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    Summer academy

Inspiring Innovation in European Language Teacher Education
Summer Academy for teacher educators working in the field of languages

From 4th to 8th July 2022, the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe held its first ever Summer academy, co-funded by the European Commission. Twenty-five language teacher educators from across Europe participated in the event, which provided a unique transnational professional learning opportunity for this key target group, with time and space to discuss cutting-edge developments in language education, become familiar with innovative resources and policy instruments both from the Council of Europe and the European Commission, and reflect on their competences, values, and professional identities. After the successful launch, the ECML intends to run a Summer academy in 2023.

About the Summer academy

The Summer academy provides a unique opportunity for the professional learning of language teacher educators, so that they, in turn, can support the professional development of language teachers to respond to the complex needs of today’s learners. Focusing on developments at the cutting edge of language education as reflected in the ECML thematic areas, the programme provided teacher educators with opportunities to pool their expertise with colleagues from across Europe and to reflect on and re-think their own modes of teacher education from a transnational perspective.

Specific objectives

  • to initiate a forum for discussion among teacher educators from various European countries working in the field of language education
  • to provide a safe space for teacher educators to reflect on their competences, values, and professional identities and how these are impacted by the current context of plurality and crises 
  • to highlight recent developments in language-related teacher education
  • to provide a deeper knowledge and understanding of European language policy (Council of Europe and European Commission)
  • to familiarise participants with Council of Europe resources (Language Policy programme and ECML) and consider how these may enhance their own teacher education programmes to reflect critically on the structural aspects of the teacher education spectrum – initial teacher education, school practice, professional development etc. 

Some impressions from participants

Very much food for thought that will take time to reflect on.

Inspirational, mind-blowing, refreshing.

Nous avons vécu une semaine riche, passionnante et épuisante. Nous n'avons pas cessé d'échanger, avant-durant-après les sessions de formation mais aussi durant les repas et même en partageant un verre en soirée. Nos sujets de discussion ont porté sur l'apprentissage des langues, sur le plurilinguisme, l'intercompréhension mais également sur les cultures d'enseignement, de formation, sur les différents contextes institutionnels et politiques et avons constaté que malgré les différences nous partageons toutes et tous un grand nombre de similarités, d'expériences et de préoccupations communes.

It was professional development in a nutshell. A concise, precise and intense week of listening and interacting, speaking and interactions, collaborative thinking and writing. I have not been so much doing professional learning and at the same time been laughing so much and had such good times with previously unknown, yet all of a sudden close colleagues in a long time. I found the combination of different modes to enhance our learning and discussion.

Both the content and the design of tasks were transferrable to my context. For example, the way you have built the content of the summer academy on our pre-academy input, the way there was flexibility in the programme, yet a very clean structure to be followed.

L’université d’été du CELV est une expérience unique dans la carrière d’un formateur d’enseignant tant sur le plan didactique que sur le plan humain ; un aspect que l’on ne peut en aucun cas occulter.

Quoi qu’il en soit, vous repartirez avec des étoiles plein les yeux et des rencontres de très belles personnes !

During the Summer Academy I was encouraged to take a reflective approach to my role as a teacher educator, my competences and my working methods. I became aware of the importance of keeping up to date with the latest research and developments in terms of innovation and changing contexts.

As a result of meetings and work during the Summer academy, a small research group was formed. We have had our first online meeting this September, and we will be working on a small research project together at our three institutions.

Based on debriefing meetings with experts and feedback collected from participants, the programme would be refreshed. Similar to last year, we expect to open the call towards the end of March 2023.