A. Vranes, L. Markovic

University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philology (SERBIA)
In times of economic, political, ethnic and national divisions main issues that should be discussed at faculties are related to the cultural being and its survival, whether it belonged to the so-called great, or popularly called endangered languages. The language, as an essential marker of cultural identity, enables the search for meaning, cultural and historical identity, and in a broader sense the national being. Considering that the preservation and fostering of linguistic and cultural diversity of the human species is equally important as is the care for biodiversity for the survival of man and nature, the duty of every individual, a philologist above all, is to preserve linguistic diversity, in order to conserve the cultural heritage and autonomous view of world. Faculties of Philology are the natural bases for such ideas, considering that languages are thought through their programs not only by mastering the vocabulary, morphology, syntax, phonetics of language, but also by comprehending the history, culture, literature and spirituality of a particular nation.

The Council of Europe, European Parliament, European Commission, United Nations, UNESCO, and with them all of us who are in constant communication with them throughout various projects, continually draw attention to the need for lifelong learning of foreign languages, as well as to the necessity to increase plurilingualism as a precondition of multicultural understanding. The efforts of the European institutions to make available the most important documents to as many languages as possible, to support philological studies, especially studies of simultaneous and consecutive interpretation, to overcome language barriers by expanding the channels of communication via the Internet, digital media, databases, distance learning, as well as to enable easier migration of students and teachers, are leading to the development of multilingualism, but also to a higher rate of competitiveness of individuals in a labor market.

Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade strives at designing optimal study program successfully incorporating foreign language and cultural studies in accordance with national and international recommendations, by developing modularity and electiveness of philological and cultural subjects to foster plurilingualism. Hence, it is our intention to link language studies with other scientific fields, such as the study of literature, librarianship, museology, but above all with cultural studies. This could be achieved by educating staff who will, upon graduation, possess appropriate language competences, as well as pedagogical-psychological and methodical knowledge and who will strive to transfer European democratic values to their students, enabling them to be open for a dialogue of cultures and making them self-conscious in promoting their own. The final result of such study program would be the development of multicultural society, entirely ready and able to cooperate with other communities. This paper will indicate language learning innovations, as well as design and development of a new curriculum at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade.