Coordination: Antoinette Camilleri Grima
The Council of Europe stresses the importance of societal multilingualism and of individual plurilingual competence as means to social cohesion. Why this is important and how it can be achieved are explained in the Language Policy Division document “Guide for the Development of Language Education Policies in Europe”. Ultimately, it is within the school, at the chalk face, that the necessary innovations need to take place. The case studies presented in this publication are an authentic illustration of how this is being realised in different contexts; and what successes and challenges it presents.
By bringing these innovative language education programmes and school profiles to the fore, we are participating in the creation of a new paradigm of school leadership whereby pupils, parents and the local community, instead of being excluded, controlled and forgotten become actively involved in language endeavours. Similarly, teachers can move on from being simply the executors of education programmes to becoming participants in drawing up, implementing and evaluating school policies. This work is intended to stimulate thought and to serve as a springboard for more schools to take up the European quest of building communities that are ever more inclusive, meaningful and democratic.