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Languages as an indicator of corporate quality

Raising awareness amongst employers of the multiple benefits of promoting and supporting plurilingualism as a mark of corporate quality: suggesting different ways in which this can be done.

Company Survey 

30 companies in 8 different countries (Armenia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg and Russia) and across a wide range of sectors (agro-industry, energy, manufacturing, construction, communication, consultancy, legal and financial services, pharmaceuticals, retail, tourism and trade) were surveyed to find out more about how they valued languages in terms of their recruitment and training and development policies. Despite the differences in size, sector and country, the vast majority of companies recognized the importance of languages and the increasing need for languages other than English.

Languages are fundamental for competitiveness.

The importance of informal and non-formal learning 

Many people develop their language and intercultural skills through informal and non-formal learning. Key European tools such as the European Language Portfolio and Europass can be used to record such learning. Greater awareness of these tools is needed both for employees and employers. 

Excellent skills in English are becoming more and more important, but at the same time they are less and less sufficient.

The added-value of plurilingual workspaces 

Research shows that companies who recognise, value and use the language and intercultural skills of their employees develop a more satisfied and committed workforce. This in turn leads to improved internal and external communication, the discovery of new market opportunities, a higher public profile and increased competitiveness.

Our staff needs to speak the language of the customer.

How to create plurilingual workspaces

The diagram below outlines ways in which companies can make languages and intercultural communication a central element of corporate quality and business success.

Companies should be encouraged to use forms of alternative assessment of language competence, by including recognition of skills gained through informal or non-formal learning in their assessment of language competences.
Ana Maria Vladau - Brasov School Inspectorate, Romania

This project was run within the ECML's Learning through languages programme.

Project working languages:
French and English

Project term:

Target audience involved in project activities:

  • Teachers
  • Heads of training and curriculum development with public and private sector employers, heads of personnel, entrepreneurs
  • Employer associations, business sector organisations, employee representatives 
  • Quality certification organisations, recruitment agencies, career consultants.


This web page results from the work of an international network established within one of the ECML projects. We would like to thank all who worked on LINCQ, in particular the project coordination team for their motivation and active involvement.

Project working pages

Go to the project working pages
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Project team

Wolfgang Mackiewicz

Michael John Hammersley

Isabelle Ortiz

Lusine Fljyan