Promotion of multilingualism and linguistic diversity in kindergartens and primary schools

Project description

The promotion of multilingualism and linguistic diversity has always been a goal of the European multilingualism policy. The realisation of this honourable plan is not that easy, as there are still some foreign languages – such as English and French – that have a higher status than languages spoken in the East European neighbour countries. Multilingual children very often find that their language development is perceived as a deficit, and they therefore lose the motivation to learn other foreign languages.

Treating multilingual education as an isolated subject or as an optional exercise in schools is not the state-of-the-art approach today. That is why the BIG project seeks to integrate multilingual learning into the pedagogical learning setting by developing a complete concept (including the method and the curriculum) for consistent linguistic education. The concept was tested as a pilot in kindergartens and other grades. Language teachers spend four hours a day in class and take care that the languages are also used actively. Experts in multilingualism assist the language teachers in their daily work. Necessary working materials and methods will be developed, and training courses will be held for teachers.

Due to the high importance of multilingualism and language diversity for the Austrian border region and Austria’s eastern neighbour countries, the project will be implemented between Austria and Hungary and Austria and the Czech Republic. The same cooperation is planned between Austria and Slovakia. 


Aricle: Speaking Turkish instead of becoming silent (Türkisch sprechen statt verstummen; Der Standard 22.11.2017) - in German only
eVersion of the print article available here - in German only

Article: Linguistic diversity (Sprachliche Vielfalt: Keine Sprache ausblenden...; lernen MIT ZUKUNFT 12/2017) - in German only

Article: Encouraging all languages... (Alle Sprachen fördern...; fratz&co 10/2017) - in German only

Key facts

Project duration

02/2016-10/2019 (AT-HU)

03/2016-10/2019 (AT-CZ)

Funding programme

Interreg V-A Austria-Hungary 2014-2020

Interreg V-A Austria-Czech Republic 2014-2020

Project partners

Office of the Provincial Government of Lower Austria  (Leadpartner) (AT)

European Office-Vienna Board of Education (AT)

Wiener Kinderfreunde (AT)

Office of the Government of Upper Austria, Directorate for Education and Society (AT, only involved in the project AT-CZ)

Federal State Burgenland (AT, only involved in the project AT-HU)

West Pannon Regional and Economic Development Public Nonprofit Ltd. (Szombathely ,HU)

University of West Hungary (HU)

Institution for teachers training and School Service Centre, České Budějovice (CZ)

Servis Centre for schools and facilities for the further education of teachers in Brno (CZ)

Budget of the Viennese project partners

€ 1.237.300 thereof ERDF: € 1.051.700 (AT-CZ)

€ 1.230.800 thereof ERDF: € 1.046.200 (AT-HU)