Publié le 15/12/03 14:09 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00
Welsh Language Board to develop work of European language boards
by Dafydd Meirion
There will be closer co-operation between members of the Network of European Language Boards over the next few years after the Welsh Language Board received a grant of almost €200,000 from the European Commission to develop the work of the Network.
The project will last two years and four specific areas will be studied: transferring the language within the family, information technology and communications, marketing, and immersion education.
The Welsh Language Board will employ a project manager to run the scheme and the work will include a number of meetings, a closing conference and four websites, corresponding to the four main areas of work. The project manager will be responsible for the financial management of the scheme and the arranging of meetings for professionals in linguistic matters in various countries where they will see examples of good practice. For example, they will be invited to Wales to see the Twf project at work. This scheme tries to persuade parents to transfer the language to their children, and includes distributing leaflets to mothers in maternity units drawing their attention to the advantages of speaking the language.
Only two projects on minority languages received grants to fulfil the Commission’s Action Plan on Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity, and the €200,000 awarded to the Welsh Language Board will enable the Network to develop a structure to encourage European countries to work together in the future to strengthen the various minority languages.
In 2001, the Welsh Language Board played an integral role in the setting up of the Network of European Language Boards, bringing representatives from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Friesland and Finland together.
'We are delighted that we’ve managed to secure a grant for developing the Network in Europe,' says Meirion Prys Jones, deputy chief executive of the Welsh Language Board and chief executive designate. 'Meetings held in recent years have been extremely informative, and an excellent opportunity to share good practice on topics such as language transmission, marketing, information technology and education. With so much work being done in the language planning area across Europe, it is vitally important that we work together on a European level, and this money – and the project manager responsible for the work – will be a major asset to the Network and to language boards in all areas of Europe.'
The Welsh Language Board hopes to fill the post of project manager internally and interviews will be held in the next few days. The project will start in January 2004