Knowledge of language is widely recognised to be integral to the successful social and economic integration of immigrants. This is evidenced by the growing trend among EU Member States to arrange language courses for newly arrived immigrants. In 2012 the OECD noted that language training is the single most important expenditure related to integration that is directly targeted at immigrants. It is against this backdrop that the EWSI Editorial Committee has decided to take a closer look at language courses for adult immigrants in the EU.
This topic was also inspired by the European Day of Languages on 26 September, the purpose of which is educating, informing and raising awareness among the public at large about plurilingual and intercultural education issues. Its aims are to:
- alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
- promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered;
- encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for the purposes of mobility or just for pleasure and exchanges.