Subject learning comprises much more than “simply” learning content, for it also comprises learning to use language in new ways in order to develop and express subject knowledge. The term ‘language(s) of schooling’, therefore, embraces two key components ‘language as subject’ and ‘language in other subjects’.
In some contexts, the languages in learners’ repertoires may be taught at school either as subjects in their own right or as the medium of instruction; there may be two languages of schooling, such as in bilingual systems. But for many learners in European classrooms today, their first language is not represented in the school system at all.
The diagram below represents graphically the Council of Europe’s view of languages and language education. At the top of the diagram, in the centre, stands the learner with his/her linguistic and cultural repertoire. She/he is the central protagonist and the starting point: all the rest is the work of the education system.
In this diagram the language of schooling sits at the heart of the school system, in a pivotal position owing to its decisive and defining role in the learner’s education and its cross-cutting dimension in teaching/learning processes.
Past and present ECML activities aim to sensitise teachers, teacher educators and other language professionals to the importance of supporting learners to develop competences in the languages of schooling for educational success.
Training and Consultancy
Available in English and French
Go to the publication page
The study materials focus on teacher education for the
language of schooling (e.g. French in France, Polish in
Poland). They draw on the linguistic and cultural diversity in
the classroom for the benefit of all learners.
Available in English, French and German
Go to the publication page
A pluriliteracies approach builds on CLIL approaches to help
learners become better meaning-makers, who can draw
on content knowledge to communicate successfully across
languages, disciplines and cultures. In this way it promotes
deep learning and helps develop responsible, global citizens.
Available in English
The online questionnaire produced a total of 107 complete responses from 33 different countries, including 7 non-ECML member states. Nearly 20% of the respondents were teacher trainers, closely followed by academic researchers (18%). Most encouraging was to see that in addition to these two key ECML target groups, responses were received from parents, language teachers, teachers of non-linguistic subjects as well as head teachers. This is an endorsement of the ECML’s decision to focus this think tank not only on the language/s of schooling but specifically on whole-school approaches. Moreover, teacher respondents came from all sectors from pre-primary to upper secondary.
The moderation team and participants were selected.
Moderation team: Marisa Cavalli, ECML Consultant; Eli Moe, Norway and Gunther Abuja, Austria.
Participants: 17 in total: language experts from sixteen different European countries, three of whom were present in their capacity as representatives of International non-governmental organisations (ALTE – Association of Language Testers of Europe; FIPLV - Fédération Internationale des Professeurs de Langues Vivantes, EPA – European Parents Association), as well as a representative from the European Commission.
Think tank meeting 13/14th September 2016
The moderation team planned and coordinated the 2-day think tank meeting which took place at the ECML in Graz on 13/14th September 2016 and focused on the following four interrelated aspects of the language/s of schooling:
Participants were presented with key findings from the online questionnaire as well as an overview of existing Council of Europe resources.
You can download the Powerpoints from the think tank meeting here:
The meeting resulted in a list of recommendations for the ECML secretariat, which were combined into a concrete work-plan, subsequently adopted by the ECML Governing Board at its meeting on 12/13th October 2016.
Questionnaire key findings
ECML introductory presentation
ECML activities languages of schooling
Council of Europe resources
08.02.2017Join the interactive online seminar entitled “Supporting multilingual classrooms” on 9th February at 4 pm GMT (5 pm CET)
Are you part of the eTwinning community? If so, why not join us tomorrow, February 9th at 4 pm GMT (5 pm CET) for an interactive online seminar entitled “Supporting multilingual classrooms”?
What is it all about?
Linguistic and cultural diversity is now the norm in European classrooms. What does this mean for teachers, both language teachers and teachers of other subjects? How can teachers adapt their methodology to ensure that this linguistic and cultural capital becomes a rich resource for learning? This seminar will encourage teachers to question their own beliefs as they discover for themselves the answers to these questions and the wide range of free resources developed by the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML) in support of an inclusive, plurilingual and intercultural approach to teaching and learning.
The seminar will be led by Sarah Breslin, Executive Director of the ECML and by Professor Terry Lamb, Co-coordinator of the ECML-EU Training and Consultancy Activity “Supporting Multilingual Classrooms”.
How will taking part benefit your work in eTwinning?
The goal is to raise awareness of the support which is available via the ECML to help teachers adapt to the new reality in ways that will be beneficial to the learner and professionally fulfilling for the teacher. In the specific context of e-twinning, teachers will be better equipped to understand the different contexts and challenges facing teachers across Europe.
To sign up, please click on this link and enter your eTwinning login details.
08.02.2017Open online seminar: Discovering the European Centre of Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML). Today, Wednesday 8th February at 15.30 (GMT)/16.30 (CET)
Linguistic and cultural diversity is now the norm in European classrooms. What does this mean for teachers, both language teachers and teachers of other subjects? How can teachers adapt their methodology to ensure that this linguistic and cultural capital becomes a rich resource for learning?
Join us today via the link below at 16.30 (CET) and discover the ECML’s treasure-chest of free resources for teachers and teacher educators in support of an inclusive, plurilingual and intercultural approach to teaching and learning?
03.11.2016European Language Gazette : enjoy the latest issue!
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.
Issue no. 33 (September - October 2016): available in English and in French.