Good knowledge of several languages has become one of the key characteristics of the 21st century person. The purpose of every contemporary higher education institution is to provide opportunities for graduates to acquire communicative skills in several languages to enable them to maintain intercultural dialogue and be competitive in the international science and labour market.
The Institute of Foreign Languages at Vytautas Magnus University has an exceptional experience in Lithuania and Europe in the development of multilingual competence: a variety of language courses (30 languages offered in 2012), intensive language teaching and learning, integrated language and culture courses, research into multilingualism. The experience challenges us to initiate a dialogue among different stakeholders promoting language policy development, looking for solutions to urgent problems and sharing best practices.
On 27-28 September VMU hosted the 2nd international scientific conference Sustainable Multilingualism: Research, Studies, Culture organised by the Institute of Foreign Languages. The conference aimed at assembling international researchers, experts, language teaching professionals, and other stakeholders to share research insights and discuss multilingualism viewed from perspectives of various fields including language policy, language didactics, foreign language teaching, linguistics, translation and others.
The conference started with the plenary session on the issues in the EU language policy. The first plenary presentation was delivered by the president of the European Language Council (ELC), the chair of the European Commission’s Business Platform and the Professor of English philology at Berlin Freie University Wolfgang Mackiewicz, the other presentation was given by the member of ELC Board and the Associate Professor at the Department of Language and Business Communication at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, Karen M. Lauridsen.