The Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity (NPLD) is a pan-European Network whichencompasses regional, minority, indigenous, cross border and smaller nationallanguages to promote linguistic diversity in the context of a multilingual Europe. TheNetwork's aim is to facilitate the sharing of existing good practice and the developmentof new and innovative ideas across the field of education and language planning in thecontexts of regional, minority, indigenous, cross border languages, smaller nationallanguages and lesser used languages (RMIL). As language planners andeducationalists we are aware that many of the issues facing these linguisticcommunities will be very similar and that sharing good practise is a must if theselanguages are to survive and flourish. The main focus will be on providing informationand easy access to a large Network of organisations that can share ideas, information,and best practice regarding the promotion of RMIL languages through languagelearning, lifelong learning, and language planning. The linguistic communities includedin the Network hold a wealth of knowledge and experience of language planning, andmany innovative practices are being developed that need to be disseminated to a wideraudience. Project work will be a vital element of the existence of the Network and willprovide partners with innovative and varied opportunities to participate in high quality,pan-European partnerships to deliver real solutions to language planning challenges.The Network will also provide information on sources of funding which are available andaccessible to minority language groups across Europe. The Network will concentrateon multilingualism from the point of view of economic competitiveness: it will promotethe learning of languages for the benefit of companies working to penetrate foreignmarkets. In terms of multilingualism and education and culture, the NPLD will worktowards improving language learning, by investigating methodologies, sharing bestpractice in this area and ensuring that these practices are disseminated for the benefitof all languages from regional and minority languages to smaller state languages. Interms of promoting a greater dialogue between the EU and its citizens, the NPLD willrepresent a significant proportion of the estimated 40 million EU citizens who speak alesser used language.
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