EMMA – European Network for Motivational Mathematics for Adults

Reading and writing difficulties receive a lot of attention – naturally. The EMMA network intends to pay the same attention to difficulties with numeracy.

The main pedagogical concept underlying the EMMA network is co-operative learning, in the sense that the objective of the project is to provide an arena for discussion, exchange of experiences, awareness raising, etc.


The IALS study showed that from 30% to 65% (depending on the country) of the European adult population score so low in numeracy that their lack of skills may negatively affect their quality of life, labour market possibilities and participation in lifelong learning. The results of the ALL Survey (Adult Literacy and Life Skill Survey) confirm the need for better strategies for the raising of numeracy skills in the adult population of Europe. The ALL definition of numeracy is: “Numeracy is the knowledge and skills required to effectively manage and respond to the mathematical demands of diverse situations.”

Even in countries with a high level of awareness about this issue, we find that education and training providers are often at a loss to find adequate strategies, approaches and didactical methods that will help adults, in their own right or as employees, reach a higher level of numeracy skills.


The project will create and sustain the EMMA portal, which will be the network's main arena of discussion, the project's main means of dissemination and a tool for knowledge dissemination for all European experts and educators involved in this field. The main expected impact will be in terms of benchmarking of national policies and approaches.

The overall project aim is to

  • raise awareness of the scope of the problem and of possible remedial strategies
  • exchange research results, examples of good practice, and new didactic approaches
  • discuss new recommendations that can be implemented by policy makers

Target group

The primary target group consists of trainers and advisors who meet adults with numeracy problems. The second target group is adults with numeracy problems. Policy makers will be an obvious target group for the dissemination of project result.


There are a total of 17 partners from 16 countries. The countries are Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Austria, Greece, Italy, Romania, France, Slovenia, Germany, Hungary, UK, Belgium and Norway.

Coordination institution: Vox

Project period



See EMMA's webpage