European Union Language Policy On France And Sweden

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European Union Language Policy or known after that as EU Multilingualism Language Policy is a policy that encourages the citizen of European Union (EU) to speak their mother tongue and two more other languages and have been implemented on 2002. The ability to communicate in several languages is a great benefit for individuals, organizations and companies anywhere. It enhances creativity, breaks cultural stereotypes, and encourages the citizen to think differently, it also helps to develop innovative products and services from the citizen. These are all qualities and activities that have real economic value.

EU try to realize this aim in three respects:

By maintaining 20 official languages (European Communities, 2006)

By propagating a policy if multilingualism: each citizen of Europe should speak several languages. The ultimate objective of the European Union is that Europeans speaks at least two foreign languages (mother tongue- plus two policy) (European Communities, 2006)

By promoting and protecting minority, or regional-languages (Vlaeminck, 2003: 38)

Multilingualism definition is the use of two or more languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism also helps to make people more mobile to pursue learning opportunities or job vacancies in different countries. It is good for individuals, business and competitiveness. By extension, it is crucial for achieving the over-arching policy aim for the European Union: the Lisbon strategy to create more jobs and growth.

Not only multilingualism is good for the economy, it is also important to integration in the labour market, social cohesion and makes a major contribution to intercultural dialogue. Language is an integral part of our identity and the most direct expression of culture. It is through language that we socialize, that we express our thoughts, that we transmit our cultural heritage.


European Union has been promoting foreign language learning indirectly since 1987 in Erasmus programme which enable student in EU to learn abroad in other country as past as their university or postgraduate course. This programme provides funds to EU student to undergo intensive language training before they can be in any of the 20 EU official languages or in the languages of the Erasmus countries. It shows that how serious EU in maintaining their citizen knowledge because they are willing to send them abroad and let them study in different kind of environment and let them learn how to survive and also letting them to see by them self the situation in the foreign countries.

There are two kinds of language learning programme, which are Socrates and Leonardo da Vinci. Both of these plan has it own focus which is in Socrates programme is wide-ranging educational programme while Leonardo da Vinci programme focuses on vocational training. This programme implements and EU vocational training policy which is based on the action of individual member states. It will assists public and private vocational training bodies which take part in international partnership like for example universities, training centres, companies and chamber of commerce. This programme also has developed important linguistic dimension. It funds cross-border projects which aim at developing new methods and new aids for language teaching and assessment of the linguistic needs of businesses. It also funds training periods abroad for language teachers as well as the development of language learning tools for vocational training, especially those for use in the workplace. Both of these programme cost EU to spend about €30 million a year (Union 2004). European Union has been promoting about language learning and improvement of the teaching methods since 1990 when they created Lingua Programme (Union 2004). Lingua was incorporated into Socrates when the programme was created in 1995 and the activities cover all 20 official languages in EU.

Lingua Programme was created to raise awareness about Multilingual wealth in EU because it is very important to EU citizen to interact more among them so that they could build a better economic cooperation between the countries in EU. Plus the citizen should give more attention to their own cooperation among them before planning to expand their business abroad. EU have most of the raw materials among them. So if they can cooperate between them first, then they will get more benefits. That is how European Union get their influence and power in economy, they more together.

Lingua also encourage the EU citizen to learn language throughout their life time. Citizen of EU spend their life time learning so that they can support or help EU in creating a better place for economic cooperation. Even if they learn different language more active, it will make they easy to travel within the EU countries. They would not have any problem in communicating with the people at the place their come.

Lingua programme also focus in developing new way of teaching language toward the student in school. Many of the language can be learn easily but sometimes it might be because of the teacher cannot teach properly, so that the student cannot understand or if so they can learn the language well, could they speak with the language correctly or with confident. They realize all of these problems in language teaching within EU, and some reports shows that many of the teachers do not have enough qualification in teaching foreign language. Because of that EU also highlighted the area.

Mean while, Socrates programme include activities like Comenius which deal with school and preschool education. Another programme is Grundtvig which specializes in lifelong learning and teaching adults.

The cultural programme in European Union also promotes language and cultural diversity in other ways like for example European Commission's Media programme funds the dubbing and subtitling of European films for showing in cinemas and on television in other EU countries. Other programme like The Culture 2000 promotes cross-cultural doors by supporting the translation of modern author into other EU languages. There are also programme called eContent seeks to use the growing spread of digital technology to improve multilingual access to high-quality digital productions particularly and even in television, where they can put many films and series in several different languages. Plus, every year since 2001, the Council of Europe with the support of the European Union will organize European Day of Languages which will took place on 26 September every year. One of the slogan chosen was "Pack an extra language in your luggage". The purpose of the Language day is to raise public awareness about the important of language learning in an increasingly interdependent of Europe. The event shows that linguistic diversity is one of Europe strengths and language learning can spread tolerance and mutual understanding among the member countries and the citizen.

In July 2003, the European Commission launched and Action Plan for promoting language learning and linguistic diversity in a Union of 25 members. Where the Commission recognized that all 450 million citizen from diverse ethnic, cultural and language background it is more important than ever to provide them with the skills to understand and communicate with each other. The idea of the Action plan is to promote the EU citizen to learn two language in additional with the citizen own mother tongue. Their message is while learning one language in addition to your mother tongue is good, learning a second additional language is even better. It also point out that the younger the citizen start to learn, the better.

The Action Plan which covers the period of 2004 until 2006 aims is to build on what is already being done, to coordinate the action better and use the financial resources more effective. The Commission's Multilingualism policy aims to draw these various strengths together. In particular, its objective is to

Encourage language learning and promoting linguistic diversity in society

Promote a healthy multilingual economy.

To give citizen access to European Union legislation in their own languages.

Multilingualism has been implemented at EU since the 2002 and start to implement the system in the education system. The Commission recognizes the goal of mother tongue-plus-two is ambitious, but not beyond reach. Language learning has been seen as a life-long learning. Teaching should start as early as possible, even at the pre-school level, and should continue through school, higher education and even adulthood, and not forgetting learners with special needs should get particular attention. In due to that, The Commission plans four sets of implementation which is Language teaching in different sectors. The division of different sectors determined by age, and the level of provision of language teaching and learning opportunities in each sector, vary considerably throughout Europe. However, many other factors apart from age play a part such as formal or non-formal learning environments, the numbers of learners in a class, how much of the learning is directed, and how much self-access. The teacher profile is also varied and changing. Language teaching professionals now include advisers, facilitators and leaders.


This report done to measure the achievements of the 4 years Action Plan being implement by the EU to the region either it is achievable or not. At Community level, the programmes in the field of education and training have increased their support for the linguistic preparation of persons participating in mobility activities: the take-up of linguistic preparation doubled in Comenius (teacher training); in Erasmus, the number of students participating in Intensive Language Courses increased by nearly 40%; and the Leonardo Programme spent €15.6 million to support linguistic and cultural preparation for 175 000 trainees, students and young workers going on a placement abroad, an increase of 77% compared to 2000-2002. In the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), support for linguistic preparation has been extended to all types of mobility.

In the Action Plan also being put together lifelong Learning Programme and many of the countries in EU have put and effort in realizing it. For example United Kingdom have use the same idea and operating in England since 2003 with the title 'Language Learning at all ages' which is a National Strategy for Languages. The Strategy embraces language learning at all ages and stages from early years to adults and universities. It has three overarching objectives: to improve the teaching and learning of languages; to introduce a recognition system; and to increase the numbers of people studying languages in further and higher education and work-based learning.

"Mother Tongue Plus Two Other Languages": Making An Early Start

Over the last four years, most Member States have reformed their primary (and in some cases pre-primary) education in order to start teaching a foreign language earlier. The trend is to start a second language (whether a foreign or minority language or a language with co-official status) earlier, generally in the first three years of primary education. The key problem encountered in implementing these reforms is the lack of adequately trained language teachers, both generalist teachers and specialists. In some countries, the earlier start is complemented by earlier take-up of a second foreign language (in the last years of primary education or at the beginning of secondary education). Such arrangements should be encouraged and more widely implemented. To foster the introduction of early language learning, the Commission financed a study on "Main pedagogical principles underlying teaching languages to very young learners". The study acknowledged the central role of teachers in early language learning and recommended the dissemination of research findings to practitioners, the development of methodologies and instruments to assess and evaluate children's competences and support for starting a second foreign language at primary school. As regards information and networking activities, the Commission produced a brochure for parents about the benefits of language learning, and will target parents as a matter of priority in the information campaign supported by the LLP. It also supported a seminar for practitioners to present the results of the above-mentioned study. In order to encourage networking between organisations working in the field, early language learning will be a priority for the Comenius and Key Activity Languages networks in 2007. The Socrates Programmes supported early language learning and related teacher training by financing 11 Lingua projects and by granting nearly 4000 language assistantships (increase of 13%), with a number for primary and pre-primary schools as well. Primary and pre-primary schools will be further encouraged to host a language assistant under the LLP.

Language Learning In Secondary Education And Training

The Action Plan invited Member States to pursue their commitment to give pupils the opportunity to study at least two foreign languages, with the emphasis on effective communicative ability, the ability to learn languages and intercultural competences. The Commission supported Member State efforts by increasing the possibilities for schools from different countries to learn languages together and to further develop intercultural competences and multilingual comprehension. The number of Comenius school language projects increased, accounting for 19% of the budget allocated to Comenius school projects (although the Action Plan recommended a target of 25%). Further, 2 951 joint language projects involving 53 118 pupils and 8 853 staff participating in class exchanges were also supported in 2004-2006. The LLP is currently aiming to achieve the target recommended by the Action Plan. A study of the linguistic and intercultural skills relevant to each stage of education or training will be completed by the end of 2007. It will offer suggestions on how to improve the current teaching of languages to develop intercultural skills and on how to specify appropriate target objectives for intercultural competences for pupils in primary and secondary education. 14 projects and 2 networks for developing training materials and modules to promote multilingual comprehension approaches were funded by Comenius.

Language Learning In Higher Education

The Action Plan called for a coherent language policy to be established by each university, to foster language learning for all students and offer them the possibility of studying abroad. The Commission increased the number of Erasmus Intensive Language Courses (EILC) available to cover 6.4% of students going abroad (although the target set by the Action Plan was 10%) (I.3.1). This percentage varies greatly from country to country: Slovenian and Turkish universities attracted considerable interest in their Erasmus Intensive Language Courses, involving more than 35% of incoming students, while Czech, Estonian, Finnish, German, Hungarian and Norwegian universities had a participation rate of above 10%. All in all, nearly 10 000 students benefited from Erasmus Intensive Language Courses in 2004- 2006. EILC provision has been further strengthened in the LLP, although more action is needed at university level to promote the language of the host country as a second language for incoming students.

Regarding international cooperation among higher education institutions, the Erasmus Mundus programme supports joint master's programmes in different Member States where non-EU students can learn at least two different European languages. In the years 2004-2006, 2325 students from outside the EU received support to study for 57 different master's degrees, including 3 in linguistics and language-related subjects. The Tempus programme supports cooperation among EU universities and 26 partner countries in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, in order to facilitate university modernisation, mutual learning between regions and peoples, and understanding between cultures. Linguistic training is usually part of such projects, and in 2004-2006 two targeted cooperation in the field of language teaching. Cooperation programmes with the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand also supported 6 projects for the development of language curricula.

Adult Language Learning

The Action Plan called for affordable language provision for adults, e.g. in-company training, adult education courses or informal learning linked to cultural activities for example in Ireland, Slovenia and Spain, these countries created: language learning opportunities for adults. In Ireland and Slovenia there has been a healthy level of demand among adult learners for language learning opportunities, and there have been many local initiatives to meet that demand through the network of libraries, cultural associations, language clubs and adult education. Language schools for adults have been a characteristic of the Spanish educational system for many years, both regionally and nationally. They offer, on a network basis, 20 different languages at basic and intermediate level conforming to the CEFR and have proven to be financially viable.

Building A Language-Friendly Environment

For the first time at Commission level, the Action Plan has set out a vision for language policies going beyond foreign language teaching and encompassing all languages spoken in Europe, whether official, regional or minority languages or languages spoken by immigrant communities. In order to bring together educational stakeholders from regional and minority languages and help them exchange good practices, a European Conference on "Regional and Minority Languages in Education Systems" was organised in 2006. The situation of regional and minority languages in the countries that joined the European Union in 2004 was surveyed by the Euromosaic Report. An update for Romania and Bulgaria is under way. This new approach to languages and linguistic diversity is fully reflected in the LLP, where all languages are eligible for funding, including regional and minority languages. The Commission has made a special effort, through European conferences, local seminars and network meetings, to ensure that regional and minority language stakeholders are well informed on how to access mainstream programmes, especially the LLP.

In 2004-2006, the Culture 2000 Programme supported 150 translation projects to promote cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe. Promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity is also the cornerstone of the new Culture Programme for 2007-2013. This inclusive vision is in line with the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages, which has been ratified by 22 Council of Europe members, among them 14 EU Member States. As a general rule, Member States provide partial or total instruction in recognised minority languages. Promising practices have been reported in the promotion of exposure or immersion in different local languages, especially for children.

As stated in the report for Action Plan, there are many goals EU achieve in the process of implementing all the activities in the making of EU language policy. Plus, all the activities shows how important the language are in EU. Also it shows that how important they need to preserve the language. Many of the politicians in EU institutions realize the important about language and knowledge.

The EU provides specific support for language teaching in the following sectors such as:

Early language earning helps learners to develop positive attitudes towards other cultures and languages as well as laying the foundation for language learning in later life. School education is the sector where, traditionally, education system have focused most of their efforts. It is the sector where young people can acquire the core skills which will serve them throughout a lifetime of language leaning.

Higher education: In recent years, there has been a decline in specialist undergraduate or post-graduate degrees in languages (and linguistics), but an increase in 'Institution-Wide Language Programmes' offering language learning to student of all disciplines, as well as languages forming part of more vocational qualifications.

Adult education: Language learning is for all citizens, throughout their lives and is a key life skill. Adults can have very different motivations for language learning from leisure to professional development, from relocation to family reasons. Every adult should be encouraged to learn foreign languages, and facilities should be available to make this possible.

Special educations needs: No-one should be excluded from language learning and the opportunities and benefits it brings. Equal access to educational opportunities in foreign languages is part of the social dimension of European integration.

Background of study

European Union was built because many of the countries need to control and empower

their economic strength. But then, they need the way to tackle other countries interest in joining the group. As we can see, the EU itself has promoted the multilingualism in EU and every country that wanted to join the EU can preserve their language. Language and culture are under the EU Education and Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Policy (under the new DG and Commissioner). This shows that EU eager to preserve any of their citizen culture and language. Even though some problem will emerge in the implementation process but, EU will maintain to cover it up. Language plays important roles in one society where they communicate with each other using the same language. Plus their culture, different place have different culture. In some countries, these two things are very important, they have the pride to used it and ignore other languages. Plus the EU bodies make it as a policy because they realize the important of language in the modern life. EU enables their citizen to go to where the jobs are, thereby helping to achieve the aim of making the EU as the most competitive knowledge-based economy. By adopting the Multilingualism policy will also enable the people of EU to take maximum advantage of their studies, job and even travel opportunities around the world. It will help the EU companies to compete in international business.

Education is the crucial tool in promoting Multilingualism in EU. Without education, this policy will not successful. The EU has come with the first plan which is on the activities in promoting the policy where the European Commission adopted the Action Plan "Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity" (2004-2006) on 27 July 2003, after an extensive preparation and consultation process. This action plan contains 45 actions to be carried out between 2004 until 2006. All the actions can be classified in 3 main categories. The first one is extending the benefits of language learning to all citizens as a lifelong activity. The plan in this category aims is to teach languages at all levels from pre- and early-school, secondary education, higher education and adult learning.

While the second plan is to improve the quality of language teaching at all levels. This plan in this category relate to the creation of "language-friendly" schools, language teacher training and supply, teaching other subjects through the medium of foreign languages, and testing language skills. Lastly is to build an environment in Europe that is favorable to languages by embracing linguistic diversity, building language-friendly communities, and making language learning easier for example by bringing language learning facilities closer to the people who need them.


Despites all the plans for EU member states, we also should see the impact from implementing this policy to the member states, and in particularly to their minority language. When one member state has their own minority languages, they will try to preserve it. But in the same time they need to implement EU language policy in the states. For this research we will see on minority language in European countries, especially in France and Sweden.

The reason why this research focus on the 2 countries because both have joined EU for more than 10 years. To see an impact of a policy implementation to one country it must have some period of time. If we choose country that just joint EU in few years, the impact on policy implementation maybe cannot be seen. So this research will examine the impact that EU language policy brings towards the minority languages. The impact will be seen from educational aspect of EU language policy to the minority language, the reason why education being choose because of it is the important part in maintaining one language.

The study will also examine the cost of implementation will bring effect to the minority language. Like the member states spend money toward EU language policy compare to minority language implementation. It is important to know how serious the government giving equal treatment to the minority language and the EU language policy. This research will also determine what the best way to treat the minority language in a country.


Why is it important for France and Sweden to adopt 2 other languages learning policy?

What is the impact of EU language policy usage in the education system of France and Sweden?


To examine the importance the adaptation of two additional language implementation in France and Sweden.

To explore the impact of EU Language policy usage in the education system of France and Sweden.


This study will examine the importance of Minority language in France and Sweden and

to explore the impact of the EU language policy in the education system of France and Sweden. This research will also explore what are problems EU facing in dealing with minority languages among EU countries, but it will examine from these two countries only. From the information obtained by this research, it will guide EU candidate countries in preparation to join EU. It also promoting the importance of language in EU and it will also upgrade the education system. This research will also help the EU to plan their language policy more creative after seeing the problem they face. When EU provide better education to their citizen, it will also attract other student from all over the world to further their study in EU. So it will also upgrade the EU economy by the help of education. They can also spread the idea of the value of the Europe to the world.


This research will use data analysis to get answer for each of the research question. It is the manipulation of data into a form suitable to answer the research questions.


1.7.1 Data sources

Secondary Data Source; Qualitative Data

Qualitative data will be used to answer research question 1 and 2. These data will provide a better understanding regarding the impact of minority languages in EU. In order to collect qualitative data, researcher will find official reports and publications from European Union Official website and EU member states embassies. Researcher will use secondary data from various secondary sources including from various website that related and have official reports from the European Union. Publications, reference books, journals, publications and full-text databases will also be use.

Websites, the researcher will browsed the internet in seeking information related to the matter of this study. The internet provide fast and abundant information on relevant topics from other authors, news, publications, journals, reports by searching on interested keywords through search engines like Yahoo and Google. The main website researcher will use are the European Union official website that contain many official reports, statistical data, official statement and latest news that happen in European Union.

Reports, Officials government and EU institutions reports.

Reference books, there are lots of books will be used in finding information related for this study.

Journals and Publications, research from other authors were also use to get more information about minority languages, from the past and current issues.


The information collected then will be categorize to their degree of information.

Related - the information describe about how the minority language being used in the both countries that researcher have selected.

Half related - information that discuss on how the minority language being used in other countries and how it being implemented.


Most of the data will be collect from the European Union Official website and also form the EU member states embassies in Kuala Lumpur. The researcher will also find the data in selected public universities libraries like Universiti Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia because both of the universities also offer the European studies and also national library. Researcher need to travel to Kuala Lumpur frequently in order to get the data.













1.Literature Review

2. Data Gathering

3. Data Analysis

4. Thesis Writing


Data that gathered somehow will be reduce because of it is not related, or will bring different finding when being analyze. Data will be analysis by using explanatory analysis that are use to answer 'why' questions. It will establish the direction and strength of influence between two or more variables. It also entails notions of causation about which there is much controversy. A common practice is to translate causal language into dependent and independent variables.


Problems that may occur while doing this research is how to differentiate various data that researcher get. Some of the data maybe useable and some may not. Other problems are how to get data on the topic itself. It is because, there is small publication regarding minority language in the European Union. Many of the reports and publications are written from universities and language bodies that not using English as medium. So to solve the problem, the researcher has made classification for each of the data researcher get, and it will be sort out according to how related the data with the topic. As for the second problem, the researcher will get the information directly from the embassies in Kuala Lumpur. Embassies that involve are France embassy, Sweden Embassy and European Union Delegation Office.


From the review of literature, it can be summarized that EU Language policy are important for the EU as a whole because it will also generate EU economic integration and also will make the people of EU more productive and creative. It will also make them easier to move around EU countries to work and not possible for them to learn other language which is not Europe language and travel to work all around the world. It will benefit their economical trade and also shows how rich the Europeans with cultural values. It could also promote their European values to the world which is "United in Diversity". From the literature also can be seen how the member states comply with the policy. Some of it accept the policy without any problem while some of the countries need to change their state policy in order to comply with the EU policy.