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Research & Development


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INTERCCOM (2009–2013)



Report ULG: http://www.ulg.ac.be/cms/c_2648220/le-projet-interccom-fait-son-cinema

Report RTL: http://www.rtl.be/videos/video/408216.aspx?CategoryID=495

The European Commission invests in your future
With support from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRO)


Intercultural Communication in the Meuse-Rhine Euregio


Problems in practice

The Meuse-Rhine Euregio is part of a unique reality: 3 European languages are being used as a local language within relatively short distance.Furthermore, no less than 5 different cultures exist alongside each other.

Apart from these native languages the EMR is also testimony to a broad demographic diversity.
Population prognoses up until 2050 point out a new intake of Turkish, Moroccans and Polish in particular.
The BAMA-structure simulates a geographical mobility in higher education. Studying or taking up an extra educational program abroad and seeking employment in a different country or region are after all enriching in several ways. Even at present we can state that an increasing number of Central European students come to the EMR to study at a college or university.
This linguistic and cultural diversity of the Meuse-Rhine Euregio can be a real asset, economic or other.
Nevertheless youngsters, mostly native, often have a negative perception of their knowledge of the two other regional languages. Another difficulty they might encounter: even if they master a foreign language up to a certain level, they often struggle with interference and other subconsciously recurrent mistakes. The linguistic ‘false friends’ stand out most and often lead to embarrassing miscommunication.
Day-to-day reality shows us that misunderstandings that can be attributed to cultural differences between the regions are legion. Even worse, negative stereotypes demotivate us to undertake something together.


INTERcCOM therefore aims to improve mutual communication and hence simplify studying and working in the EMR.
We try to achieve this goal through scientific research in which we seek an answer to the following questions:


Which interference mistakes and other recurrent mistakes do native youngsters make in other region’s languages?
Which interference mistakes and other recurrent mistakes do Polish and Turkish youngsters make in all three EMR languages? To what extent are they similar to those of native youngsters?


Which are the cultural characteristics of each of the regions and of their native youngsters in particular?
To what extent do the regions differ in the cultural sphere?
Which are the cultural characteristics of 1st generation Polish and Turkish youngsters?
In what respect do the cultural characteristics of Polish and Turkish youngsters differ from the cultural profile of each of the regions?
Do the 2nd and 3rd generation Turkish and Polish youngsters in the EMR take over the cultural characteristics of the region concerned?

Based on these research results, 5 e-learning modules “language and culture” will be developed. Each module will be subdivided into 6 submodules. Upon conclusion of the project, 20400 of these learning modules will be distributed for free in the whole Meuse-Rhine Euregio.
The outcome of the research will subsequently be exploited for the benefit of the corporate world.



1/10/2009 – 28/02/2013


Prof. Martine Verjans (promotor)
E: martine.verjans@uhasselt.be  | T: +32 11 268686