Michael is concerned with improving the ability of European citizens to live in a multilingual and multicultural world. He led a substantial project for the European Commission to develop a Profile for language teacher training across Europe (2004). He has worked with successive phases of the Thematic Network in Languages to promote languages at European level, and recently led the ERASMUS-funded LanQua project, working with 61 European partners to develop a toolkit for quality assurance in languages across Europe. He is Secretary of the European Language Council.
He has a long-standing commitment to strengthening the capability of people in the UK to communicate in languages other than English. He is Director of the government-funded Routes into Languages programme, which aims to increase the take-up of languages in secondary and higher education, and Secretary of Speak to the Future, the national campaign on languages, which aims to provoke a change in the country's attitudes and achievements in language learning.
Mike's research focuses on policy and practices relating to languages. He has recently completed an AHRC-funded project, Languages at War, and has written and edited three books on the subject, with Palgrave Macmillan.
‘The future of language degrees. Report of CEL/ELC special interest group’, CEL/ELC, 2012. Reprinted in European Journal of Language Policy/ Revue européenne de politique linguistique, 5.1, 2013.
‘Issues in institutional language policy: lessons learned from peace-keeping in Bosnia-Herzegovina’, European Journal of Language Policy / Revue européenne de politique linguistique, 3, 1, 2011, 61-80.
‘A third space for Europe: intercultural communication in European language policy’, European Journal of Language Policy/ Revue européenne de politique linguistique, 1.1., 2009, 1-20.
‘Language teacher education in Europe’, in Karen M. Lauridsen and Daniel Toudic (eds), Languages at Work in Europe, Festschrift in Honour of Professor Wolfgang Mackiewicz, Göttingen, V&R unipress, 2008, 153-162.
Third Level, Third Space: Intercultural Communication and Language in European Higher Education, edited with Imelda Elliott and Lars Fant, Bern, Peter Lang, 2001, 217pp.