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BRIDGES reference number
: 224508-CP-1-2005-1-NO-GRUNDTVIG-G1.
This project has been funded with support from the Commission of the European Communities, Directorate-General for Education and Culture. This website, the products and the work of the project reflect the views only of the project partners and the Commission is not responsible for its use.

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BRIDGES -  Building bridges to second language learning, culture and society

General information
BRIDGES is a cooperation project within the European education programme Socrates, Grundtvig 1. For more information about the programme visit the website of the European Commission, Education and Training here.

BRIDGES is a two year project from 1 October 2005 until 30 September 2007.

In BRIDGES there are in total seven partner organisations in Bulgaria, Italy, UK and Norway. The Norwegian Association for Adult Learning is co-ordinating BRIDGES. This project is built on the work of the Grundtvig 2-project SELL- Second Language Learning for non-native speakers. Visit the SELL website here.

Aims and activities
In this project, we focus on ways of teaching and learning the main official language of the partner countries. We are developing and testing the use of language and culture guides (LCGs) in language teaching and learning.  Developing and piloting training seminars for "bridge builders" in each partner country is an important task for the project.

LCGs are usually persons with another linguistic and cultural background than the majority of the population in the partner countries. The aim is that the LCGs will function as bridge builders between language learners and teachers, and in the organisations offering language courses. They should also “build bridges” between the learners, and the society and culture in the country where the learners live. LCGs are typically previous participants in language courses who have advanced skills in the national language in matter and who know the wider society well. They facilitate communication, understanding and learning and they can become role models for language learners.

LCGs will get valuable work experience and we hope that assuming this role may encourage them to go further into a full teaching role, or facilitate any other professional role they may wish for. 

In addition, we focus on the "bridge building" role of language teachers.

Teachers and potential LCGs are firstly targeted by the project. The ultimate beneficiaries of the project are however, the second language learners whose motivation and achievements we aim to strengthen.

The concepts of LCGs have been developed and tested in relation to language courses. It is however, apparent that they have an important role to play in other situations where people with different languages and backgrounds meet such as in schools, public offices, hospitals, and firms. They can facilitate communication and make it more efficient, avoid or handle misunderstandings, mediate when problems arise and improve cooperation. This is something that benefits all people involved.

All together we see the work of BRIDGES as part of the wider aim of ensuring active citizenship, inclusion and the construction of multi-cultural societies.

BRIDGES in Italian
Visit the IRRE website for BRIDGES here.

  Florence, Italy. Photo: Cathrine Thue


About this site
The aim of the BRIDGES website is to sum up the ideas and activities of BRIDGES and present materials relevant to language learning, culture, communication and diversity.

The contents will mainly be in English. Some contents will however, be written in the other partner languages Bulgarian, Italian and Norwegian.

This website is made for readers within the Socrates programme, partners' networks and others interested in language learning, communication and culture. The contents of this website will also be available as a CD.

The project partners welcome questions, comments and contributions to BRIDGES and to this website.

Grundtvig - European Cooperation in Adult Education
Grundtvig is the name given to Action 3 of the European Union's programme in the field of education, Socrates. Its aim is to improve the quality and strengthen the European dimension of adult education of a non-vocational nature by means of European cooperation activities of various kinds, thereby helping to make better lifelong learning opportunities more widely available to Europe's citizens.

Through Grundtvig, the European Commission provides funding to promote exchanges of experiences and the development of a European dimension in all sectors of adult education. The Grundtvig action addresses a great variety of subject areas and educational providers. It is open to all kinds of institutions and organisations, whether working in formal, non-formal or informal adult education. It complements and interacts with other actions within Socrates and with other programmes, such as Leonardo da Vinci, to cover the whole spectrum of lifelong learning.

From 2007, Grundtvig will be one of the four sectoral programmes in the
Lifelong Learning Programme.

Why the name "GRUNDTVIG" ?
Nikolai Frederik Severin Grundtvig (1783-1872), a Danish clergyman and writer, is regarded as the founder of the Nordic tradition of "learning for life". His "folk high school" concept was based on the idea that education must be available to all citizens throughout life and should encompass not only knowledge but also civic responsibility, personal and cultural development.

(Grundtvig information taken from: The European Commission, Lifelong Learning Programme, Grundtvig)

Responsible for this site
Cathrine Thue, e-mail: ct(at) The Norwegian Association for Adult Learning. Motzfeldtsgt. 1, 0187, Oslo, Norway.
Post box  9339 Grønland, 0135 Oslo. Tel.: (+47) 22 41 00 00, Fax: (+47) 22 41 00 01. E-mail: vofo(at),