Isabella Moore on multilingualism

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  • Language skills have the potential to add far more value to the European economy than they do at present.
  • English is a lingua franca for business but on its own, as a first or a second language, it’s not enough for businesses in Europe to compete, thrive and prosper in the 21st century.
  • We need workers in all kinds of different occupations to embrace the principle of plurilingualism and we need the education sector to work hand in hand with employers so that this happens.
  • The time may have come for a framework similar to the Common European Framework, but for intercultural competence.

These were some of the key messages summed up at the close of a day’s debate in Brussels on 21 September hosted by the Portuguese Presidency of the European Commission and instigated by the European Commissioner for Multilingualism, Leonard Orban, as a major forum event bringing together – for the first time at European level – over 300 employers, public agents and members of the education sector from across the European Union.

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