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How to unify different people: TEaching SEcond LAnguages as linguas francas

Shift of different populations within Europe due to social, cultural, commercial, educational and political reasons has ‘modified’ Europe’s state borders and has inevitably caused language contact. As a result, most European countries have lost their purely national character in terms of their ethnic synthesis and societal structure. At the same time, certain countries serve as focal points due to their political, geographical, cultural or economic status and their national languages become the ‘linguas francas’ of the wider areas. Aim of our project is to design specialized programs regarding the teaching of these linguas francas in order to train instructors of second languages. We argue that, although languages differ at various structural aspects (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics), language teaching is driven by specific principles and certain strategies which can be applied universally irrespective of the structural properties of the target language. Therefore, second language teaching may be completed faster and more effectively. This is a new way of seeing language teaching not from the point of view of linguistics but from the point of view of language teaching, language testing and education, in general.

The above mentioned action is envisaged to be funded by the Tempus programme/Joint Projects (JPs).
Joint projects are based on multilateral partnerships between higher education institutions in the EU and the Partner Countries. They promote the exchange of knowledge and know-how between EU universities and institutions in the Partner Countries and between Partner Country institutions themselves in various cases. Joint Projects are implemented by the institutions themselves. Relevant themes for Joint Projects include curriculum development, enhancing university governance and creating better links between higher education and society at large.
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The University of Crete was established in 1973. It is a dynamic educational and research institution with a growing national and international reputation for its innovative approaches to a wide range of academic disciplines and research fields, including humanities, social sciences, science, a highly respectable Medical School, and a number of affiliated research institutes and centers. The University has a student body of over 12500 undergraduate students and 2500 graduate and postgraduate students.
A significant part of the University’s mission is interaction with the community, economy and culture of Crete, and this has been promoted in part by the national and international recognition achieved through the scientific and technological accomplishments of the University in collaboration with the Foundation for Research and Technology (ITE).
On 31 May 2012 Times Higher Education (THE) published a new league table - One Hundred Under Fifty – which focuses on Universities less than 50 years old, aiming  ‘to identify the rising stars of the global academy’. The University of Crete shares 50th place with a UK and a Canadian University among the selected 100 ‘ambitious new universities’.
The University was selected by the Commission in 2010 as an Erasmus Success Story in recognition of the way the mobility opportunities for staff as well as students have been promoted, together with the involvement of faculty members in multilateral projects for curriculum development, thematic networksand joint degrees.
Marina Tzakosta, Assistant Professor of Language Development and Pedagogics of the Preschool Child
Ph.D. in Theoretical Linguistics
Research interests: Typical and a-typical language development, Learning and teaching of the second language

Website: www.marinatzakosta.gr
E-mail address:
martzak74@gmail.com, martzak@edc.uoc.gr

Ms Eleftheria Alefandinou
E-mail address:
alefandinou@admin.uoc.gr, alefandinou@yahoo.gr