European Language Gazette

The European Language Gazette, the ECML's e-newsletter, provides up-to-date news about the ECML (events, projects, resources), the Language Policy Unit and other relevant sectors of the Council of Europe, as well as our partners. It focuses on national developments in the field of language education in the member states and beyond.

Gazette 27 - September 2015

European Day of Languages 2015

Learning languages - Living diversity - Celebrate the Day!


In just over 3 weeks the 14th European Day of Languages will take place. The Day, declared by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to raise awareness of the importance of language learning, promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe’s languages and encourage lifelong language learning has, in recent years, become even more relevant and more popular than ever. A vast array of events is organised each year around Europe – and there is an increasing trend for the Day to be celebrated around different continents of the world, with this year a number of events taking place in North America and Asia.

Whatever activity, however  big or small, that you are planning for the Day we would be delighted to hear from you!

Here are just a few of the resources on the EDL website which you can use to help you celebrate the Day:

  • EDL calendar of activities: find out what is on the EDL, who is celebrating where, have a look at our new map feature displaying  the events planned for the Day in Europe and around the world
  • Promotional materials to download/order
  • Language trivia: some of the amusing, strange and unique aspects of  Europe’s languages - with a new feature coming soon  on nursery rhymes across the continent
  • EDL photo gallery: get a first-hand impression of what happened on the Day last year
  • Language quiz: test your knowledge on languages
  • Assess your language skills: the 'Self-evaluate your language skills' game helps you to assess your level of proficiency in the languages you know according to six reference levels defined within the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
  • Language facts and fun: discover some of the interesting facts and figures relating to Europe's languages and a host of games and language learning activities suitable for anyone interested in languages
  • Find out more about sign languages

Focus on the forthcoming ECML publications

A series of publications resulting from the projects of the ECML’s Learning through languages programme (2012-2015) will be released between September and December. The publications, principally targeting  teachers, teacher trainers and curriculum developers will focus on the areas of mobility and intercultural learning, evaluation and assessment, migration and language education, early language learning, plurilingual education, CLIL, signed languages, employment and languages and new media in language education. The series comprises a wide range of formats: online publications, handbooks, training materials, videos, resource websites,  and web applications.

The publications will appear online in the run up to an ECML conference on 10-11 December, where ECML National Contact Points are invited to discuss the programme results. The focus will be on how best to disseminate the new publications and resources at a national level and how to adapt them to different learning environments. Selected parts of the conference will also be broadcast live via a webcast.

What's new?

ECML information brochure now available in German

Download the brochure in German.
Also available in English and in French.

FREPA: A Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures – Competences and resources now in Spanish

Traducción de Vega Llorente Pinto, coordinadora (partes 1, 2 y 4), Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Salamanca y Isabel García Palomo y Dolores Veloso Gutiérrez (parte 3), Escuela oficial de Idiomas de Zamora

All language versions

The John Trim Collection website relaunched

The website focusing on the John Trim Collection has been updated! The collection consists of archive documents on the work of the Council of Europe in the area of modern languages between 1969 and 1997, as well as books and educational resources in the field of teacher education, linguistics, psychology, psycholinguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics, translation, language teaching and learning, learner-centred teaching, languages for specific purposes, language education and technology.

The work on describing the contents of over 100 archive boxes is well underway. Now you can look at the content lists of individual boxes and search for specific keywords, topics, time periods, events, institutions and organisations, authors/experts, document types and document reference numbers. 

All of the materials of the John Trim Collection are available in the ECML resource and documentation centre in Graz, Austria.

Start your historical journey here!

Book release: Developing Online Language Teaching - Research-based pedagogies and reflective practices

Editors: Regine Hampel, Ursula Stickler
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

As a language teaching professional or researcher are you keen to engage in online teaching and learning? This book helps you - in formal and informal settings - to become a confident user of online tools. It provides support for self-training, pre-service teacher training courses, and for in-service staff development. Finally it offers guidance to researchers who will benefit from the overviews of research done in the area of online language teacher training.
The publication is based, among others, on the ECML DOTS Project aimed to develop online teaching skills and the use of "DOTS – Developing online teaching skills" materials for professional development of English teachers in Turkey.

Related links:

MERLIN - Multilingual Platform for European Reference Levels: Interlanguage Exploration in Context

MERLIN offers an online platform that enables users of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) to explore authentic written learner productions for Italian, Czech, and German for didactic purposes. The web-based interface illustrates A1-C1 level learner texts.
MERLIN can be used for language teaching in the classroom to make students understand CEFR levels. It can be used by textbook and material writers in order to explore crucial aspects of language learning, such as learners' use of collocations, verbal aspect, and mood, etc. Also, textbook writers can find authentic examples for material writing. MERLIN is also relevant for syllabus and curriculum development to support decisions about the selection and progression of syllabus curriculum contents. Finally MERLIN can be used for language testing and for empirically based development of assessment materials.

All MERLIN results are freely accessible online.

The platform has been devised by an international team of linguists, computational linguists, language testers, and language teaching institutions. The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe acted as an associate partner in the‪ EU project (2012-2014

Related  links:

What is coming up

Education Department of the Council of Europe 

Competences for Democratic Culture: 
take part in testing competence descriptors from July to mid-September 2015
Explanation of the project and questionnaire (available in several languages)

Language Policy Unit of the Council of Europe

Intergovernmental conference on “The language dimension in all subjects: equity and quality in education" intended for those responsible for curriculum development and teacher training for any school subject
(Strasbourg, France, 14-15 October 2015)
Conference website

Symposium on "The linguistic integration of adult migrants: lessons from research"
(Strasbourg, France, 30 March – 1 April 2016)
Call for papers: Deadline for submissions of abstracts: 15 September 2015
Online registration

13th Annual Conference of EFNIL"Language use in public administration – Theory and practice in the European states" (Helsinki, Finland, 8-9 October 2015)

The conference of the European Federation of National Institutions for Language (EFNIL) will provide the participants with a detailed picture of the present linguistic situation regarding communication by and with institutions of public administration in various European countries. The programme contains general reflections and overview papers by invited experts, and a series of compact 'national' reports. 

EFNIL is a member of the ECML Professional Network Forum.

National Seminar LEND "Innovation in language teaching and learning"(Rome, Italy, 23-24 October 2015)

LEND - Lingua e Nuova Didattica organises this conference every two years in a different Italian town. This is a unique opportunity to share views, experiences and ideas on some of the key issues in foreign language learning and teaching. Sarah Breslin, Executive Director of the ECML, has been asked to close this event.

Programme and conference website (in Italian)

ICC Workshop and Annual Conference 2015: "Languages at work 2020"
(ECML, Graz, Austria, 28-29 November 2015)

Website of ICC - the international language association

ICC is a member of the ECML Professional Network Forum.

National developments in the field of language education

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Agency for Pre-primary, Primary and Secondary Education of Bosnia and Herzegovina adopted a decision on the approval of the Common Core Curriculum for the Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, as well as for Foreign Languages, as defined in learning. The Common Core Curriculum for Languages was developed within the reform process in Bosnia and Herzegovina in line with international educational standards. Hence, the Common Core Curriculum for Foreign Languages is developed in compliance with the European standards on language competencies A1, A2, B1+, B2 and B2+ while the Common Core Curriculum for Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian  states learning outcomes for five education levels , from pre-primary to  the end of secondary education, to serve as a reference material for developing the related curricula.
Also, the Federal Ministry of Education and Science co-published and promoted the Orthographic Reference Book of Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian with Grammar Basics in 2013. This reference book is intended for pupils from Bosnia and Herzegovina living abroad who attend complementary schools in order to promote their awareness of their own language, culture and traditions.


The General Delegation for the French Language and the Languages of France, in partnership with the International Organization of the Francophonie, has recently published a reference publication on intercomprehension. The brochure highlights the advantages of this plurilingual educational approach that provides innovative ways for language teaching and that is very useful in many situations of personal and professional life.
The reader will find current resources (descriptions, methods, projects) on the topic. The Framework for pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures (FREPA/CARAP), a project of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe, is highlighted among the innovative projects in the educational field.

EU: The teaching profession in Europe:  practices, perceptions, and policies

Is the teaching profession an attractive career choice nowadays? What are teachers' working conditions? How are teachers trained for their job? Is transnational mobility popular among them?
This Eurydice report addresses these questions by analysing the link between the policies that regulate the teaching profession in Europe, and the attitudes, practices, and perceptions of teachers. The analysis covers aspects such as initial teacher education, continuing professional development, transnational mobility, as well as teacher demographics, working conditions, and the attractiveness of the profession.
The report focuses on almost two million lower secondary education teachers employed in the 28 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey.

Quick links

Council of Europe
Council of Europe news page
European Day of Languages
European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)
Language Policy Unit
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Pestalozzi Programme

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