Researchers from the University of Groningen in The Netherlands have developed an online language game in which participants can test how well they understand a related language. By playing the game, participants both help with research on communication in Europe and have a chance to win one of a selection of great prizes (tablet, iPod etc.). 2,000 participants are required. Everybody can play the game – it doesn’t matter how old they are, which languages they speak, or what educational background they have.

You can participate by clicking on this link: http://www.micrela.nl/app

European Profiling Grid (EPG) looking for partners

The European Profiling Grid (EPG) project, partly funded by the European Commission, is looking for language teachers, teacher trainers, and managers of a school or a language centre to take part in the Europe-wide field-testing of the EPG grid.

This instrument was designed for teachers working in Europe in language centres and schools to help improve the quality and effectiveness of language training. It is “a tool for mapping and assessing language teacher competencies internationally. It contains sets of descriptors organised over six stages of professional experience as a language teacher (novice to very experienced) and summarises the main competencies of language teachers and the background in training and experience that would be expected at each stage”.

To find out more, go to the project website.

ALTE: Association of Language Testers in Europe

The Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE) was established in 1989 by the Universities of Cambridge and Salamanca to provide a European platform to accommodate the growing need for common standards in language testing as a result of developments in plurilingualism across the continent.

The organisation’s ‘initial aim was to establish common standards for language testing across Europe, thereby supporting multilingualism and helping preserve the rich linguistic heritage of Europe’ and to provide individual test takers with access to language qualifications that were a fair and accurate assessment of their linguistic ability, which were recognised around the world, and ‘which could be accurately compared to qualifications in other languages’.

ALTE now has 33 members, including some of the world’s leading language assessment bodies, and 40 institutional affiliates as well as several hundred individual affiliates.

To learn more about ALTE, their bi-annual conference (next: 21-23 November 2012, Goethe Institut, Munich), and about their summer courses for language testers, please follow the link to their website.

International Conference: Towards Plurilingualism

The 1st International Conference on Applied Linguistics to Language Teaching: Towards Plurilingualism will take place at Nebrija University (Department of Applied Linguistics) in Madrid, 28-30 September 2012. It will provide an opportunity for researchers and teachers, both experts and novices, to share the results of studies and didactic experiences.

Venue: Dehesa de la Villa campus in Madrid, Spain.
Registration deadline: 17 September 2012
To learn more about this event, click here.

European Union remains committed to multilingualism

A new post on the sociolinguistics research site ‘Language-on-the-Move’ discusses the findings of the new 2012 Eurobarometer ‘Europeans and their languages’, published last month. The report indicates that the European Union continues to value linguistic diversity and to promote multilingualism throughout its memberstates under the formula ‘national language, English, another language’.

However, there are some indications that the prominence of English has actually led to fewer languages being learned in some European countries, with the proportion of respondents who speak at least two languages having declined in some countries (Slovakia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary).

To read the full post on Language-on-the-Move, click here.