This glossary explains frequently used terms relating to the language/integration nexus and guides you through the apparent complexities of the relevant concepts and terminology.

Mehrsprachigkeit (Multilingualism)

“Multilingualism” means the ability to understand several languages and use them actively. Multilingualism may mean that speakers have a mother-tongue level of proficiency in one or more other languages; however, this does not have to be the case, as partial proficiency also qualifies as multilingualism.

The Council of Europe has defined multilingualism as the official goal for all Europeans and created the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) as a tool for evaluating language proficiency in an internationally comparable manner. The CEFR can be applied to many different languages. Based on the CEFR, the European Language Portfolio and the Europass Language Passport were developed to enable learners to document their language skills, qualifications and successes in learning and using a language.

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