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Universidade do Minho (Braga, PT), Monday 18 June 2007
Language learning and linguistic diversity are major issues in European integration. But what exactly are the language needs of European enterprise and of the European workforce? In TNP3, recommendations were developed for the creation of new structures for consultation and co-operation involving various groups of stakeholders on different levels, as well as for the adaptation of specialist programmes and general higher education language offerings to the changing needs of the European labour market.
The aim of the TNP3-D Conference South is to:
- present the outcomes of TNP3 to a wider audience, with a focus on the specific contexts in South Europe
- prepare the creation of new structures for consultation and collaboration to keep up the momentum generated by TNP3, facilitating broader and more intensive consultation among regional employers and higher education decision-makers.
The conference offers the rare opportunity for a comparative view on policies and practices in the area of language teaching and learning, especially in the Atlantic-Mediterranean Region, which incorporates the different characteristics of the Western and Eastern parts of this heterogeneous area. Spanish and Portuguese are major world languages, with Spanish having a far stronger position within Europe. With the exception of Italian and Turkish, the prevailing situation in this region is that the national and regional languages are less widely used and taught elsewhere. The whole region has experienced waves of emigration and, more recently, immigration (especially from Arabic-speaking countries and the Far East), the latter of which have increased contact with other languages and cultures. The implications of this development for the economies, language mediation, and education have yet to be fully assessed. In addition to that, there is a strong need for language learning and intercultural skills in order for these countries to be active members of the international community and stay competitive in the global market place.
The conference will focus on the three mainstream sub-themes of TNP3:
SP1: Higher education programmes, and demands in language-related industries and profession - linguistic and non-linguistic skills and competences required on the rapidly changing specialist labour market.
SP2: Foreign languages for enhanced opportunities on the European and international labour markets - languages and linguistic skills sought after on and relevant to the labour market in general.
SP3: Vertical and horizontal consultation and collaboration in the field of language learning and teaching between higher education and the other educational sectors – to achieve a language learning continuum and general improvement in the quality of language teaching and learning.
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