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    Majority language in multilingual settings

Majority language in multilingual settings

Training kit
Traditionally, teachers of majority languages receive less training to teach a language as a second language or to develop the plurilingual repertoire of their learners than, for example, foreign language teachers. Yet, in today’s societies, learners bring many different languages to school. This means that the teaching of the majority language has to extend beyond teaching it as a first language and adopt elements of second language teaching.
This publication aims to encourage teachers to become agents of reform for the promotion of plurilingualism in majority language teaching. The range of proposed actions includes small-scale activities, such as planning a lesson, relating to a specific aspect of grammar, which incorporates all languages spoken in the classroom. More comprehensive strategic approaches proposed in the materials involve head teachers or parents.

Who is it for?

  • Majority language teachers of secondary schools
  • Teacher trainers, head teachers, curriculum developers and school administrators

Download handbook

Project team

Klaus-Börge Boeckmann (Coordinator)
University of Vienna

Terry Lamb
University of Sheffield
United Kingdom

Andrea Abel
Europäische Akademie Bozen - Accademia Europea di Bolzano

Eija Aalto
University of Jyväskylä, Department of Teacher Education

Tatjana Atanasoska
Fellow at the ECML



These are the results from a project of the European Centre for Modern Languages within its "Empowering Language Professionals" programme 2008-2011.

Read more about the project

Related publications

Minority languages, collateral languages and bi-/plurilingual education (EBP-ICI)

The different activities during the project demonstrated the transferability to other contexts of the proposed teaching processes. These focus on identifying languages and cultures and their similarities and individual characteristics, on collaborative writing with the aim of interculturality and on oral intercomprehension. The material is varied and environment-based: written and oral documents, electronic mail, platform, videos, films, blogs, etc.

A framework of reference for pluralistic approaches (CARAP)

This publication opens ways for implementing pluralistic approaches in classrooms in order to develop the plurilingual and intercultural competences of learners of all subjects. The term pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures refers to didactic approaches which involve the use of more than one / several varieties of languages or cultures simultaneously during the teaching process.

Language associations and collaborative support (LACS)

The LACS (Language associations and collaborative support) network mediates between ECML projects and language teacher associations and other networks at regional and national levels. Its purpose is to raise awareness of existing ECML projects and resources, and to motivate teachers and others involved in language education to adapt these to their local environment, in order to facilitate widespread impact on learning and teaching.