CIRCE addresses the issue of accent discrimination in the school environment. Accent discrimination is one of the most widespread and resistant forms of discrimination linked to the activation of prejudices based exclusively on how people sound. 

CIRCE aims at achieving increased awareness of the phenomenon and more tolerance towards accent variation, which are both key to safeguarding the pluralistic, multilingual and multicultural European identity.

CIRCE will involve students and teachers in discovering the mechanisms of accent discrimination by implementing the following activities: 

  • Investigate how accent discrimination takes place in school, and how it impacts pupils’ life.
  • Provide students and teachers with resources to develop greater tolerance towards accent variation.
  • Raise awareness about accent discrimination in the school and university environment.

The CIRCE project is organized around four work packages:

  • WP1, led by Prof. Silvia Calamai: project coordination, management and communication.
  • WP2, led by Prof. Robert Fuchs and Dr. Philipp Meer: assessment of the nature and severity of linguistic prejudice through the observation of reactions to accent variation and of the language attitudes emerging in secondary education across EU countries.
  • WP3, led by Prof. Luís Guerra: production of educational resources to counteract linguistic prejudice.
  • WP4, led by Prof. Amna Brdaveric-Celjo: engage students in the promotion of linguistic diversity.

In terms of impact on the long term, the project’s expected outcomes include:

  • increased tolerance towards non-native and non-standard accents within the three main target groups (teachers, secondary school students and university students)
  • greater awareness of issues related to linguicism and accent discrimination within the general public
  • inclusion of the topic of linguicism and accent discrimination in school and university curricula.