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Parliamentary questions
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9 August 2006
by Marco Cappato (ALDE)
to the Council

 Subject: Public policy on foreign-language teaching: the Grin Report
 Answer in writing 

The purpose of the EU's multilingual communication strategy is to ensure that each individual has practical skills in at least two languages other than his or her own.

Such an approach calls for a decision to be taken as to which foreign languages should be taught and as to the criteria upon which that decision should be based.

These are the considerations which serve as a basis for devising the language policies applied in the various countries of Europe.

Pursuant to the brief issued to him by France's Haut Conseil de l'évaluation de l'école [a senior body responsible for schools assessment], Professor Grin has produced a report on the teaching of foreign languages as public policy in which he analyses the costs and benefits of three different types of language policy, all of which are designed to achieve the highest possible level of language-based communication amongst the people of Europe.

Does the Council not think that it could usefully consult Professor Grin in order to learn more about the practical and economic implications which promoting multilingualism would have for Europeans and about the benefits inherent in the scenarios analysed in his report?

Is the Council willing to draw the attention of other relevant European bodies to the Grin Report and to the significant economic implications of adopting (or not adopting) one of the public policies on foreign-language teaching which are analysed in that report?

Is the Council also willing to issue an assessment from a political point of view concerning the three types of public language policy considered in the report?

Original language of question: ITOJ C 329, 30/12/2006
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