La Comisión Europea acaba de publicar los resultados del estudio First european Survey on language competences dedicado a indagar sobre las competencias lingüísticas de alumnos de educación secundaria en diferentes sistemas educativos europeos. Las principales conclusiones del estudio son :
∙ The value of starting language learning at an early age.
∙ The benefits of exposure to language outside the classroom, through films, music, travel and other opportunities to incorporate the language into the students’ lives.
∙ A higher level of mastery for pupils learning English than for any other language.
∙ Consistently high standards of teaching and teacher training across Europe.
Las consluiones de la Comisión son las siguientes:
1. Language competences still need to be significantly improved, and educational systems must step up their efforts to prepare all pupils for further education and the labour market. The exchange of good practice within the Open Method of Coordination will constitute one of the main tools in pursuing the Barcelona objective of teaching and mastering at least two foreign languages from a very early age.
2. Language policies should address the creation of language-friendly living and learning environments inside as well as outside schools and other educational institutions. Language policies should promote informal learning opportunities outside school, and consider the exposure to language through traditional and new media, including the effects of using dubbing or subtitles in television and cinemas. Overall, language policy should support that people in general, and young people in particular, feel capable of language learning and see it as useful.
3. The wide range of ability among Member States in language competences indicates the rich potential for peer learning in language policy and learning. The Survey points out those educational systems can make a positive difference with an early onset of foreign language learning, increase the number of foreign languages learnt and promote methods enabling pupils and teachers to use foreign languages for meaningful communication in lessons.
4. The importance of the English language as a basic skill and as a tool for employability and professional development requires concrete actions to improve competences in this language.
5. While all languages are not equally relevant when entering the labour market, linguistic diversity remains vitally important for cultural and personal development. Therefore, the need to improve language skills for employability in a globalised world must be combined with the promotion of linguistic diversity and intercultural dialogue.