I was pleased to see an article in EurActiv about the European Commission taking steps to promote language learning in school – a topic we have blogged about before and one that I feel strongly about.
According to the article, the European Commission has teamed up with several other international organisations to call for proper funding to be made available to schools for their language departments. Furthermore, they call for better funding and career prospects for professions like translators and interpreters which are currently facing a shortage and will continue to do so over the next 5 to 10 years.
The calls in part were prompted following the meeting of 76 heads of languages and conference services of 76 international organisations in mid June. The meeting was in Paris and resulted in what is now called the ‘Paris Declaration’ which warned that the ‘global shortage of qualified linguists meant that without a new generation of professionals trained with necessary language skills international organisations will be unable to perform their vital tasks’.
The need for an increase in language learning is clear and the final comments of this article sum this up well – national authorities need to ‘promote the teaching of languages throughout the education system in order to ensure that young people can take advantage of the vast range of employment opening in international organisations’.