguistics, Cultural Studies and Education, who seek to engage in EU-related research and/or would like to work in or with EU institutions in their professional careers. The activities provide students with an advanced-level overview of language policies in the European Union and introduces them to contemporary challenges of European multilingualism.

Through the activities included in this module, we will propose (1) an examination of the recent past and the present of language policies designed to promote multilingualism in the European Union and (2) a discussion on the consequences of policy implementation for the life of EU citizens, as well as of some potential future implementations, as proposed by a variety of European projects and language observatories. Our approach is clearly multidisciplinary; in fact, we will count on the cooperation of a wide variety of colleagues from the departments of Philosophy, History and Education, who will eventually help us develop concrete parts of our teaching programmes and actively participate in some of the activities.

Both English and Spanish are the module working languages. Other European languages will be used in some of the activities. This will give us a chance to actively contribute to developing our participants’ plurilingual skills. A significant number of the activities proposed here will be open to the general public: this is the case of some of the lecturers and cinema series. Also, through the publicly accessible website, the newsletter and the frequent usage of social networking facilities, we will be able to disseminate our results beyond the university community.