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    Professional Network Forum: Meetings

The ECML and the Professional Network Forum

The Professional Network Forum is formed of international associations and institutions that share common values and have overlapping expertise in the field of language education and assessment. Under the auspices of the ECML, the members of the Forum have agreed to share their know-how and have committed themselves to work together on areas of common interest in the service of language education.
Professional network forum - Overview Meeting REPORTS

Meeting report 2016

The primary aims of the meeting were to:

  • offer the members of the Professional Network Forum a platform for information and exchange on the latest developments in language education and assessment;
  • discuss the role of language education in the current European context and to what extent the members of the Professional Network Forum were responding to current challenges
  • look at the possible updating/renewal of the 2010 Graz Declaration on Language Education in the light of recent societal/political developments
  • look at ways of attracting language professionals to get involved in European cooperation.
  • further develop the dissemination potential of the Professional Network Forum

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Presentations

OLBI
IAM
ECSPM
ACTFL

Meeting report 2015

The meeting took place on 6 February 2015 at the ECML in Graz.
Its primary aims were to:

  • offer the members of the Professional Network Forum a platform for information and exchange on the latest developments in language education and assessment;
  • ensure that, through the cooperation with the PNF members, the work of the ECML is at the ‘cutting edge’ in language education;
  • inform and involve the members of the Professional Network Forum in the Call for submissions for the ECML’s 2016-19 programme “Languages at the heart of learning” and in other key activities, such as the ECML conference in December and the publication of the results of the Centre’s current programme.

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Presentations and Handouts

OLBI
EAQUALS

Minutes of the meeting

Document 2015

Meeting report 2014


The meeting took place on 21st of March 2014 at the ECML in Graz and was moderated by Sarah BRESLIN, Executive Director of the ECML.
The main aims of the meeting:
• Follow-up to the Conference in the framework of the Austrian presidency of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers;
• Identifying key challenges in language education in Europe;
• Outlook on cooperation envisaged for 2014/2015.

Presentations:

 IAM
 OLBI

Minutes of the meeting

 Document 2014

Meeting report 2013

The meeting took place on Thursday 7 February 2013 at the ECML in Graz and was moderated by Waldemar MARTYNIUK, Executive Director of the ECML.
The main aims of the meeting were to:
• explore the idea of joint conference of the Professional Network Forum partners linked to the Austrian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe;
• exchange information on ‘burning issues’ in language education and latest developments in the partner networks.

Presentations:

 CEL/ELC
 EAQUALS
 ICC
 OLBI

Minutes of the meeting

Document 2013

Meeting report 2012

The INGO-Professional Network Forum, comprising 13 leading associations and institutions in language education and assessment, met at the ECML on 2 February to discuss ‘burning issues’ in international language education as identified by the membership of the Forum partners.

In the current challenging financial climate the influence of globalization and migration on education, the economic value of language skills and the impact of ICT on education  were in particular highlighted as priority areas where the sharing of expertise  and working on a common front could  benefit the wider language education community.

The meeting also looked at future joint actions, enhancing the information flow among the members and making use of the dissemination and lobbying opportunities created through the Forum, with a potential worldwide outreach to millions in the language education profession.

The Professional Network Forum was established in 2010 as a platform for exchange  for international associations and institutions  working at grass-roots level to share their know-how and discuss professional development issues in the service of language education. The Graz Declaration, drafted as a result of the founding meeting, provides a the basis for the common activities and actions  undertaken by the membership

Minutes of the meeting

 Document 2012

Meeting report 2011

The meeting will bring together eight renowned international associations, and OLBI, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute of the University of Ottawa, plus three new members, namely the European Union National Institutes for Culture, EUNIC, the European Parents Association (EPA) and the International Association of Multilingualism (IAM).

Four main topics figure on the agenda: The follow-up to the Graz Declaration 2010, the update on developments and outlook on activities of the Council of Europe and the European Union and of all other network partners, the partners´ potential involvement in the dissemination and promotion of the call for submissions and the presentation of concept of the ECML conference in September 2011 on the outcome of the third ECML medium-term programme: “Empowering Language Professionals”.

Minutes of the meeting

 Document 2011

Network Presentations

European Commission:
 Multilingualism Policy Unit

Council of Europe:
 Language Policy Division
 CRM - the Charter
 ECML - the Graz Centre

Reference texts

Documents formulating the position of the Council of Europe on language education policy: read here

Meeting report 2010 - foundation

Professional Network Forum founded in Graz

On 7 January, in Graz, Austria, the INGO-Professional Network Forum on language education was founded at the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe. The first ever meeting of its kind brought together eight renowned international associations acting in this area which all signed bilateral cooperation agreements with the ECML. Representatives from the Language Policy Division of the Council of Europe, the Multilingualism Policy Unit of the European Commission, and the Canadian institutional ECML partner – the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute of the University of Ottawa (OLBI) also participated in the meeting. Professor Henry Widdowson (Vienna University) provided comments from the perspective of an independent expert in the field.

The one day event enabled the partners to gain a common understanding of the working context and the respective competences of the associations (1) Through this 1st Forum the Centre seeks to further intensify its links with professional bodies working in language education and to create synergies between organisations with similar aims. The modalities for ongoing cooperation have already been defined in bilateral cooperation agreements signed between the European Centre for Modern Languages and the Official Language and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) at the University of Ottawa, Canada, the European Association for Quality Language Services (EAQUALS), the World Federation of Modern Language Associations (FIPLV), the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE), the International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA), the International Certificate Conference (ICC), the European Confederation of Language Centres in Higher Education (CercleS), the European Association for Language Testing in Europe (EALTA) and the CEL/ELC, Conseil européen pour les langues/European Language Council. – which all deal with policy, research and practice to a different extent – and to become more aware of the common issues shared and challenges identified within the Professional Network Forum.
Harald Hartung, Head of the Multilingualism Policy Unit of the European Commission, praised the initiative to establish the network and saw its future success as lying in “the smart selection of topics”.

In her closing statement, Johanna Panthier, the representative of the Council of Europe Language Policy Division, encouraged the associations which enjoy participatory status with the Council "to make better use of this platform and attend appropriate meetings organised by the Conference of INGOs, if need be on a rotation basis".

In his expert summary, Henry Widdowson, University of Vienna, talked about the basis for lifelong learning. “In reality, a foreign language learner does not have to use the language as a native speaker. The conditions should be set up to allow the learner to learn further for gradually approximating the level of native speakers. This needs a shift in focus from the competence of ‘a language’ to ´languaging´ and the awareness of how language works. Thus, ´languaging´ enables to exploit linguistic resources strategically and provides the basis for lifelong learning.”

After lively discussions on the key challenges facing language education today and on suitable areas for common action, the network unanimously agreed to further develop cooperation.

The ECML Executive Director, Waldemar Martyniuk, concluded the meeting by proposing that the Forum partners issue a common statement on key issues in language education, “the Graz Declaration on Language Education 2010.”
The Graz Declaration 2010 represents a summary of issues raised in the discussions, and provides the basis for the creation of, as well as for the activities to be undertaken by, this new network.

Hand in hand with the civil society- the Quadrilogue between the Council of Europe and INGOS

Resolution (2003)8 http://www.coe.int/t/ngo/Articles/Resolution_2003_8_en.asp

"Noting that the development and reinforcement of this co-operation between INGOs and the Committee of Ministers and its subsidiary bodies, as well as with the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe has led to the "Quadrilogue" which is, within the Council of Europe, an expression of democratic pluralism and an essential element for the further development of a citizens' Europe; "

Minutes of the meeting

 Document 2010

Network Presentations

European Commission:
 Multilingualism Policy Unit

Council of Europe:
 Language Policy Division
 CRM - the Charter
 ECML - the Graz Centre

Reference texts

Documents formulating the position of the Council of Europe on language education policy: read here