Issue 1/2006, 12. Volume
Sprachenvielfalt und Bildungssysteme – Über die mögliche Rolle des Unterrichts in Sprachrevitalisierungsprozessen
Today’s European Union counts ca. 80 minority speech communities that are represented by ca. 40 to 70 million of the ca. 450 EU-inhabitants. The majority of these communities still have difficulties to secure the intergenerational transmission of the minority language. EU-sponsored projects (e.g. Euro-mosaic and SMiLE) as well as other scientific publications clearly confirm that most of the minority speech communities still are subject – though to a different degree – to societal language shift. In an attempt to reverse societal language shift minority speech communities tend to rely on minority lan-guage education. After broadly describing the general situation of autochthonous European minority speech communities and the European discourse that surrounds them this contribution examines a few possible prerequisites needed to turn minority language education into an essential part of attempts to reverse language shift.