Europe And The Influence Of The European Union

The European Union is an economic and political brotherhood of states that was formed in 1993 ( Answers n.d. ) . Since its formation the brotherhood has expanded and now comprises 20 seven member provinces ( Britannica n.d. ) . Within these member states a entire figure of 20 three functionary linguistic communications are spoken ; this figure increasing invariably with the growing of the European Union ( European Commission 2009 ) . Despite the 20 three linguistic communications spoken, there are more than sixty autochthonal regional or minority communities throughout the European Union ( European Commission 2009 ) . As the sum of immigrants to the continent additions, the linguistic communications used in the European Union are go oning to germinate.

The European Union work hard to advance multilingualism, and on 1st January 2007 appointed a ‘European Commissioner for Multilingualism ‘ . Due to the fact that the European Union does n’t qualify a common policy, the influence is at that place to advance linguistic communications within the multiple instruction systems throughout the EU, promoting lingual diverseness and all citizens to talk two extra linguistic communications to their native linguistic communication. The work of the EU can be limited due to the member provinces ‘ duty to back up these aspirations.

In 2005 before the add-on of 3 member provinces, the EU claimed to hold spent a‚¬1,123 million on translating and interpretation fees entirely ; comparing to 1 % of the one-year general budget of the EU, or a‚¬2.28 per EU citizen ( Europa 2007 ) . Despite this figure being 5 old ages old and stand foring merely 20 member provinces, this shows the enormousness of the EU ‘s linguistic communications policies and the fundss required in order for the Union to work on a multilingual degree.

The European Commission completed research in 2005, printing their findings in 2006 in an article entitled ‘Europeans and their Languages ‘ ( Eurobarometer 2006 ) . In this article the European Commission claims that 56 % members of EU citizens speak at least one linguistic communication in add-on to their female parent lingua, with 28 % talking a lower limit of two foreign linguistic communications, 11 % speech production at least three extra linguistic communications and 44 % merely holding the ability to talk in one linguistic communication ( Eurobarometer 2006 ) . It is peculiarly interesting to observe that out of the five most outstanding linguistic communications in the EU, comma viz. English, German, French, Italian and Spanish, 54 % of the EU claim to talk English, 32 % German, 26 % Gallic, 16 % Italian, and 15 % Spanish ( Eurobarometer 2006 ) . Whilst French is the 3rd most spoken linguistic communication of the EU, it besides benefits from holding the three metropoliss whereby the European Union is located: colon Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg, in Gallic speech production districts.

However much Spanish has been considered a linguistic communication of the hereafter during recent old ages, it is apparent that English, French and German are still the taking linguistic communications in Europe, with German holding the highest sum of native talkers of a linguistic communication in Europe ( Eurobarometer 2006 ) . The European Commission categories English, German and Gallic as its three ‘procedural linguistic communications ‘ ( Europa 2007 ) . These linguistic communications hence, are used for most concern conducted internally, while the other 20 linguistic communications are merely by and large used for public information and communicating intents ( Europa 2007 ) . The European Parliament is nevertheless exempt from this and hence all 23 linguistic communications are invariably in usage ( Europa 2007 ) .

The figure of member provinces really exceeds the figure of linguistic communications spoken, as some linguistic communications are spoken in more than one state, such as Gallic in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, and German which is spoken in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. Adversely ( is this the right adverb? ) , English is considered a co-official linguistic communication in bi-lingual states such as Ireland and Malta, with Swedish besides being a co-official/bi-lingual linguistic communication in Finland. These linguistic communications are ‘co-official ‘ as the states do still hold their ain single linguistic communications ; Irish, Maltese and Finnish severally, alongside the secondary linguistic communication ( English/Swedish ) . This would non needfully be classed as diglossia, as these linguistic communications are wholly different, as opposed to being a local linguistic communication within the state, such as Galician in Spain, or Welsh in the UK. Interestingly, some linguistic communications such as Turkish and Luxembourgish are non considered official linguistic communications of the EU, despite being official linguistic communications in the states of Cyprus and Luxembourg ; both member provinces of the EU.

The European Commission, on the importance of linguistic communications and promoting lingual capablenesss, offers the followers by manner of sum-up:

The European Union recognises that linguistic communication and individuality are closely intertwined, and that linguistic communication is the most direct look of civilization. Language policies have hence been developed so that linguistic communication diverseness is respected, multilingualism is promoted and, if necessary, threatened linguistic communications are protected ( European Commission 2009 ) .

The ‘Common European Framework ‘ was introduced by the Council of Europe between 1989 and 1996 as portion of a undertaking “ Language Learning for European Citizenship ” ( Tool 2007 ) . The intent of the Common European Framework is to supply a common footing between member provinces of the EU to some extent to standardize the course of study guidelines and standards used to larn a Modern Foreign linguistic communication in order to pass on, and to present the cognition and accomplishments required to larn efficaciously, whilst besides leting the ‘elaboration of linguistic communications course of studies ‘ ( Council of Europe 2001 ) .

The CEF besides puts accent on the cultural context to guarantee that non merely the linguistic communication but the civilization of the linguistic communication is considered. The model identifies and defines degrees of proficiency in order for the scholar ‘s advancement to be measured ; this usher is as follows:

A1 Breakthrough Basic

A2 Waystage Speaker

B1 Threshold Independent

B2 Vantage Speaker

C1 Effective Operational Proficiency Proficient

C2 Mastery Speaker

( Council of Europe 2001 )

This system is going one of the most used systems in Europe now, with the British ‘GCSE ‘ and ‘Advanced degrees ‘ utilizing the CEF model every bit good as the Gallic ‘Brevet ‘ and ‘Baccalaureat ‘ .

Using the CEF, irrespective of the differences of instruction manners or backgrounds ensures that all the instruction systems within all member provinces of the EU can all work toward the same ends ( Council of Europe 2001 ) .

It is merely through a better cognition of European modern linguistic communications that it will be possible to ease communicating and interaction among Europeans of different female parent linguas in order to advance European mobility, common apprehension and co-operation, and overcome bias and favoritism ( Council of Europe 2001 ) .

As a agency of carry throughing this chief purpose, steps have been introduced in order to ease and accomplish this end. The primary purpose therefore is to guarantee that all member states ‘ populations have entree to geting the cognition of other members ‘ linguistic communications, besides including other communities within their state ( such as Galician, Basque and Catalan in Spain, where the chief official national linguistic communication is Castilian ) ( Council of Europe 2001 ) . The COE besides recognise the importance of developing accomplishments that will help linguistic communication larning ; such as communicating and accomplishments that are used in day-to-day environments, such as covering with daily concern in other states ( Council of Europe 2001 ) . The ability to interchange thoughts and information with people of different ages and different linguistic communications, comma pass oning ideas and feelings across, is strongly linked to the thought that by adding to your linguistic communication ability, this can offer a ‘wider and deeper ‘ apprehension of your manner of life and understand and develop ‘forms of idea ‘ on other people and their cultural heritage ( the sentence structure of this sentence could be improved ) ( Council of Europe 2001 ) .

The EU is slightly limited in its ability to enforce legislative assembly on the member provinces. Whilst the Council of Europe can exercise a great influence on how linguistic communication is used and implicated in the EU, it is the duty of the single states to implement their ain policies and interact within the European Union. The Council of Europe works alongside the European Cultural Convention, ( founded in 1954 ) , following their model to advance lingual diverseness and linguistic communication acquisition in instruction ( Council of Europe 2010 ) .

There are a figure of administrations deserving adverting that impact on linguistic communication acquisition in European states. First, the ‘Language Policy Division ‘ in Strasbourg which is merely one section within the Council of Europe, who implement these linguistic communication policies, with a peculiar involvement in activities and tools that can ‘support policy development ‘ ( sentence structure of this sentence needs bettering ) ( Council of Europe n.d. ) . Second, The European Centre for Modern Languages in Austria, yet another section working under the umbrella of the Council of Europe work closely with the Language Policy Division, which concentrates on policy execution ( Council of Europe 2010 ) . Finally, the ‘European Centre for Regional or Minority Languages ‘ ( ECML ) , a ‘unique Council of Europe convention ‘ , is dedicated to the protection and publicity of Regional and Minority languages in mundane life ( Council of Europe 2010 ) .

Chapter Two:

Study of English policy.

At present, the compulsory age at which kids are to have an instruction in England is from 5 old ages to 16 old ages old ( DirectGov 2008 ) . Children start school in ‘Reception ‘ ( normally at the beginning of the academic twelvemonth, nevertheless it is non mandatory until the kid ‘s fifth birthday ) . They are so able to go forth school after the completion of their GCSEs in twelvemonth 11, at the age of 16 ( DirectGov 2008 ) . The Government recognises that the current strategy is no longer effectual, as “ merely about eight in 10 stay on in some signifier of instruction or preparation ” ( DirectGov 2008 ) . From 2013 the Government will present a new act whereby the compulsory age will increase from 16 old ages, up to 17 old ages of age ( DirectGov 2008 ) . This does non needfully hold to intend go oning surveies full-time in secondary school or college but can include apprenticeships, every bit long as they work or volunteer more than 20 hours per hebdomad ( DirectGov 2008 ) . After the rise to 17 old ages in 2013, the Government will increase the mandatory age to 18 old ages as the 2nd and concluding phase of the Act. This shall go on in 2015 ( DirectGov 2008 ) .

In the English secondary instruction system there are several different types of educational constitution, notably the comprehensive school, grammar school, specialist school, academy and the independent school. The comprehensive school is without doubt the most common school ; all pupils of all abilities can go to the comprehensive school, whereas the grammar school requires an ’11 plus ‘ trial in order to run into the entry demands. By implementing these trials the school can take towards supplying an instruction to students of a higher ability, theoretically keeping an elevated ( superior ) criterion over comprehensive schools. Specialist schools receive approved ‘specialist ‘ position in certain capable Fieldss ; the schools frequently focus on these topics and receive Government support in order for them to farther develop their specialism in the field. Academies are a more recent add-on to the instruction system. Normally replacing neglecting schools, academies are funded by private companies but still maintain the National Curriculum and run in a similar manner to province schools. These province of the art academies besides explore more modern learning methods and can divert from the norm course of study where necessary. Finally, independent schools are wholly private ; the parents of the child wage fees for their kid ‘s instruction. These schools work every bit private concerns efficaciously, and are exempt from following the National Curriculum. Independent schools are frequently associated with more esteemed households as the cost of a private instruction is really steep compared with a province instruction.

Under the Education Reform Act in 1988, the National Curriculum was formed, along with ‘Key Stages ‘ ( DCSF 2010 ) . These Key phases denote groups, harmonizing to age scope, in order for students to be assessed more easy and more significantly to standardize and implement a set course of study, guaranting schools are run intoing the national demands set by the Government. The following tabular array shows the dislocation of the Key Stages within the National Curriculum ‘s instruction system.

Cardinal Stage ( KS )

School Year




( where necessary )

EYFS ( Early Years Foundation Stage )



Infant School


KS 1

Y1, Y2


Primary/ Infant

Y2 – Saturday

KS 2

Y3, Y4, Y5, Y6


Primary/ Junior

Y6 – Saturday

KS 3

Y7, Y8, Y9



Y9 – Saturday

KS 4

Y10, Y11



General certificate of secondary education

Sixth signifier

Post-16 instruction

Post-compulsory instruction

KS 5 ( Unofficial )

Y12, Y13


Sixth signifier: School/ College

A Levels: Y12 – AS ( Advanced Subsidiary )

Y13 – A2 ( Advanced )

( DirectGov n.d. )

As mentioned above, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are sometimes separated into Infant and Junior schools, but it is more common to hold both Key Stages together as one primary school. Likewise, Year 6, 7 and 8 are sometimes separated from Primary and Secondary schools to organize Middle Schools ; this nevertheless is non representative of the general apparatus of the Primary and Secondary instruction system. It is besides deserving observing that Key Stages are merely implemented in ‘maintained ‘ schools ( DirectGov n.d. ) . Independent schools need non adhere to the National Curriculum, therefore the Key Stages are irrelevant to them ( DirectGov n.d. ) . This once more, does non by and large represent the bulk of the English system, as most students attend ‘maintained ‘ or ‘state ‘ schools as opposed to in private funded independent schools. is the UK Government ‘s digital service, which provides ‘information and practical advice ‘ on all public services ( DirectGov n.d. ) . DirectGov defines the National Curriculum on its site as ‘a model for all maintained schools to utilize ‘ . This will ‘ensure that acquisition and instruction remains balanced and consistent ‘ across the wide spectrum of schools countrywide ( DirectGov n.d. ) . Whilst schools are given the freedom over the administration and bringing of the instruction within their ain establishment, ( accommodating this to the peculiar demands of their students and of the constitution ) , they are still bound by guidelines modulating the quality and content of their instruction ( DirectGov n.d. ) . The guidelines regulate a minimal sum of topics that schools must learn ; these differ somewhat harmonizing to the different cardinal phases ( DirectGov n.d. ) . The patterned advance and attainment of kids in each topic is recorded and monitored by schools, who besides receive marks and are monitored themselves on the overall public presentation of the school, besides being compared with other schools nationally by Governmental bureaus such as QCDA ( Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency ) ( DirectGov n.d. ) . These marks can assist instructors fix and alter stuffs harmonizing to students ‘ degree of attainment ( DirectGov n.d. ) . The National Curriculum besides stipulates the ‘knowledge, accomplishments and understanding ‘ that is required to be learned by students in every topic studied ; once more to guarantee that the criterion of learning corresponds nationally.

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority ( QCA ) , ( now known as the QCDA ) foremost published the current primary course of study in 1999 ( QCDA n.d. ) . Under this course of study the instruction of linguistic communications is non mandatory in either Key Stage one or two. The Government have now developed a new primary course of study which shall be implemented from September 2011. Under this new model, kids will see a new course of study fixing them for the “ chances and challenges of life in the 21st century ” ( QCDA n.d. ) . As a portion of this new policy, it will be a statutory demand for all kids aged from seven to eleven to larn at least one Modern Foreign Language in province instruction ( QCDA n.d. ) . The debut of this new policy does present many challenges to primary schools that are now put under force per unit area to guarantee that learning staff are sufficiently trained to learn a Modern Foreign Language. For the bulk, Gallic shall be the chief linguistic communication taught to Key Stage two students countrywide. However many other linguistic communications such as Spanish, German and Polish will besides be taught, depending on the background of the teaching staff and pupils of the school. At this minute at that place have non been any guidelines saying the lower limit or maximal continuance of learning clip to be spent on linguistic communications, so long as it is practised a lower limit of one time per hebdomad.

Many schools have already started to fix for this passage by presenting linguistic communications to their lessons, frequently from twelvemonth 3 ( KS2 ) . By presenting these lessons earlier than the day of the month of the statutory execution in 2011, the schools have the chance to develop teaching staff and introduce linguistic communication learning with easiness, alternatively of an ‘overnight ‘ debut. Secondary school linguistic communication instructors have had a batch of engagement and have assisted greatly in the preparation of primary staff. The authorities have non revealed any specific appraisal programs for linguistic communications in Key Stage two ; therefore it is likely that merely ongoing schoolroom appraisals will be carried out on primary students. The Cardinal Stage two course of study stipulates students should larn basic vocabulary and general conversation such as debuts and simple inquiries and replies. The QCDA provinces that languages in primary instruction will advance an “ active engagement in cultural life, society, work and womb-to-tomb acquisition ” , ( QCDA n.d. ) . Get downing linguistic communication larning four old ages earlier than the predating course of study is doubtless traveling to better national linguistic communication acquisition criterions as ; when students enter Key Stage three, they will no longer necessitate to get down at a complete novice ‘s degree. Having four old ages of experience in the linguistic communication already, high schools should detect a considerable leap in ability. This said ( rephrase: excessively conversational ) . ; whilst the instruction methods could alter closer to the debut of the new course of study, at the present minute, any linguistic communication instruction in primary is being based on a simplified format of Key Stage three, hence Key Stage three may necessitate re-development in the linguistic communications field to provide with the displacement in capableness that will be happening over the approaching old ages.

It is deserving observing besides, the usage of ‘SATs ‘ in primary instruction. The Standard Assessment Tests ( SATs ) , are agencies of analyzing Key Stage 1,2 and 3 students, at the terminal of each Key Stage, being twelvemonth 2, 6 and 9 severally ( DirectGov n.d. , SATs Guide n.d. ) . SATs used to measure three topics: English, mathematics and scientific discipline ; nevertheless scientific discipline has now been removed from the appraisals after ailments from schools over the sum of emphasis and force per unit area these tests put on the instructors and the students. The Mirror reported on 17th April 2010 that two teacher brotherhoods have confirmed their support of a national boycott of the SATs exams which should be taking topographic point on the 10th May, merely four yearss after the 2010 General Elections ( Mirror 2010 ) . The general consensus on SATs exams is that they should be abolished wholly, along with national conference tabular arraies ( Mirror 2010 ) . The Government ‘s online information site ‘ ‘ already refers to the SATs trials as ‘National Curriculum instructor appraisals and cardinal phase trials ‘ ( DirectGov n.d. ) . Mentioning to SATs under different footings surely implies that they are seeking to ‘rebrand ‘ the SATs under a different name or that they are forbearing from popularizing this name any farther. The late introduced ‘Assessing Pupil Progress ( APP ) system may good replace the SATs at some point in the hereafter, but this system, based on changeless monitoring of students ‘ work alternatively of concluding tests is non likely to be introduced in the close hereafter as the Government have non confirmed any programs, and the hereafter of the SATS trials is still unsure, despite its unpopularity.

Within secondary instruction, it is a compulsory demand for students to larn a linguistic communication at Key Stage 3 degree, i.e. between the ages of 11-14, or twelvemonth 7 to twelvemonth 9. It is non mandatory to larn a linguistic communication at any point after this clip as students enter Key Stage 4 ; two old ages whereby they will analyze the General Certificate of Secondary Education ( GCSE ) . Whilst it is non mandatory to larn a linguistic communication after Key Stage 3, some schools may take a firm stand that all pupils continue at least one linguistic communication at GCSE degree, particularly if the school has specialist linguistic communication school position.

The current secondary course of study for cardinal phases 3 and 4 was published in 2007 by the QCA, and was implemented from September 2008. This is the first clip that the secondary course of study has been designed for England entirely ( QCDA, n.d. ) . The QCDA claims that this course of study was developed to raise criterions in schools, guaranting that scholars can cover with the challenges presented to them in 21st century society ( QCDA, n.d. ) .

Within the programme of survey for Key Stage 3 and 4, four ‘key constructs ‘ are provided to organize a footing on which to develop linguistic communication accomplishments. ‘Linguistic competency ‘ practises the four chief accomplishments ; listening, speech production, reading and composing, enabling scholars to pass on efficaciously ( QCDA, n.d. ) . ‘Knowledge about the linguistic communication ‘ encourages pupils to develop the accomplishments necessary in order to grok a linguistic communication, leting them to place similarities and differences in which they can pull strings to help their ability ( QCDA, n.d. ) . The construct of ‘Creativity ‘ explores the imaginativeness and look of the scholar, utilizing their current vocabulary as a agency of conveying a point particular to a subject or a relevant context ( QCDA n.d. ) . ‘Intercultural understanding ‘ meanwhile, references and values the being of other civilizations worldwide and the perceptual experiences these may keep ( QCDA n.d. ) .

The linguistic communications available to analyze in secondary school are normally Gallic, Spanish and German, but at that place has been a immense addition in other linguistic communications both being learned and offered in secondary schools ( Boyd 2001: 13 ) . Until the debut of the current course of study, schools had to offer at least one functionary working linguistic communication of the European Union, and any other linguistic communication could be offered after, whereas the new course of study relaxes this regulation and permits any linguistic communication to be taught so long as it is supported by the National Curriculum model ( Boyd 2001: 13 ) .

Whilst SATs are completed at the terminal of Key Stage 3 or twelvemonth 9, the two most important tests are the General Certificate of Secondary Education ( GCSE ) for Key Stage 4, and the General Certificate of Education Advanced Level ( A Level ) for students in post-compulsory instruction.

GCSEs are the chief making that the bulk of the English population achieve before the terminal of their mandatory instruction ; a student at school full clip would anticipate to analyze about 10 GCSEs over the continuance of two academic old ages. These makings are by and large a pre-requisite to most businesss and peculiarly for the patterned advance on to the A degree. Comprised of survey, coursework and tests, normally at the terminal of the 2 twelvemonth class, many GCSEs topics are altering the course of study to replace coursework with ‘controlled appraisals ‘ , in order to cut down the force per unit area and guarantee that plagiarism is better controlled within the instruction system ( DirectGov n.d. )

When taking to analyze the A degree, students can choose to either remain in school in ‘sixth signifier ‘ or attend community college, otherwise known as 6th signifier college. The A degree is divided by the two old ages it takes to accomplish the making ; the first twelvemonth is known as the ‘Advanced Subsidiary ‘ , where pupils normally study 4 topics, and the 2nd twelvemonth being the A2 ; pupils normally stop analyzing one topic to concentrate on three topics at this point, this 2nd twelvemonth so completes the A degree. Much guess has prevailed over recent old ages due to the supposed short hereafter for the A degree. The truth in fact is that the A degree was originally established in 1951 ( Young, M.F 1998: 117 ) , and has hence become an antediluvian making that, comma despite holding been re-developed in 2000 to integrate the AS degree ; measure uping the base on balls of the first twelvemonth of A degrees ( demands paraphrasing ) ( Davis 2001 ) . When the A degree was introduced merely 3 in every 100 really chose to finish the A degree, compared to the modern twenty-four hours statistics that province that the A degree rises each and every twelvemonth, and that many A degrees are efficaciously deemed useless as many topics are now considered ‘soft ‘ by top UK universities, and hence pupils holding chosen these topics are frequently disregarded from the application procedure of many universities ; a great concern when sing that university is the usual patterned advance path after the A degree ( Clark 2008 ) . Taking into consideration that all A flat pupils presently opt to analyze, as this is non mandatory, it is of import that the Government assess the hereafter of this making. With the impending debut of mandatory instruction until the age of 18, the force per unit area to develop the A degree is going more intense. The growing of the International Baccalaureat ( an equivalent making whereby a peculiar group of topics is studied, dependant on the pupil ‘s chosen way alternatively of single topics this parenthesis is excessively long ) ) in England has suggested that it could act upon the English be the hereafter of our instruction ( intending non clear ) , but there is no likeliness of this happening any clip shortly.

It is deserving adverting some governmental organic structures that besides play of import functions in the English instruction system.

First, Local Education Authorities ( LEAs ) ; although these frequently go unnoticed due to the National Curriculum and the cardinal control of the instruction system by the Government, the LEAs do play an highly important portion, comma peculiarly in the administrative sense of instruction. The state is divided into many LEAs, and it is these divisions that control the finance, enlisting and allotment of students for each province operated school within its legal power. Local Education Governments have a batch of engagement with higher instruction and pupil support.

The Office for Standards in Education ( Ofsted ) is a ‘non-ministerial Governmental section ‘ ( Parliament 2007 ) that was established in 1992 to ‘inspect and modulate to accomplish excellence ‘ , both in child-care, attention of immature people and more normally in instruction environments ( Ofsted n.d. ) . This regulative organic structure ensures that all constitutions run into the national demands and have the power to implement rigorous steps on schools, even the ability to close-down the constitution if perfectly necessary.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families ( DCSF ) is a major Governmental section, created in 2007 from the former DfES ; Department for Education and Skills ( DCSF n.d. ) . The DCSF provinces that for the first clip, due to its alteration from the DfES it now incorporates ‘children, immature people and their households ‘ together under the same section ( DCSF n.d. ) . The function of the section is to ‘lead the whole web of people ‘ whose work relates to kids and immature people, including all schools in the province instruction system ( DCSF n.d. ) .

Finally, The Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency ( QCDA ) , once known as the QCA or the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, develop the course of study and devise scrutinies, invariably bettering the national instruction model and maintaining the English instruction system as one of the most esteemed and respected in the universe ( QCDA 2010 )