The Nordic and Baltic countries have long modelled various kinds of plurilingualism and the language awareness that comes with learning and speaking a language in this relative field. Yet there is currently a call for the reassessment of the position of language diversity in these countries: in fact some languages are privileged over others, and hierarchies introduced that include some languages while excluding others.
This three year project aims to take up the questions of language diversity as they apply to the Nordic and Baltic countries in the context of the Language Awareness approach being developed in European and international education more widely.
The project aims to look at how pupils' language awareness can be raised by integrating in the teaching/learning activities all sorts of linguistic varieties: e.g. the language(s) of education, foreign languages, regional languages and dialects, minority languages and migrant languages. The Language Awareness approach encourages students' knowledge about the languages taught at school, students' first languages and other languages, 2) their recognition of linguistic diversity and 3) their metalinguistic abilities. The approach looks at different language aspects such as the history of languages, similarities and differences between languages, links between language and culture, spoken and written language, verbal and nonverbal communication and language learning.
The project will establish partnerships between universities and primary/secondary schools in seven Nordic and Baltic countries: Denmark, Estland, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden.