With increasing mobility to the EU and between its Member States, education and training systems need to adapt to the challenges and opportunities posed by Europe’s linguistic diversity.
Language skills are at the heart of the ambitious vision to create a European Education Area. Being able to speak foreign languages is not only a skill needed for studying abroad, but also on increasingly international job markets. Learning languages enables people to both discover foreign cultures and to broaden their perspectives.
However, studies show that EU Member States are not progressing fast enough towards the goal that every European should be able to speak two foreign languages from an early age, set as part of the vision to create a European Education Area.
Language proficiency levels among students at the end of compulsory education are, on average, low across the EU with large discrepancies between Member States.
With increasing mobility within Europe and many young people arriving from third countries to study in the EU, it is essential to ensure that multilingualism is central to the European project.
The Commission has made a proposal for a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages.