Generation Global

Generation Global

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Erasmus+ project on behalf of SIG Wider Engagement Network

In 2018 SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages, submitted a successful bid on behalf of the Wider Engagement Network to facilitate the key languages foci of employer and industry engagement, and attitudinal change in wider society to secure Erasmus+ funding for a three year international project. The project partners are the respective national centres for languages in Denmark and Norway.

Generation Global: Multilingualism and intercultural skills for a dual-competency workforce of the future project addresses, amongst others, the skills gap and language deficit that currently exists.  A cornerstone of the project is that in the 21st century, although English has become the 'lingua franca' for global trade it is not enough for young people in Scotland who have English as their native language nor for those in Denmark and Norway who typically have an excellent command of English as a second language.   Young people will need a wider range of language skills and to improve intercultural understanding to become effective participants in a future global workforce.  Furthermore, the wealth and diversity of languages that migrants, refugees, asylum seekers bring, along with minority and heritage languages such as Gaelic, Sami and Faroese must be celebrated and capitalised upon for the benefit of individual young people but also for the greater economic development and international trade of our countries.

The project has three primary audiences:

  • The first audience is business - the dialogue between education and business is vital if the supply of language skills from education systems is to be better matched to the needs of the labour market.
  • The second target group are career staff/consultants, policy makers, school leaders, university staff, and curricula writers. Associated partners from this group will help to provide and find a practical solution regarding the dual competence based on the demand from business.
  • The third target group of the project are young people – both European citizens, and migrants and refugees. Parents/carers will also be included in the third and the last phase of the project. These young people are Generation Global, our dual-competency workforce of the future.

The project aims:

  • To change attitude toward language learning, more specifically to increase the awareness of value of multilingualism (foreign languages and mother tongue languages) as well as Intercultural Communicative Competences (ICC) as dual competences.
  • To increase awareness in careers/skills organisations and staff to be more knowledgeable about dual competences and languages/ICC skills relevance.
  • To elicit employers and businesses to recognise and demand Languages and ICC skills.
  • To equip the users better for the labour market through an increased level of languages and cultural knowledge and thus combat skills deficit that currently exits.
  • To develop, test and implement innovative approaches to motivate young people to choose more languages and be aware of intercultural similarities and differences.

‘Generation Global’ launched in September 2018 with partners gathering in Glasgow for the inaugural meeting. Follow updates on Twitter.

Denmark

Aarhus University (AU) was founded in 1928. It has 40,000 students; about 1,800 PhD students - of which one in four has a foreign nationality - and close to 900 postdoctoral scholars together with 11,500 employees. AU has four faculties which cover the entire research spectrum – basic research, applied research, strategic research and research based advice to the authorities.

AU has been establishing itself as a university for cutting-edge research, and has been moving up the most important university ranking lists. In 2018 the university was ranked at number 101 at the Leiden Ranking, number 119 at the QS World University Ranking, and number 109 of 17,000 universities on the Times Higher Education World University Ranking).

The university’s goal is to contribute towards solving the complex global challenges facing the world. The university therefore strives to combine the high level of academic standards of its researchers with collaboration across disciplinary boundaries to combine research in new ways.

The Faculty of Arts and the School of Communication and Culture where the Departments of English and of German and Romance Languages (French, Italian, Spanish and German) represent the strongest language environment in Denmark. More precisely, both departments offer two main types of degree programmes: language and culture programmes within the humanities, and business communication programmes.

Further information and key figures can be found on the Aarhus University webpage and on the Faculty of Arts profile page.

As of September 2017, the university also hosts the Danish National Center for Foreign Languages, established as part of the Government’s National Strategy for Foreign Languages in the Educational System. (The center has two sections, the other being hosted at the University of Copenhagen.) Among the center’s main goals are: 1) motivating more students to become more skilled in more languages;  2) attracting more students to language degree programmes; 3) securing high-quality language education at all levels in the educational system. The center has an initial appropriation of DKK 100 million (EUR 15 million) over five years. The center also hosts the Danish Contact Point for the European Center for Modern Languages, whose headquarter is in Graz.

Norway

The Norwegian National Centre for English and Foreign Languages in Education (The Foreign Language Centre) is one of several national centres under The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. The Centre’s mandate is to implement and execute national education policy to enable all children, adolescents and adults to receive equal and adapted education and training of high quality in an inclusive environment.

The Foreign Language Centre is a national resource centre for English and other foreign language education in kindergartens, primary school and secondary school and its mandate is to improve the quality of foreign language education and give the teaching a practical and varied content. As a national resource centre, The Foreign Language Centre shall also help increase motivation for and interest in foreign languages.

Teachers, school managers, kindergarten- and school owners and pedagogical staff in kindergartens are the key target groups for the Centre’s activities. The Centre work with higher education institutions and universities (primarily teacher training institutions) in their efforts to realise national initiatives that promote competence development.

The Centre is a national centre and is located at the Østfold University College in the south-eastern part of Norway, 120 km from Oslo. Østfold University College is a major institution in foreign language learning in Norway, with academic courses and degrees in English, Spanish, German and French as well as teacher training programmes.

For more information about the Centre visit the Fremmedspråksenteret website and the Østfold University College website (the site is available in English and Norwegian).

Images from the Østfold University College

Photo of the interior of Østfold University College

The initial Toolkit supporting the dialogue between education and business has been published

Making Languages Your Business
University of Strathclyde Education Scotland British Council Scotland The Scottish Government
SCILT - Scotlands National centre for Languages