Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme

ET-SOCRATES 1

Programme funding

EUR 200 million

Official Journal Reference

L 239 of 1989-08-16

Legislative Reference

89/489/CEE of 1989-07-28
To promote a quantitative and qualitative improvement in foreign language competence with a view to developing communication skills within the Community.

Abstract

Through the adoption of Community-wide measures, the LINGUA programme is designed to support and complement Member States' policies aimed at raising the level of foreign language competence among workers and future workers. LINGUA assists the implementation of those policies pursued by the Member States, within the context of their own internal structures and the characteristics of their education and training systems. In particular, measures conducted under LINGUA give support and impetus to activities in the Member States aimed at the following:

- Encouraging all citizens to acquire a working knowledge of foreign languages;
- Increasing opportunities for teaching and learning foreign languages in the Community and, in particular, encouraging competence in the least widely used and least taught foreign languages;
- Promoting opportunities for university students to combine their main discipline with the study of a foreign language;
- Raising the standard of foreign language teaching by improving the initial and in-service training of foreign-language teachers and trainers, by increasing the opportunities for them to reap the benefits of appropriate preparation abroad;
- Encouraging employers and professional organizations to promote training in foreign languages for their workforce;
- Promoting innovation in methods of foreign language training and in the exploitation of the communications technologies used.

By promoting foreign language training, the LINGUA programme contributes to the attainment of the objectives of other Community programmes involving vocational training and the mobility and exchange of persons, such as ERASMUS, COMETT, "Youth for Europe", and the third joint programme to encourage the exchange of young workers in the Community.

For the period 1995-1999, the activities currently conducted within the framework of LINGUA will be pursued under the SOCRATES programme of Community action in the field of education.

Subdivision

Four actions and complementary measures:

- Measures to promote in-service training of foreign language teachers:
Community aid to enable an increasing number of foreign-language teachers and teacher-trainers within the Community to participate in in-service training projects, particularly in other Member States;

- Measures to promote the learning of foreign languages in universities and, in particular, to develop the initial training of foreign-language teachers:
To promote the development of the European network for university cooperation, established under the terms of the ERASMUS programme, so as to stimulate Community-wide mobility and exchange of students specializing in foreign language studies or who study foreign languages with another discipline and, in particular, to promote the initial training of foreign-language teachers. This action consists of three measures:
. Inter-university cooperation programmes;
. Student grants;
. Grants for mobility and exchange of training staff and administrators in higher education concerned with the teaching of foreign languages to visit other Member States. Support is also provided to assist the development of integrated courses and to enable teaching staff to teach for a period in universities of the different Member States, within the framework of the European network;

- Measures to promote knowledge of foreign languages used in work relations and in economic life:
. Diagnosis of needs: Community assistance for the development and dissemination of techniques for the diagnosis and analysis of needs for foreign languages and for training for foreign languages of professional or workers' organizations and of enterprises, particularly SMEs;
. Development of teaching materials and self-learning methods comprising pilot projects for the development of materials and self-learning methods, and aid to self-learning methods in languages in professional and technological fields;
. Development of mobility and linguistic exchanges;
. Introduction of certificates;

- Measures to promote the development of exchanges for young people undergoing professional, vocational and technical education within the Community. Financial aid is granted to the structure(s) designated by each Member State to support the development of educational exchanges, of a minimum duration of 14 days, normally as part of a project of an educational establishment;

- Complementary measures:
. Complementary support to the structure(s) designated by the Member States to coordinate the implementation of LINGUA at national level. Community support is provided to underpin the creation of a network of communication between the national structures, facilitating cooperation between them so as to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of LINGUA;
. Provision of financial aid, on an experimental basis during the first phase of the programme, to support the diversification of foreign language teaching and learning through assistance in the development and exchange of teaching materials for the least widely used and least widely taught languages.

Implementation

The Commission is responsible for the overall implementation of the programme, assisted by a committee composed of two representatives appointed by each Member State and chaired by a representative of the Commission. The implementation of the measures contained in the programme at national level are coordinated by structures designated by the Member States.

The funds estimated as necessary for the execution of the LINGUA programme during the five-year period amount to ECU 200 million. The annual appropriations necessary to cover the Community contribution to the measures provided for in the programme are estimated in the annual budgetary procedure in accordance with the financial outlook which is decided on jointly by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

The Community's financial contribution towards the actions covered by LINGUA, together with the conditions of participation in the programme, are detailed for each measure. A brief summary is given below.

Under Action I, measures to promote in-service training of foreign language teachers, the Community allocates block grants to the Member States, based on the total number of teachers, the number of young people between the ages of 10 and 21, per capita GDP in relation to the Community average and the geographical distance between Member States. The maximum grant per beneficiary is set at ECU 1,500. Support for establishments participating in programmes of European cooperation between in-service training establishments for foreign-language teachers may receive aid amounting annually to a maximum of ECU 25,000, usually for a three-year period.

Under Action 2, measures to promote the learning of foreign languages in universities and, in particular, to develop the initial training of foreign-language teachers, the following Community support is available:
- Establishments participating in inter-university cooperation programmes are able to receive support up to an annual maximum of ECU 25,000, usually for an estimated period of three years;
- Community grants are administered through the competent authorities designated by the Member States in the framework of the ERASMUS programme. These authorities may issue grants up to a maximum of ECU 5,000 to each student, on the basis of a stay abroad of one academic year and subject to a number of conditions;

Under Action 3, Community support for measures to promote knowledge of foreign languages used in work relations and in economic life, support does not normally exceed 50% of the total costs of approved projects (development of teaching materials and self-learning methods and the introduction of certificates).

- Under Action 4, measures to promote the development of exchanges for young people (normally between the ages of 16 and 25) undergoing professional, vocational and technical education, Community aid for exchanges does not normally exceed 50% of total costs (travel and programme). In a certain number of duly justified cases, the Community's contribution may cover up to 75% of the costs. Aid may also be provided for the operation of a scheme of preparatory visits prior to these exchanges in the establishments concerned. The average contribution will be ECU 500 per visit.

The Commission ensures that there is consistency and complementarity between the Community actions to be developed under the LINGUA programme and other Community programmes involving vocational training and the mobility and exchange of persons, notably the ERASMUS, COMETT, DELTA and "Youth for Europe" programmes and the third joint programme to encourage the exchange of young workers within the Community. The Commission is also responsible for maintaining contact, as appropriate, with international organizations active in this field, particularly the Council of Europe.

An annual report on the functioning and activities of the LINGUA programme is submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee, as well as the Education Committee.
Record Number: 489 / Last updated on: 2014-03-05