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The strategies of plurilinguism and multilinguism in the language policy of the European Union are discussed. The basic priorities of studying languages in the national and European Union areas are set up together with the united efforts in these aspects within 3-5 years. The concept “plurilinguism” differs from the concept “multilinguism” and is synonymous of the definite intercultural competence, which consists of three basic components: cognitive, affective and behavioral ones. The cognitive component deals with the knowledge, experience and information concerning both native and foreign culture. The second affective concerns emotive perception of the intercultural situation and empathy, the third one behavioral is the ability to pursue an adequate intercultural communication and solve the intercultural conflicts. The members of European Commission supported the term “personal adaptive language” and stated that possessing two languages besides the native one must be the basic target of the EU citizens. A second, “personal adaptive” foreign language could be a mean of discovering the culture, history and literature of the country in which the language is spoken. It is also declared that the personal adaptive language idea was “the concept of the future”. The second foreign language would complement a first one most likely acquired for professional reasons. The EU conference also emphasized a lifelong learning aspect, identifying holidaying retired people and skilled workers as sections of the population who would benefit from an increased emphasis on language learning outside of formal educational settings. The policy of multilinguism and plurilinguism changes the aim of language teaching. Nowadays it is not the main aim to know one, two or even three languages. It is more important to develop the communicative-language situation which presupposes the polylinguistic competence.


multilinguism; multilinguism; plurilinguism; multilingual competence; “personal adaptive language”

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Section of issue

Intercultural communication

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