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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This com- munication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Rationale

The fundamental goal of the project EU-EVERYPLACE is to develop learning materials for the learning of less-widely used languages, combined with targeted intercultural elements to enhance communication competences amongst the staff of SME organisations (small and medium enterprises) operating in cross-cultural environments, and for students on exchange programmes in areas where English is not commonly spoken.  Such a learning programme will be delivered online, will be free to use, and will be intrinsically and contextually linked to the authentic communication settings of small, less-widely visited towns.
It is based on the following rationale.:

  • EU Strategic Framework for Education and Training sees communication in foreign languages as one of the key competences in lifelong learning.  
  • Small and medium enterprises identify communication barriers as being linked to export performance, and acknowledge the importance of foreign language competences within HR development strategies, and in determining the location of international subsidiaries.  These competences are decisive factors during recruitment processes and are becoming more widely identified as key skills for the future.  A lack of foreign language capacity is seen as having a restrictive effect on the internationalisation of SMEs.
  • Students are often competent in the English language, but are restricted when their exchange programmes take them to areas where English is not widely spoken


Initial research also found a huge willingness amongst EU citizens to improve foreign language skills, although a lack of language learning resources in the user’s native language is seen as a significant barrier.

The project EU-EVERYPLACE seeks to employ the contextually rich environment of these less widely-visited places, thus showcasing EU small and medium towns, using them as a disseminating carrier.