Finnish MEP Hannu Takkula Praised by Cambridge for Commitment to Multilingualism in Europe

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Cambridge celebrates the 10th Anniversary of the European Day of Languages in the European Parliament.

MEP Hannu Takkula, member of the Committee on Culture and Education in the European Parliament, is co-hosting a series of events in the European Parliament starting today entitled ‘Supporting multilingualism through language assessment.’

This is the fourth year in a row that MEP Hannu Takkula is hosting this week of events celebrating multilingualism, in conjunction with the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations (Cambridge ESOL) and the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE). The event is also co-hosted by MEP Miguel Angel Martinez, Vice President of the European Parliament responsible for Multilingualism.

Speaking as the event gets underway, Juliet Wilson, a Director at Cambridge ESOL said:

“MEP Hannu Takkula has shown a remarkable commitment to encouraging multilingualism in Europe and he should be congratulated on this. The ability to speak more than one language is extremely important for individuals and society as it opens up many opportunities for work and study. It also makes a major contribution to international understanding and cultural collaboration, and increases Europe’s competitiveness. We commend Mr. Takkula’s work in raising awareness of these important issues.”

The series of events will include a seminar that will look at how to encourage the learning of a wider range of languages in the EU, and will be followed by a reception to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the European Day of Languages with high-profile speakers. Another seminar will discuss the role and work of interpreters in intercultural communication, and will allow participants to try out for themselves what it’s like to be an interpreter. An interactive survey of language abilities will also be carried out to get a picture of the most used languages in the European Parliament and a number of multilingual language tests will be available for all to try.

Over the last four years ‘Supporting multilingualism through language assessment’ has attracted hundreds of stakeholders, policymakers and key decision makers in Europe.

In addition to MEP Hannu Takkula and MEP Miguel Angel Martinez, speakers and participants at this year’s events include Mr Jan Truszczynski, Director General for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, European Commission; Ms Belen Bernaldo de Quiros, Head of Unit, Multilingualism Policy, European Commission; Ms Olga Cosmidou, Director General, Directorate General for Interpretation and Conferences, European Parliament; Dr Ebru Diriker, Associate Professor, Bogazici, Istanbul; Professor Piet Van de Craen, Department of Linguistics, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and European Language Council; MEP Ádám Kósa, EPP, Hungary, user of sign language in the European Parliament; Dr Ina Ferbežar, Executive Head of the Centre for Slovene as a Second/Foreign language, University of Ljubljana; Dr Cor van der Meer, Director, Mercator, European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning.

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Stuart Giblin