Multilingual Education of European Union Backstage of Ideology

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 9:20 AM
Room: F201
Oral Presentation
Ilona WYSMULEK , Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS PAN), Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
Olena OLEKSIYENKO , Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland
The image of state education, together with visions of its main functions, priorities and expected results are constantly being reshaped under the impact of various social, economic, political and cultural changes. Being a powerful tool of influence, education is often becoming the battlefield of different interests, the most powerful of which have their reflection in educational policies and practice. This paper concentrates on the case of Poland, which faced several important transformational processes during last decade, among most important of which is joining the European Union (2004). What impact on educational system and its actors did it have? This paper investigates how EU’s directives and recommendations influenced polish educational system, using the example of foreign language proficiency. In 1995 the European Commission published a White Paper on Education and Training, which states that each citizen of European Union must speak at least two foreign languages, which would enable mobility and competitiveness on the labor market. This is the starting point of the analysis of the paper, which will present the insight to EU recommendations concerning foreign languages and relate this data with the actual educational reforms in Poland in 2004-2013. Further on, the paper will concentrate on the analysis of the foreign language skills characteristics of Polish citizens in 2013, using the data gathered in Polish Panel Survey POLPAN and European Survey on Language Competences (2011). Interpreting the results, the paper confronts the dominating idea that Poland shouldcatch up’ in learning foreign languages (Poland National Summery ESLC, 2011) and opens the questions of whether foreign language proficiency is an unavoidable condition of modern world and to which extend the multilingual pressure creates the new marginalization, unequal relationships and uneven chances.