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European Benchmark Framework for Chinese
Start date: Nov 1, 2010,

The project focuses on Mandarin Chinese, a less widely used and taught non-European language (a kind of LWULTs) that not only has "minority language, migrant language" status, but also a vital importance with "significant trading partners", with rapidly increasing demand within EU countries for the learning and teaching of the language.The proposal is made against the background of the promotion of multilingualism in Europe as increasing importance is being attached to this policy with the recognition that (LWUTLs) need more attention. While Mandarin Chinese is being introduced into more and more schools and universities in EU countries, there is an urgent need to raise both learners' and professionals' awareness of the linguistic differences between Chinese and European languages and the diversity in the functionalities of the Chinese language in the European context. Lack of awareness and experience also calls for a common platform by which teachers of Chinese and of other (European) languages can communicate and share experiences with regard to the Common European Framework of References (CEFR) for languages. The continued absence of such awareness and a framework would constrain the impact of CEFR beyond European languages, adversely affecting the EU's multilingualism policy. EBCL is challenging but highly necessary.EBCL aims to fill this gap by producing a framework of standards in line with CEFR and meeting the needs of learning and teaching Chinese in the European context. The consortium and its extensive experience and network have the required expertise and capability to carry out this project, whose product, an European Benchmark for Chinese language, will provide a comparable and measurable framework of standards for the learning and teaching of Chinese in Europe, complementing the CEFR and extending its influence further beyond the European languages.

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