Day 1, Thursday 5 December
Day 1 will take place at the prestigious Meerscheinschlössl. Through keynote speeches, panel discussions and interactive presentations, the role of quality language education in fostering a culture of democracy will be addressed - why it matters and what it looks like. There will be discussion of key policy developments such as the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation on protecting and promoting sign languages in Europe and the Council of the European Union’s Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages, as well as consideration of the ECML’s role as the interface between policy, research, teacher education and practice.
Day 2, Friday 6 December
Participants can spend all of day 2 at the ECML, actively engaged in smaller group discussions. These will be organised broadly around the ECML’s nine thematic areas with the presentation of key outputs the current ECML programme, together with insights from the Centre’s range of Training and Consultancy activities. There will be four parallel sessions, giving participants the opportunity to cover a number of key themes. The day will be topped and tailed with plenary sessions on dissemination, adaption and impact, drawing on successful examples from ECML member states.
At various intervals over the two days a draft Conference Declaration will be discussed and feedback gathered. This will be presented in plenary towards the end of Day 2 and a final version published in early 2020. The aim of this Declaration is to highlight the key contribution of quality language education to democratic societies, and at the same time acknowledge the challenges that need to be addressed. As such the Declaration could pave the way for a Council of Europe Recommendation on Quality Language Education.
The conference will close on a very personal note: the ECML’s long-standing expert consultant, Frank Heyworth, who has been closely involved with the Centre since its inception, will tell us his story of how the centre has evolved, what this involvement has meant to him. He will no doubt share his pearls of wisdom as to future directions for language policy and practice at the ECML and the wider Council of Europe.