Language planning for minority languages should become a key issue in the national policies of EU member states.
This is recommended by the Mercator Research Center in a survey on minority languages and education for the European Parliament. EU Member States should be encouraged to implement a continuous learning path for minority languages from pre-school education to tertiary education.
The study ‘Minority Languages and Education: Best Practices and Pitfalls’ was written by Rixt van Dongera, Cor van der Meer and Richt Sterk from the Mercator Research Center on behalf of the Culture and Education Committee CULT of the European Parliament.
The European Parliament requested this study to gain insight into the situation of minority languages in education in Europe. The report offers an in-depth comparative analysis of thirteen language cases, including Frisian in the Netherlands, Basque in France and Spain, German in Italy (South Tyrol) and Hungarian in Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Despite the many historical and political differences, these minority languages have the same major challenges, such as the lack of high-quality teaching materials and expert teachers in the minority languages. The report gives specific attention to vocational education and career prospects.
The authors provide recommendations on how the EU can support minority languages in education. For example, it is recommended to set up programs that promote the exchange of best practices, to promote EU-wide research into education and language learning, and to promote the development of high-quality teaching materials in minority languages.
On March 23, Richt Sterk, one of the authors, will present the findings of the study in Brussels.
- Download the study Minority Languages: Best Practices and Pitfalls (pdf)