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    Democratic culture for young learners

Developing competences for democratic culture for young learners through language education

The project focuses on the implementation of the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (2018) in primary language teaching, for example in classes for the language of schooling, foreign languages and home languages. In order to provide practical support for teaching democratic culture in the language classroom, this project will develop resources for teachers of languages at the primary level.

Working languages of the project: English, German
Project term: 2025-2027
Shortcut: www.ecml.at/DemocraticCultureForYoungLearners
Administration: view page

Why this project is needed

Practical school education in European countries has become a greater challenge as the linguistic and cultural diversity both in society and in the classroom has increased in recent decades. As a result of large-scale migration and mobility, educational systems in general and classroom teachers especially are faced with the task of integrating learners with very different cultural and linguistic backgrounds into schools. It is therefore necessary to support teachers in responding to this situation by introducing content on plurilingual and intercultural education for a democratic culture into the classroom. The role of language teachers is not only to develop students' communicative language competences, but also to support the development of their competences for democratic culture (CDC) through language education.

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Envisaged project results

Collection of digital materials on competences for democratic culture (CDC)

Digital guidelines for the implementation of CDC in language classes

Target groups


Class teachers and language teachers in primary education including teachers of the language of schooling, foreign languages and home languages.

Educational levels concerned

  • Primary level

Forthcoming events

There are no events in this section yet.

How to get involved


Workshop description

The workshop for class teachers and language teachers is focused on the development of competences for democratic culture in language classes (languages of schooling, foreign languages and home languages) at the primary level. The first part of the workshop builds on the resources of the existing ECML Project Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education and the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (Council of Europe, 2018) and aims to familiarise teachers these resources. In the practical part of the workshop activities related to values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and critical understanding according to the RFCDC (Council of Europe, 2018) will be developed together.

Participants’ profile

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Do you wish to participate?

Individuals with a special interest and professional background in the topic of this particular project are invited to take up contact with the ECML National Nominating Authority in their country so that they can be considered for participation in the corresponding project workshop.

Project team

Martina KRAMAR
Primary School KGS Leoschule Neuss

Mai Trang VU
Website correspondent
Umea University

Second language documentalist
University of Rijeka

Communications officer
Bosnia and Herzegovina
International University of Sarajevo

Related resources

Council of Europe resources

Other resources

  • Byram, M., Flemming, M. & Sheils, J. (2023), Quality and Equity in Education: A Practical Guide to the Council of Europe Vision of Education for Plurilingual, Intercultural and Democratic Citizenship, Bristol, Multilingual Matters. 
  • Byram, M. & Golubeva, I. (2020), Conceptualizing intercultural (communicative) competence and intercultural citizenship. In J. Jackson (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of Language and Intercultural Communication (2nd edition) (p. 70–85), London, Routledge. 
  • Byram, M., Golubeva, I., Han, H. & Wagner, M. (2017), From Principles to Practice in Education for Intercultural Citizenship, Bristol, Multilingual Matters.
  • Culp, J., Drerup., J. & Yacek, D. (2023), The Cambridge Handbook of Democratic Education, Cambridge, Cambridge University. 
  • Göbel, K. & Hesse, H.–G. (2004), Vermittlung interkultureller Kompetenz im Englischunterricht- eine curriculare Perspektive. Zeitschrift für Pädagogik, 50 (6), 818–834, available at https://www.pedocs.de/volltexte/2011/...ller_Kompetenz_D_A.pdf.
  • Kramar, M. (2022), An analysis of German Language Subject Curriculum for Primary Education in the Republic of Croatia in Terms of Intercultural Competence. In Book of proceedings, Second International Scientific and Art Conference Contemporary Themes in Education – in memoriam Professor Emeritus Milan Matijevic, Zagreb, Faculty of Teacher Education, University of Zagreb, available at https://hub.ufzg.hr/books/...-medukulturne-kompetencije.
  • Rühle, S. (2015), Diversität, Curriculum und Bildungsstrukturen. Eine vergleichende Untersuchung in Deutschland und Finnland, Münster, Waxmann.