The project aims at raising awareness about specific cultural and linguistic characteristics of acceding countries among the present citizens of the European Union and worldwide in a humorous, informal and effective way. The project participants will spread the information about their countries in an attractive product form which will not require complicated technological solutions. On the other hand, the subject matter chosen to be presented by each participant of the project will be put in an innovative language teaching format which will be appealing and easily accessible to a wide audience of diverse interests. In this way the interest of learning target languages of a personal choice will be encouraged on a wide scale.
The background of the project ties nicely with other projects and previous activities of the Regional Studies Department at Vytautas Magnus University. In 2002 a souvenir calendar with the basic information about the Lithuanian language and culture was published (please find enclosed). The results were surprisingly positive: the calendars were very well accepted and highly evaluated in a number of countries all over the world. The feedback we got from our student/teacher exchange partners, embassies, Lithuanian communities abroad and other institutions demonstrated that the demand for this kind of promotional material was very high.
The project aims at providing basic linguistic knowledge (elementary vocabulary, grammar and phonetics) of the target languages. The project will also stress a cultural aspect of the participant country. In addition, we plan to develop a guide of a comparative kind, e.g.‚ Through cultures and languages of all participant countries.
The principal objective of the project is to provide basic knowledge on cultures and languages of the acceding countries. Other objectives are:
Among international informative seminars and tutorial activities that will be held with partner institutions, the final products of the project will also include:
- to promote among EU citizens and worldwide the awareness of cultural peculiarities of the acceding countries and the new status of a particular language as an official language of the EU.
- to encourage people to take interest in and study the new official EU languages.
- to satisfy basic linguistic needs of the constantly increasing European mobility.
- to disperse the existing (if there are any) stereotypes about the acceding countries and their cultures.
- an informative souvenir-like calendar for each target country (LT, LV, EE, CZ, HU, MT, PL, SI, SK, GR ( RO and BG, as the accession of these countries is planned for 2007)).
- a promotional monthly newsflash for each target language (LT, LV, EE, CZ, HU, MT, PL, SI, SK, EL ( RO and BG)).
- a common guide Through cultures and languages with information on all the project partner countries based on the results of comparative analyses.
- a website with general information about the project and its results with links to additional information about the target languages and opportunities to learn them. These products will contain very short, clear, comprehensible and culture-representing texts and funny, effect-increasing illustrations.
- Regional Studies Department, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania.
- Institute for Language and Speech Processing, Greece.
- Miksike Learning Environment, Estonia.
- University of Malta, Malta.
- Department of Lithuanian Studies, Vilnius University, Lithuania.
- Public Service Language Centre, Latvia.
- International Studies Center, University of Pecs, Hungary.
- The School of Polish Language and Culture, Jagiellonian University, Poland.
- VSB-Technical University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.
- Soros Educational Center Foundation, Romania.
- LETTERA.LTD, Bulgaria