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The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) –
a centre to promote quality language education in Europe

Contemporary European societies are characterised and enriched by linguistic and cultural diversity, by migration and mobility. However, we only truly value and treasure these characteristics by recognising and responding to the associated challenges.
Language education is key: the provision of lifelong, quality language education supports not only educational and professional success, but personal development and a sense of self-worth, which in turn contribute to a democratic, socially cohesive and peaceful Europe.

The Council of Europe has played a central role in bringing about positive change in the field of language education across Europe and beyond, broadening the aims from an exclusive focus on modern foreign languages to embrace areas such as plurilingual, cultural and cognitive competences. By capitalising on learners’ individual linguistic repertoires, it places democratic citizenship and human rights at the core of learning and teaching, promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in the pursuit of quality education for all.

The ECML, an Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Council of Europe, situated at the interface between policy, research, teacher education and practice, is in a unique position to act as a catalyst for reform and to help member states implement quality language education.
Established in Graz, Austria in 1994, the ECML’s mission is to encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and support its member states in the implementation of effective language education policies. It does so by working with decision-makers in member states and bringing together language experts to develop innovative, research-informed solutions to challenges in language education.
The ECML recognises the importance of pedagogical approaches which are differentiated according to learner needs and to specific language contexts (home/first, second, foreign, regional, of migration, in subjects etc.). It values all those working in the field from early years through to adult education and contributes to their professionalisation by providing access to innovative resources and to transformative development opportunities. Through its networks at national and international level and through dialogue and exchange with relevant stakeholders, the ECML is ideally equipped to act as a pioneering institution in the teaching and learning of languages.
The ECML initiates and coordinates 4-year programmes which provide the framework for multilateral development projects, bilateral in-country capacity-building (ECML Training and consultancy) as well as a range of activities for a wider public. 
Our vision: A Europe committed to linguistic and cultural diversity, where the key role of quality language education in achieving intercultural dialogue, democratic citizenship and social cohesion is recognised and supported.

Languages at the ECML

English and French are the two official working languages of the Council of Europe, but does that mean they are the only two languages used at the ECML? Of course not!

The ECML embraces and actively encourages plurilingualism whenever and wherever possible, both formally and informally.

In order to provide the reader with concrete examples of these plurilingual practices, it’s helpful to begin with a reminder of our programme structure. ECML 4-year programmes consist of two strands: the development strand and the mediation strand. The development strand primarily covers innovation projects which result in new resources for language professionals. In addition to projects, and usually when addressing a particularly challenging or new aspect of language education, the ECML may choose to organise a think tank, either as stand-alone event or as a way of launching a new project.

The mediation strand consists of in-country Training and consultancy, as well as on activities for a wider public, such as the European Day of Languages (EDL), webinars and conferences. Read more

Contact us

European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe

Address: Nikolaiplatz 4, 8020 Graz, Austria
Phone: +43-316 32 35 54
E-mail: information@ecml.at 

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