Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
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basic information

Title of the Project
Language Cafés
Brief description
The Language Café project is a tutoring and socio-cultural programme for international
exchange students at Lund University and pupils at Fågelskolan in Lund, Sweden. The pupils
are from grade 8 and 9 (aged 14-15) of the Swedish compulsory school. Students and pupils
meet in the school cafeteria, in a relaxed atmosphere, to discuss and talk about topics such
as everyday life, culture, traditions and spare time activities in their different countries
Target Language
English, French, German, Spanish
School Education
Further Information



The project was initiated to create interesting and motivating opportunities to achieve the goals for foreign language studies. These goals include increasing the students’ ability of communicating, developing conversational skills and learn how to express their own ideas in a foreign language. The Language Café project provides an opportunity to meet the pupils at an individual level. The pupils get the chance to speak at a level which they find comfortable and also around topics they find interesting.
Fågelskolan has worked with the Language Café project since 2003 and found it very rewarding. The school has a high level of goal achievement in foreign languages. One thesis is that the Language Cafés have contributed to develop the pupils’ well working conversational skills.


The pupils have the opportunity of practising the foreign language they learn talking to native speakers.
The pupils get inspired, motivated and acquire self-confidence when they are able to talk to students in a foreign language and experience that they are able to communicate around different topics.
The pupils learn to use strategies to overcome language barriers and develop their communication skills
Both pupils and students gain from the mutual exchange of knowledge.
Pupils and students widen their perspectives on the world and develop understanding of different codes and cultures


When the international students arrive the language teachers bring a few pupils to the information market and inform the students about the project. The teachers invite the students to the school six times per semester to participate in the language cafés.
The language cafés are normally held on the language lessons and last for about an hour. The conversations are held in small groups of pupils that chat with international students in a relaxed atmosphere.
At the school cafeteria where the language cafés are held we serve coffee and homemade Swedish pastries baked by our pupils.
In the 8th grade (aged 14) the pupils speak English with students from all over the world.
In the 9th grade (aged 15) the conversation is in French, German and Spanish, the languages taught at our school. The teachers prepare and follow up during language lessons


The project has been on-going since 2003, which is soon 10 years. The goal of increasing skills in communication is met each semester. The achievement is measured both regarding grades and also redarding drop-outs from language classes, the latter has been reduced since the project started.

Why the European Language Label?

Teachers at Fågelskolan were informed of the ELL and found it utterly interesting to apply for and present the project. Applications were sent to the national agency and later the school was informed that they were one of the winners.

Activities following the award of the European Language Label

The language teachers of Fågelskolan have participated in several national and international conferences to present the project. Some examples are conferences in Tallinn and Florence and national conferences in Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Kalmar and Umeå.
Fågelskolan was also invited to the Nellip project as a result of the ELL and the international conferences.
Other schools in Sweden have implemented the idea.

Assessment of the Impact of the European Language Label

The ELL has meant a lot to Fågelskolan. To be able to present the Language Cafés around Sweden and also internationally has produced many new contacts both national and international.

Recommendations for future applicants for the ELL

We consider it very important to shed light on the pedagogical work carried out within the project. To bring forward examples, both extensive and not, that make a difference for teachers as well as students. For the teachers and students alike an award creates recognition for the teaching method applied.


Consistency with European Policies in the field of Language Learning

The project was selected by the national agency.

1. Comprehensive approach. Every element of the language initiative should ensure that the needs of the students are identified and met.
2. Added value. Initiatives should provide a tangible improvement in the teaching and learning of languages in their national context.
3. Motivation enhancement. Initiatives should motivate the students and teachers to improve their language skills.
4. Innovation. Initiatives should be original and creative. They should introduce previously unknown approaches to language learning.
5. European emphasis. Initiatives should be adapted to Europe's linguistic diversity and make use of this advantage.
6. Transferability. Initiatives should potentially be a source of inspiration for other language projects in different countries.



Fågelskolan invites multilingual students from Lund University to language cafés. Learning situations are created where pupils can develop their ability to participate in discussions, express their thoughts and understand the information given to them in German, French or Spanish. The pupils' perspectives on the world and other cultures are increased.


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Comments on this Case Studies

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.10.19

Posted by Agneta (Sweden)

Message: This Project shows the advantages of combining all Resources available. The flow of students from the University combined with the creative teaching at Fågelskolan creates a very interesting Learning situation. Of course it demands good co-operation between tha school and the University.

Date: 2014.09.26

Posted by Julija (Lithuania)

Message: I think communication and chatting is the best way to learn languages in fun and useful way. But sometime some projects are not delivered to some schools. Everything depends on our society.

Date: 2014.05.13

Posted by Maria Holmström (Sweden)

Message: This is a great way of learning english, I will look at this project more closely an dtry to applay it in my schol.

Date: 2014.04.24

Posted by Maria, Nichola (Sweden)

Message: This could be a good way to make speaking less dramatic and more casual and realistic but how do we lift this to the next level? How can we encourage pupils on a higher level to talk about more abstract subjects that are cognitively more challenging? How can the teacher offer scaffolding?

How will the discussions be processed by pupils? Can they relate back to these discussions later on in a classroom context?

21 December 2014

Audio- video presentation of the NELLIP project

An audio- video presentation of the NELLIP project has been created and made available in the Information section of the NELLIP portal. To access the presentation please click here: