European Journal of Language Policy

Interculturality and language in Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange

European Journal of Language Policy (2019), 11, (2), 211–233.


The European Commission has invested in many policy initiatives and projects related to intercultural communication and dialogue, the most long term of which has been the Erasmus mobility programme, which in 2017 celebrated 30 years. In the following year the Erasmus+ Virtual Exchange pilot project was launched, the main objective of which is to encourage intercultural dialogue amongst young people in Europe and Southern Mediterranean countries through “online people to people interactions”. This paper provides a brief overview of this pilot project and how it relates to EC policies and practices regarding intercultural dialogue and communication. After looking at how interculturality and language are approached in two of the models of virtual exchange being implemented, some of the findings from the qualitative evaluation of the first year of implementation regarding intercultural learning and attitudes to language use will be presented.

La Commission européenne a investi dans de nombreuses initiatives et projets liés à la communication et au dialogue interculturels, le plus long terme ayant été le programme de mobilité Erasmus, qui a célébré ses 30 ans en 2017. L’année suivante, le projet pilote Erasmus + Virtual Exchange a été lancé. Son objectif principal est d’encourager le dialogue interculturel entre les jeunes d’Europe et des pays du sud de la Méditerranée par le biais d ‘«interactions interpersonnelles en ligne». Cet article fournit un bref aperçu de ce projet pilote et de ses liens avec les politiques et les pratiques de la CE en matière de dialogue et de communication interculturels. Après avoir examiné la manière dont l’interculturalité et la langue sont abordées dans deux des modèles d’échange virtuel mis en oeuvre, nous présenterons quelques résultats de l’évaluation qualitative de la première année d’application concernant l’apprentissage interculturel et les attitudes à l’égard de l’utilisation des langues.

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Author details

Helm, Francesca

Acconcia, Giuseppe