EU Language Policies

The course aims to explain what we mean by Multilingualism, since it is a term which is used both to describe a place where many languages are spoken as well as a person who speaks a number of languages. It will give examples of a number of multilingual policies and show how these reflect broader values in society, in Europe and also more widely. It will also describe the various types of language policy which have been developed in response to an increasingly multilingual world and summarise what their effects have been.
We will also consider the value of people speaking a range of languages, and also the challenges that this poses not least for education system, looking at examples in a number of countries

After following this course you will be able to:

  • understand the different meanings of the term Multilingualism
  • realise how important Multilingualism has been as a principle in the development of the European Union
  • understand something about multilingual societies throughout the world as well as historically
  • be able to discuss the benefits and challenges of Multilingualism
    understand the different aspects of multilingual policy, and of language policy and planning
  • realise how policy on language is developed and implemented
  • have an appreciation of the challenges and potential of Multilingualism in the education system.


Unit 1. Multilingualism in Europe
Unit 2. A Multilingual World
Unit 3. Multilingual Policy
Unit 4. Personal Multilingualism or Plurilingualism
Unit 5. The Challenge of Plurilingualism for Educators

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Course Author:
Dr Lid King, The Languages Company, UK.