ILLEY – Inspiring Language Learning in the Early Years
ILLEY, which was part of the 2016-2019 ECML programme ‘Languages at the Heart of Learning’ – set out the principles on which inspiring language learning in an education setting for children aged 3 to 12 are based. These principles (language learning is holistic, relies on the existing linguistic repertoire of the child, is meaningful, active, ongoing and continuous, and integrated) – place the child at the heart of the learning process and make children active agents in their own language learning. ILLEY encourages teachers and educators to welcome all languages to their classroom, regardless of their status within the education system – this can include the language(s) of schooling, additional languages taught as part of the curriculum, but also community languages, or home languages.
ILLEY also recognises that all contexts are different – ranging from (largely) monolingual to fully multilingual and that community and societal attitudes play an important role in the way that languages are viewed, both within and beyond the education system and encourages teachers and educators to foster inclusivity and diversity.