Talk to the world and explore variation

11025135 410747612418336 1892790688593958748 nAre you interested in languages and would like to experience multilingualism in its real sense, studying and travelling in different countries?

International joint-degree Master programme “Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism (or simply SoMu) is waiting for new students! Application deadline is June 30, 2015. You can find out more about this programme on somu.vdu.lt and Facebook (www.facebook.com/somu.vdu). 

From the beginning....

Most probably we are still used to such phrases as “English is the global language,” “the lingua franca is English,” or “everyone knows English.” Yes, English is still a dominant language. But is it really enough in the global world?

Contrary to what is often believed, most of the world’s population is bilingual or multilingual. Scholars calculate that there are nearly 7,000 languages in the world and about 250 families of languages. Besides, each country has groups of individuals who use other languages in addition to the national language. We should also admit that migration is a global trend; thus, in the borderless world we are surrounded by a variety of languages, dialects, and cultures.

In the world of endless variation and change, knowing foreign languages has become a valuable asset. Have you ever seen a sparkle in the person’s eyes when you say at least a couple of words in his/her native language? Of course, knowing a foreign language is entering a different world with a different vision, colours, shapes, and perspectives. It broadens our horizons, affects our attitudes, and helps to make friends. There is no need even to talk about the importance of foreign languages when travelling abroad, studying, or doing business.

Learning and knowing foreign languages is not only a personal matter. From the very beginning, the European Union is promoting multilingualism, which is encoded in the EU documents. The EU multilingualism policy has two facets: protecting Europe’s rich linguistic diversity and promoting language learning. It is claimed that the harmonious co-existence of many languages in Europe is a powerful symbol of the EU's aspiration to be united in diversity. The EU now has 500 million citizens, 28 Member States, 3 alphabets, and 24 official languages.

Taking into consideration the global trends, universities started suggesting programmes in multilingualism. One of such programmes is an international joint-degree Master programme “Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism.” The programme focuses on the Baltic region and familiarises the students with theoretical and practical aspects of sociolinguistics, as well as offers a new and wider perspective and understanding of multilingualism as the parallel use of national, minority, and migrant languages.

Probably, the most distinctive feature of the programme in inherent mobility, as the studies take place in four different universities: Vytautas Magnus University (Kaunas, Lithuania), Johannes-Gutenberg University (Mainz, Germany), Stockholm University (Sweden), and the University of Tartu (Estonia). The students not only experience different cultures, attitudes, and approaches, but also learn foreign languages: lectures are held in English, while the students also learn German and can choose among Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Swedish, or Finnish.

Are you interested in languages and would like to experience multilingualism in its real sense, studying and travelling in different countries?

“Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism” (or simply SoMu) is waiting for new students. Application deadline is June 30, 2015. You can find out more about this programme on somu.vdu.lt and Facebook (www.facebook.com/somu.vdu).

 soc. fond BMBF RGB Gef L e