New Directions in Languages: the UK and Europe

Date: 1 February, 2002
Location: CILT, London
Event type: Seminar

Event report

Report by Paula Davis

The aim of this seminar was to disseminate and obtain feedback on the work of the European Language Council's Thematic Network Project in the Area of Languages (TNP2) . The three sub-projects within TNP2 have produced national reports on curriculum innovation, new learning environments and quality enhancement throughout Europe. The seminar focused on the three UK national reports and placed recent UK developments in the context of changes in the area of languages across Europe.

The day was divided into four sessions, beginning with an overview of the TNP, the Bologna Process and the TUNING Project from Wolfgang Mackiewicz, President of the ELC. The remaining three sessions were devoted to presentations from the UK representatives on the three TNP2 Scientific Committees and discussion of the issues raised. Obtaining feedback on the UK national reports was an integral aim of the seminar, and discussions will feed back into the on-going work of the Thematic Network Project.

This report summarises the presentations given by the guest speakers:

  • Wolfgang Mackiewicz, Freie Universitt Berlin
  • Mike Kelly, Director of the Subject Centre for Languages Linguistics and Area Studies*
  • Marina Mozzon-McPherson, University of Hull
  • Elisabeth Lillie, University of Ulster

* Unfortunately, Ian Wallace from the University of Bath was unable to attend due to illness so Mike Kelly took his place.


Mike Kelly welcomed participants to the seminar. He highlighted the fact that although there have been a lot of recent developments and pressure for change in the UK and the rest of Europe, even normally well-briefed people seem unaware of important initiatives such as the Bologna Process. This seminar was a modest step in addressing this lack of awareness.

Background to TNP2, the Bologna Process and the TUNING Project

Wolfgang Mackiewicz, President of the ELC, Freie Universitt Berlin.

What are TNPs?

Wolfgang Mackiewicz began by providing a general background to Thematic Network Projects (TNPs). TNPs in the area of education were first introduced into the Socrates-Erasmus programme in 1996. They are cooperation projects with a maximum lifespan of three years and involve university faculties, departments or whole universities, academic and professional associations and other partners.

TNPs aim to:

  • define a "European dimension" (i.e. what we have in common) in their area or field;
  • address the disconnection of higher education programmes from research developments and changing needs in non-academic environments. This involves proper dialogue between academic and non-academic departments.
  • work out recommendations and strategies and bring about improvements and innovations in higher education;
  • disseminate recommendations and strategies so that they have a lasting and widespread impact. The TNPs are product-orientated think tanks and not just talking shops. Their principal aim is to make concrete recommendations leading to action.

Each TNP is devoted to a specific theme, e.g. a specific academic discipline, an interdisciplinary theme or a horizontal theme.

What is "the area of languages?"

The Thematic Network Project in the Area of Languages is a policy-driven rather than discipline-driven definition. The two cornerstones of the project are:

  • the promotion of multilingual and multicultural competence and of linguistic and cultural diversity are of crucial importance to European integration and to life and work in the EU. This is the political foundation stone on which the activities of the TNPs are built;
  • Higher education has crucial responsibilities in this respect.

The area of languages refers to all higher education programmes, portions of programmes, and offerings relevant to the transmission of linguistic and cultural knowledge and skills, and to language mediation.

The typology of the TNP in the Area of Languages includes:

  • modern language degree programmes;
  • teacher education;
  • postgraduate programmes and offerings;
  • combined programmes (combining a language with a non-language subject);
  • translation and interpreting (including the training of trainers);
  • subject specialist language students;
  • general language study for non-language students;
  • preparation and support for mobility.


In 1994-5, the SIGMA Scientific Committee on Languages defined the area and developed the TNP methodology, which is to describe and analyse the status quo, identify new needs, make proposals for new orientations/activities, synthesise and disseminate. The emphasis is very much on reflection leading to action. SIGMA countries - the EU member states plus Switzerland and Norway - produced national reports in which each author looked at needs at institutional, national and European levels and made recommendations. They then identified common needs and recommendations.

TNP1 ran from 1996 to 1999. Its aim was to bring about reorientation in higher education programmes and provision. There were nine sub-projects devoted to themes deemed particularly relevant - multilingualism, interculturalism, new technologies, post-graduate studies, teacher education, translation and interpreting, students of other disciplines, dictionaries and testing. TNP1 involved 130 experts from 120 higher education institutions in the production of national and subject reports. They identified strengths and weaknesses in existing policies, programmes and modes of delivery, made recommendations, and prepared and launched European projects, e.g. TALLENT, DIALANG and MAs in Applied Language Study, Multilingual Education and Conference Interpreting. The work of TNP1 was disseminated at workshops, conferences and publications. However, there were problems of fragmentation and although TNP1 had its own web site, there were dissemination problems.

TNPD - the project for the exploitation and dissemination of TNP1 results and outcomes ran from 1999 to 2000. It involved universities from all participating countries (including central and eastern Europe) as well as university associations, employers and student organisations. Results were synthesised under two broad themes of languages/mobility/citizenship and language studies for professional life. The report will be published later in the year and will be available on the TNPD project web-site

Aims and activities of TNP2
3 sub-themes

TNP2 contains three sub-themes, each with its own sub-project and Scientific Committee - on Curriculum Innovation, New Learning Environments and Quality Enhancement. Why these three sub-themes? -

  • there is a recognition that things are happening in Curriculum Innovation in Europe. There are some interesting initiatives but thought needs to be given on how to apply them generally;
  • there are rapid developments in New Learning Environments and TNP1 did not examine what is happening in terms of exploiting changing human resources in HE institutions;
  • The UK is the only member state where language learning and teaching is looked at from a quality point of view. Other countries do look at quality but not in the area of languages where there are no specific quality criteria. The important aspects to quality are: how does what we do relate to academic and non-academic needs, how do we develop a dialogue between the two, and how do we ensure quality of provision to achieve learning outcomes?

3 horizontal issues
In order to link the three sub-projects, three horizontal themes were introduced:

  • universities as actors in lifelong learning (ensuring consistent learning paths from early years through to post-university education);
  • elevance of language studies to employability;
  • the European dimension.

National reports written by the three Scientific Committees have fed into synthesis reports from which initial sets of recommendations and examples of good practice will be drawn. This will be followed by consultation with TNP partners and other stakeholders who will be asked to use a scale of 1 to 4 to evaluate the recommendations. A shorter questionnaire will then be sent to ministries and professional associations. From the consultation process, a revised set of recommendations will be derived, leading to workshops and in Year Three (the final year of the project), core curricula, frameworks and project proposals.

How does TNP2 relate to the Bologna/Prague/Berlin Process?

The Bologna Declaration and the Prague Communiqu address European integration in the field of higher education through the creation of a European higher education area by 2010. This will include:

  • a system of easily readable and comparable degrees enabling people to achieve academic and professional recognition across Europe. Students will obtain a diploma supplement which, unlike the present degree certificate, will show what they have actually done;
  • a system based on two main cycles (with the 1st degree being relevant to the European labour market);
  • a system of credits (ECTS) - there is a need to think about how language achievement outside the degree system can be acknowledged within this credits system;
  • promotion of mobility - how do we prepare for it and how do we acknowledge achievement when people return from their time abroad?
  • European cooperation in quality assurance - there is a need to agree upon a common European framework and a series of commonly acknowledged and recognised mechanisms;
  • promotion of the European dimension (e.g. modules, courses of study and degree curricula offered in partnership with institutions from different countries);
  • lifelong learning including how we can prepare students for language learning after university.

The Tuning Pilot Project - a university response to the political challenge

Tuning Educational Structures in Europe is a response to Bologna on the part of universities from EU member states and the EEA. It covers seven key subject areas: Business, Education Sciences, Geology, History, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry and 5 synergy areas (taken from the TNPs): Engineering, Veterinary Science, Medicine, Law and Languages. There are four lines of activity:

  • learning outcomes in terms of general and subject specific skills. Questionnaires circulated among graduates and employers highlighted discrepancies between universities, students and employers. Intercultural and interpersonal skills as well as skills in other languages are rated very highly by employers and students but graduates do not have these skills to the extent required. The questionnaire results will soon be on the Web
  • knowledge, core curricula and content, i.e. what skills do we want people to acquire?
  • ECTS as an accumulation system (related to level and learning outcomes);
  • methods of teaching and learning, assessment and performance - crucial for European cooperation.

The documentation must be transparent, show what has been achieved and how it has been assessed.

Questions and issues arising from Wolfgang Mackiewicz's presentation
Concern was expressed about the apparent Euro centricity of the TNP with little emphasis on non-European languages. Wolfgang Mackiewicz agreed that other languages including regional and immigrant ones are important but that there is a need to prioritise. The TNP is following a European agenda where secondary legislation states we should have language capability in our mother tongue plus two community languages.

A question was asked about the role of the Common European Framework. Wolfgang Mackiewicz agreed that there is a need to have some kind of common system and that the Common European Framework is a basis on which to build (e.g. Dialang is based on the framework). The European Language Council is currently developing the European Language Portfolio for language learning in the higher education sector.

Curriculum Innovation

Mike Kelly, Director of the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

Mike Kelly's presentation placed Ian Wallace's UK national report on Curriculum Innovation (download report) in the European context. He began by saying that the way we think of our programmes in the UK is somewhat parochial. The introductory section of the national report contains a lot of information that is well known in the UK but which is interesting to other countries. One of the main issues in the UK is the serious decline in numbers taking traditional language degrees. If the English language is taken out of the equation, a similar decline is happening elsewhere, e.g. the decline of German in France and vice versa. Problems that we think are specific to the UK are part of a much broader problem and we can get ideas from practices in other countries to help us deal with these problems. The UK is not alone in its reaction to Bologna and some countries are complacent in believing they already meet the Bologna requirements. Changes in social, political, cultural and professional environments are common across Europe, e.g. issues of globalisation, employability and lifelong learning.

Innovations in language degree programmes offered by universities

There is a difference between traditional and alternative language programmes. Traditional programmes are philology oriented and involve the study of literature and the language required to support that study. In many countries, the social and aspirational content of traditional programmes differentiate them from alternative programmes and they also have different characteristics. There are identity problems in the UK - traditional language programmes attract a more middle-class student body and the expectation is that they lead to a teaching career (which in the main is not the case in the UK but is true in 80-90% of cases abroad). In the UK, there has been a lot of imaginative content modification but the identity crisis is sharpening with the decrease in student numbers. Alternative programmes look to a more applied if not vocational route, particularly in combined honours degrees such as Law and a Language. Alternative programmes have developed because they are targeted at identifiable careers that prove attractive to students. With the employability agenda, this will become a more serious focus and we need to give more serious reflection to careers outcomes when devising programmes. There is good careers advice provision in the UK (through university careers advisers) but this is not common throughout Europe.

Innovations in the training of language teachers

Mike Kelly referred to the grant he has been awarded to carry out research into teacher training throughout Europe. The research report will contain examples of good practice together with recommendations. There are some good examples of innovation in this area in the UK where necessity has been the mother of invention. The acute shortage of language teachers in schools has caused people to think hard when drawing up various schemes. The solution to the shortage is a European one, not a national one. We need to encourage nationals of other European countries to do their teacher training in the UK and to teach in our schools.

Innovations in the training of translators and interpreters

This area was covered in TNP1 and the recommendations from TNP1 are still robust and relevant, so TNP2 has not paid a great deal of attention to it. Many people mistakenly expect graduates with language degrees to enter a career in translating or interpreting. However, these fields are becoming more differentiated, more high-tech and more specialised, so it is difficult to see how a general language degree can provide the necessary training.

Innovations in language provision for students of other disciplines

Within this area there are two sorts of provision. There is the "with" degree where languages play a 25% role and support the international perspective, e.g. in science, engineering or law. Then there are the accredited optional courses, e.g. Institution-wide Language Programmes (IWLPs). This whole area, unlike specialist language degrees, is a pretty buoyant one in the UK and is growing at a rate of approximately 5-10% a year (although accurate figures are hard to come by). There is a huge amount of curriculum innovation in this area although paradoxically it is traditionally the least well-funded area and has a high proportion of temporary staff. These circumstances have provided an incentive to be innovative in order to attract students. Again, as with teacher training, necessity is the mother of innovation and real needs have led to a "can do", non-complacent attitude. There has been some response in other countries, not all of which respond to market forces to the same extent. The ability to change and respond is highly valued and this area of language teaching and learning is prepared to engage more in social and political issues. The market is thinnest when it comes to providing support for mobile students (and continuing education). We would like to help mobile students more but lack the necessary funding.

Innovations in language studies in continuing education

In continuing education, a huge amount has been done in the past but higher education now finds itself in competition with commercial companies. There is already a lot of private provision, e.g. languages for business. In some countries, private provision is widespread, e.g. in Greece. We need to ask ourselves whether or not we want this business.

Questions and issues arising from Mike Kelly's presentation

One of the workshop participants expressed reservations about the term "alternative programmes". Wolfgang Mackiewicz pointed out that the majority of European programmes are "traditional". Alternative programmes refer to an attempt to incorporate additions to languages. He agreed that there is a need for clear definition in order to avoid misunderstanding.

Concern was expressed about the selective nature of good practice. Mike Kelly responded that the report is partial as it is drawn from Ian Wallace's own experience but that we are keen to add further examples of good practice. Elisabeth Lillie added that she had sent an email to the Subject Centre mailing list requesting information on examples of good practice but had received little response. Wolfgang Mackiewicz highlighted a need to be clearer when telling colleagues about the project and its intended outcomes, and hopefully this will encourage them to contribute. Examples of good practice show that recommendations can be achieved and that they can be transferred to our own situation. The report is not totally representative and we are asking for examples of good practice in order to give people ideas. There is no limit to the number of examples we can offer and people are invited to suggest further examples via email to

A question was asked about the current status of the document and its publication date. The UK national reports are currently on the Subject Centre website and will eventually appear on the TNP2 website alongside the other national reports and three synthesis reports. The Scientific Committee for Curriculum Innovation expect that about twenty of their reports will be finished in the next few weeks but this is not the case for the other two groups on New Learning Environments and Quality Enhancement. Even after publication on the Web, the reports can be updated and revised to add examples of good practice. The three synthesis reports will also be published in hard copy in three languages - English, French and German.

Concern was expressed about repetition in the report and the question was raised as to whether the analysis is deep enough and whether it needs to show more understanding of the market. Although some universities are doing well, others are going under and some innovative institutions and courses have disappeared, e.g. at North London, Middlesex, Thames Valley and East London. Two of the participants expressed the opinion that the picture painted in the national report is too rosy as UK institutions are facing more and more competition. They queried the source of the figures which show an increase in numbers as many institutions are not experiencing buoyant demand. Other participants disagreed, e.g. at Westminster the market is improving particularly in the area of languages with other disciplines and a similar picture is emerging at the University of North London where the programme structure, which enables all students to have one free module per semester, has led to an increase in numbers doing languages. Wolfgang Mackiewicz pointed out that at the Freie Universitt, demand for language learning (in all languages) is currently outstripping supply. Mike Kelly confirmed that in the UK there is not a demand for traditional language programmes but there is a strong demand for IWLPs. Marina Mozzon-McPherson added that students coming to the UK from the rest of Europe want to learn other languages besides English, hence provision is increasing.

Many participants had not heard of the Bologna Process before the seminar. Wolfgang Mackiewicz summarised the impact of Bologna in Germany, where it took two years for the declaration to filter through to the regions, and the challenge it posed in terms of structure. In Germany, universities have to negotiate a contract with the government in order to obtain funding and this contract includes ECTS credits, mobility, quality assurance and internationalisation. All degree programmes must be taught in the target language, all students must do one module of English, all students must have the opportunity to learn other languages for which they are accredited, and credits are also awarded for language learning outside university. Students did not like these changes initially but they are beginning to see the benefits. In Germany, there is a political incentive where the directive has come from above. Mike Kelly expressed concern that the UK is not taking any notice of Bologna (and the Sorbonne declaration that came before it). There is a fear that this complacency will kill competitiveness as other European institutions are already offering courses in English. Elisabeth Lillie pointed out that there is an imbalance for European incoming students due to funding issues. Wolfgang Mackiewicz recognised that there is much concern about the future of foreign languages in the UK and identified a need for more reflection upon the content of our language programmes.

Comments on the UK national report on Curriculum Innovation and suggestions for further examples of good practice are most welcome, and should be sent to

New Learning Environments

Marina Mozzon-McPherson, University of Hull

Marina Mozzon-McPherson presented the UK national report on New Learning Environments - the European Learning Space (download report).
The Powerpoint slides from her presentation are available here.

The presentation began with a definition of new learning environments. Originally, new learning environments referred specifically to new technologies. This definition has evolved and the emphasis is now on innovative ways of teaching and learning languages. The classroom itself is a new learning environment and we need to consider how the classroom space can be used in an innovative way.

Marina then went on to discuss pre-requisites for a successful use of new learning environments and independent language learning approaches, key areas addressed by the report, new learning environments in language teaching and learning, promoting multiculturalism and cultural diversity, training programmes for languages and language-related professions and needs in the area of new learning environments. The UK national report focuses in the main on the FDTL projects but comments and examples of good practice from other institutions would be most welcome. The report will be updated over the three years of the project to include further examples of good practice.

At the end of the presentation, a list of tentative recommendations for measures was circulated and participants were asked to choose three of these and put them in order of priority. The list of recommendations and the results of this mini-survey are here.

Questions and issues arising from Marina Mozzon-McPherson's presentation

The point was made that political will and investment would facilitate all the recommendations in the list. Mike Kelly believed that recommendation 12 - the creation of a European language learning and teaching network, which brings together all existing activities and organisations of European higher education institutions and serves as a main port of call for coordination and dissemination of information and experience - is the highest priority as through this, e.g. via the Subject Centre and the TNP, the other recommendations can be achieved. It was commonly agreed that recommendation 12 is crucial as it is important to have one umbrella organisation to disseminate information. Other participants expressed the view that recommendation 11 - encouragement to use common European standards of reference and assessment to guarantee transparency and reciprocal recognition - is important, particularly in terms of a standard semester system.

Concern was expressed about technologies introducing an element of awkwardness and distance but teacher training can address this. Technology can be used to link people in different countries but there is a recognition that it raises teaching, organisational and learning culture issues. Mike Kelly pointed out that it is useful to distinguish between generic and language specific issues. Wolfgang Mackiewicz added that the student body has changed, not all students on a particular course will necessarily have the same mother tongue and there is also a mixture of learning cultures. The presence of a number of different students should be viewed as an opportunity. Distance education can play a large role, particularly for Less Widely Used, Less Widely Taught Languages, e.g. by developing learning materials to accompany Dialang. There is a need to work towards common standards.

Reference was made to the European Language Portfolio. This was piloted in 1997 and people are now invited to submit models to the Council of Europe's validation committee. France has just adopted the ELP nationwide and institutions in the UK are starting to use it, e.g. Hull.

Comments on the UK national report New Learning Environments and suggestions for further examples of good practice are most welcome, and should be sent to

Marina would particularly welcome feedback from colleagues in Scotland and Wales and would like to hear views on:

  • what makes a learning environment new and innovative?
  • what should a European Learning Space include?
  • how can UK universities contribute to the construction of a European Learning Space?

Further responses to the list of tentative recommendations are also welcome, both from seminar participants and other interested colleagues.

Quality Enhancement

Elisabeth Lillie, University of Ulster

Elisabeth Lillie looked briefly at the structure of the UK national report on Quality Enhancement (download report) which contains:

  1. A general chapter on the HE context
  2. Description and analysis of quality measures relating to the training of teachers and trainers professionally engaged in the area of languages
  3. Description and analysis of quality measures relating to defining and designing courses and programmes in the area of languages
  4. Description and analysis of quality measures relating to the process of teaching and learning (i.e. relating to practice in the classroom)
  5. Description and analysis of quality measures relating to the organisation and management of the process of teaching and learning (i.e. more general managerial matters)

The national report addresses the issues of:

  • monitoring and quality control;
  • establishing a quality provision and how to write it into programmes from the outset;
  • developing quality;
  • management to promote quality.

In the UK, quality is based too much on assessment and accountability.

Quality Assurance in Europe

Common themes include:

  • prevalence of central monitoring body;
  • increased independence from universities (sometimes, e.g. Poland);
  • ministry, e.g. France or semi-autonomous body, e.g. Finland.

In the UK, we are experiencing quality in common with other countries.

Impact on Staff

Issues include:

  • conditions of employment, which in turn affect conditions of quality;
  • part-time staff or full-time staff. With part-time staff, there are issues of demotivation, turnover and image problems. What ways are there of dealing with these problems?
  • qualifications;
  • career progression;
  • staff training and development. The way of dealing with this may lie with new technologies - could distance technology facilitate courses?
  • staff monitoring (appraisal and feedback questionnaires);
  • dissemination of good practice;
  • intra-university, e.g. peer observation;
  • national, e.g. the Subject Centre;
  • European.


Issues include:

  • guidelines, benchmarks and outcomes. Quality needs to be implanted from the outset. Guidelines and benchmarks are important as they set levels. Outcomes are very generalist and more research is needed into what is meant by particular outcomes for particular students at a particular stage. We don't know enough about what we can expect from our students. It is useful to give students a common framework.
  • currency;
  • relevance to employment. Language graduates have a good chance of obtaining employment and it is important that quality takes account of the outside world. In Denmark, employer panels have to guarantee the relevance of degree courses to the outside world. Should we do the same in the UK?

Management structures

Issues include:

  • "floating" status of languages throughout Europe;
  • large departments?
  • language units/departments?
  • language centres? - some institutions/countries have none.
  • locus of responsibility/authority. The UK is more collegiate than elsewhere. In some countries, the individual lecturer is responsible for quality.
  • inter-university virtual support structures - useful for minority languages and staff support as well as teaching and learning.

In-house quality measures and languages

  • Review can be a staged process:
    • review of language unit feeding into...
      • course review feeding into...
        • departmental review feeding into...
          • the wider university system.

Review can have positive effects, e.g. at London Guildhall University review led to the introduction of CALL to all courses, improvements in IT provision and regular workshops. In some European countries, there are international experts on review panels. To what extent and how should European experts be brought in to the UK? Should there be a staged programme or a forum?

Effective day-to-day management involves:

  • appropriate teaching allocation;
  • clear task division;
  • transparency.


  • never enough;
  • languages + quality = expensive.
  • In summary, quality takes time, effort and money.

UK Ethos

This includes:

  • carrot and stick (not dictates as elsewhere);
  • publication of results;
  • opprobrium or glory, which conditions...
    • attractiveness to students, which conditions...
      • numbers, which conditions...
        • funding.

Questions and issues arising from Elisabeth Lillie's presentation

Mike Kelly talked about the international review dimension to quality and how opprobrium or glory is an obstacle to this. In the UK, external evaluators are known to the institutions they visit and there is a fear about what would happen if external evaluation was opened wider. Elisabeth Lillie added that international review would be expensive and there is also the problem of interculturality. However, it could be valuable for the inter-learning process. Wolfgang Mackiewicz stated that international review already happens in Europe, e.g. Eastern European countries have invited external bodies to look at their systems and in the Netherlands, a regular assessment (once every five years) involves an international body. Some form of this is valuable because it forces reflection but people would need to be trained. We are looking for convergence across Europe not harmonisation. If we campaign for the European Language Portfolio, that also needs accreditation.

One participant made the point that quality seems to focus on technical issues. Elisabeth Lillie confirmed that the national report focuses on teaching rather than research. She agreed that there are different elements to quality but that monitoring and evaluation are the main focus for TNP2. The UK has a technical system and we need to ensure that certain mechanisms are in place to guarantee quality, to foster staff and for structures that control quality. Wolfgang Mackiewicz stated that we need to be clear about what we want to achieve and we need transparency in line with the Council of Europe framework, i.e. the six levels of proficiency scales. Mike Kelly favoured a two-pronged approach and said that quality assurance needs a clear system which can be mapped while quality enhancement wants ideas in order to improve individual practice. It is important not to merge quality assurance and quality enhancement too quickly. Advice is needed, not compunction. Different types of quality measures depend on different language teaching.

The issue of the impact on staff was raised and a comment was made that the number of part-timers was impacting negatively on quality. Some participants strongly disagreed with this although appreciated that it could have an effect as it impacts on continuity. The point was made that many part-timers are experienced ex-secondary schoolteachers. We need to consider who is teaching languages, what is enhancement and what is assurance? Wolfgang Mackiewicz identified a need to design a professional profile looking at what qualifications we want people to have. The primary issue is to decide upon quality criteria and then decide what staff you need to meet that criteria.

Comments on the UK national report on Quality Enhancement and suggestions for further examples of good practice are most welcome, and should be sent to

Lis would like to hear views on:

What elements should form part of a quality framework for languages?

  • What is lacking in the UK framework?
  • What is superfluous?
  • What would you change?
  • What is your ideal framework?

Should languages in the UK look more towards Europe in quality provision?

  • Should a quality framework for languages be UK based only or should it be European?
  • Should aspects of staff training and enhancement be provided on a European rather than a UK level (e.g. short courses relating to different types of practice)?

Do you think that more work needs to be done on understanding and harmonising learning outcomes and levels of attainment in languages? If so, should this be done at European level?

What measures should be set in place to improve the conditions, training and career development of language teachers in higher education?

Do you have examples of good practice in respect of the above or any of the areas discussed? Please contribute them.

If you would like to become involved in the TNP consultation process by joining an email list and providing feedback on documents, please send an email to