ECML programme 2020-2023: what are the priorities in language education for the coming years? Share your thoughts with us!
As a language professional, you are cordially invited to contribute to the brainstorming on priorities in language education for the coming years. You will be asked to list the top three priorities in language education in your own professional context, beginning with the most important. Your suggestions, ideas and concerns will feed into the process of developing the next ECML programme 2020-2023. We are very keen to hear your voices and really appreciate your support!
The countdown to the 2018 European Day of Languages has begun!
The European Day of Languages, celebrated each year on 26 September, provides an opportunity to raise awareness of all the languages represented in today’s Europe and highlight their similarities, their differences as well as some of their quirks. Most of all, however, it is a celebration of Europe’s unique linguistic context and an impetus for people of all ages and walks of life to also learn to communicate, (and be understood!) in a language in addition to their own. In and around the Day hundreds of events (1,400 in 2017) will take place all over Europe and indeed around the world, often dealing with very different topics and audiences but with the same inherent premise – to encourage language learning.
Over the coming months, you will be able to find out which events are taking place near you and/or post details of your own activity via the EDL calendar of activities. The European Day of Languages’ website also contains a wealth of creative ideas, interesting facts, materials to download, game and activities. We will also be running a series of competitions and attempting to find ‘Europe’s most multilingual classroom’! We hope to count on the same enthusiasm as last year’s record breaking initiative where we received around 2800 videos on “Why do you love a (particular) language?”. To add some extra spice 2018 marks the European Year of Cultural Heritage.
All in all, it promises to be a busy and exciting build up to this year’s European Day of Languages … More details on all of the above will follow at: http://edl.ecml.at.
ECML programme developments
Early language learning – "Inspiring language learning in the early years – why it matters and what it looks like for children age 3 to 12": call for applications for the project workshop
The project is designed to help professionals harness opportunities inherent in linguistically diverse classrooms and use them for the benefit of all pupils.
Details and developments can be found on the project website: www.ecml.at/inspiringearlylearning. Those involved in early-years education, at whatever level, can in particular find evidence here of good practice and a variety of teaching and learning tools to develop learners’ language competence.
A workshop will be held at the ECML in Graz, Austria, on 12-13 September 2018. If you are interested in participating in this event please apply for nomination through the ECML Nominating Authority in your country.
"Promoting excellence in sign language instruction (Pro-Sign II)": towards a profile for sign language teachers’ competencies and a European Language Portfolio for sign language learners
Ground-breaking work on sign languages and the CEFR
Just six years ago there were no references to sign languages in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). With support from the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML), today we celebrate the existence of the ground-breaking Sign Languages and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Common Reference Level Descriptors, a result of the ECML ProSign1 project.
Developments towards a profile for sign language teachers’ competencies and a European Language Portfolio for sign language learners
During the project network meeting (Graz, 5-6 April 2018), 23 experts from 17 countries - incl. representatives of ENSLT, EFSLI, and Moscow State Linguistic University - contributed to the further development of the project products. The main topics were working towards a profile for sign language teachers’ competencies, towards a European Language Portfolio (ELP) fit for sign language learners, and assessment literacy and training.
The coming months will focus on preparing the ProSign2 / EFSLI conference at the University of Belgrade on 19-20 October 2018. The focus of the event is on the implementation of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, the European Language Portfolio, the teachers' competency profile, didactics and assessment. The target groups are researchers specialising in L2 teaching, learning and assessment, practitioners and decision makers.
"Learning environments where modern languages flourish (EOL)": current overview of the progress of work
The project aims to improve social skills and democratic competences through the learning of modern languages. It is designed for teachers, teacher trainers, headmasters, inspectors and decision-makers, working in primary, lower and upper secondary schools, vocational schools and adult education.
The network meeting (Graz, 20-21 March 2018) was a key step for the project as it provided an opportunity to get direct feedback from partner schools, school principals, institutional representatives and researchers on tools, resources and developed approaches.
The tools have nearly all been set up, the work on resources has been launched and the research data collection is almost complete. The drafting of the final publication, the development of the training platform, the labelling process and the dissemination activities (workshop, conference), as well as the future ECML training and consultancy offer still remain to be accomplished.
The dissemination strategy will consider the following elements: making publications user friendly, choosing a progressive approach, selecting easy-access resources, linking to other ECML projects and inclusion of a research part in the final publication.
"A roadmap for schools to support the language(s) of schooling": the basis of the self-assessment tool is finalised
The project aims to develop the linguistic and critical thinking skills ALL learners need in ALL subjects for school success, by supporting schools in the development of their own strategy regarding the language(s) of schooling. It targets all schools willing to focus on systematic quality improvement in order to foster the cognitive and linguistic abilities of all learners, by enabling them to benefit from language-aware learning situations.
During their last meeting in Graz on 15-16 March, the project team finalised the basis of the self-assessment tool, the core element of the Roadmap. This user-friendly, comprehensive tool should give considerable support to schools willing to set up the necessary organisational framework and develop a whole-school strategy agreed on by all takeholders, which will promote quality improvement in language-sensitive subject-teaching and in language-sensitive school cultures.
"Action Research Communities for language teachers (ARC)": field projects show how action research leads to the development of reflective classroom practice
The contribution of the ARC Network Meeting (Graz, 3-4 May 2018)
The ARC project aims to create learning communities for action research and to support teachers in European language classrooms in using action research as an essential tool for the development of reflective classroom practice and autonomy. To this end, it is designing action research tools to support teachers who want to carry out projects and to encourage dialogue between practitioners in schools and universities.
Since the beginning of the project, a series of events enabled language teachers to familiarize themselves with action research concepts and provided opportunities for them to plan collaborative projects. The most recent ARC meeting (Graz, 3-4 May 2018) brought together 14 network members and the project team. At the heart of the event were the action research projects developed over the past 18 months by network members, showing up how action research leads to expedient steps in the classroom through reflection. These initiatives are to be published on the project website by the end of the year.
The programme also focused on giving input on activities around language learning and action research, and the development of the action-research tool.
Article on the project
Gallagher-Brett Angela, team member, presents the ARC project in an article edited in the Scotland’s National Centre for Languages Newsletter (Summer 2018).
"Digital literacy for the teaching and learning of languages (e-lang)": What is the difference between a teaching approach based on tasks close to real life or rooted in the real world?
What is the difference between teaching based on tasks close to real life as recommended by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and an approach based on tasks rooted in the real world?
This article offers possible answers that are based on work carried out in the framework of the ECML's e-lang project "Towards digital literacy for language teaching and learning".
From 21 to 25 May, a week dedicated to digital literacy and language teaching and learning was held at the University of La Réunion. The event brought together four colleagues from the ECML e-lang project who worked on a book project on these issues. Wednesday 23 May was devoted to a study and training day which presented the e-lang project.
Regional workshop "Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for language teachers" (Bucharest, Romania, 22-23 March 2018): feedback from over 40 language experts from Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland and Romania on draft project outputs
Over 40 teacher educators, teachers, educational managers and students participated in the two-day event. The specializations of the experts from Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova and Poland ranged from languages for specific purposes to the teaching of Romanian as a foreign language.
For the project team, the event was an opportunity to learn about current priorities and challenges for language educators in Central and Eastern Europe, and to gather feedback and insights on the project work in progress.
The experts scrutinized the draft online Guide to teacher competence instruments, gave valuable feedback on a first draft inventory of teacher competences, and many ideas and suggestions to make the project outputs attractive and innovative.
"Developing language awareness in subject classes": join the professional network!
Join the project network!
Are you a secondary school teacher of a non-linguistic subject (other than mathematics or history) working in a linguistically and culturally diverse school? Do you teach 12/13 year olds whose first language is different from the language of schooling? Are you interested in sharing your subject expertise and exchanging experiences with European professionals in the field of language in subject teaching? Then this project is for you!
As a subject teacher you will be better equipped to respond to linguistic diversity in your classroom and to support students whose first language is different from the language of schooling.
Language challenges for subject teachers in Finland
On 24 April the Finnish National Agency for Education and the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre organised a half-day workshop in Helsinki for subject teachers of history and mathematics in connection with the ECML’s project "Developing language awareness in subject classes". In total 28 teachers, school administrators and other professionals working with 12/13-year-old students participated.
The aim of the event was to discuss the language challenges teachers encounter in their classes and to give teachers of different subjects concrete tools to design language aware teaching. The participants’ feedback showed that subject teachers need training and examples of good practices to be able to better take into account students with learning difficulties caused by insufficient skills in the language of schooling. The issues raised will be further discussed in the network meeting Language in subjects organised in October 2018 in Graz.
Training and consultancy activities
Call for the ECML-EC joint Action "Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning" 2018-2019
In September 2018, the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe and the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture, plan to launch another round of activity within the joint action on Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning. The action includes 2 initiatives: RELANG and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms. RELANG focuses on relating foreign/second language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms focuses on the linguistic integration of migrant learners in schools across Europe. The activities are scheduled to take place from 21 September 2018 to 20 September 2019, each initiative offering up to 9 national workshops during this period.
The call is open to current European Union member states and the additional member states of the ECML until 27 June 2018.
For further information, please contact Adelina Rosca, firstname.lastname@example.org, the ECML-EC cooperation agreement coordinator.
Supporting multilingual classes: "Accompanying all language teachers in multilingual classes" (Sèvres, France, 17-18 May 2018)
In partnership with the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe, the Ministry of Culture and the International Centre for Educational Studies (CIEP), the French Ministry of Education organised a training seminar for language teachers on 17 and 18 May 2018 in Sèvres, at the prestigious premises of CIEP, on the theme of supporting multilingual classes. The objective was to prepare teachers, teacher trainers, and administrators to develop the learners' plurilingual and intercultural repertoires in order to enhance their academic success and help ensure quality education for migrant learners.
The event was very successful, with 50 modern language teachers who participated, most of them acting as members of the French network "EOL - Learning environments where modern languages flourish", a project led by the ECML. The teachers were able to meet with the national coordinator, Jonas Erin, Inspector-General of National Education. They expressed their willingness to put into practice the contributions of training to make linguistic diversity a reality in their classes.
In addition, the seminar was opened at a high level by Pierre-François Mourier, Director of CIEP, Hervé Tilly, Deputy Director for European and Multilateral Affairs in charge of the interim Head of Service for European and International Relations and Cooperation, and Loïc Depecker, General Delegate for French Language and the Languages of France.
Quality education in Romani for Europe: QualiRom training for practitioners in Slovakia (Bratislava, 10-11 April 2018)
In the Slovak Republic, five schools are currently piloting a framework programme developed by the State Pedagogical Institute on the basis of the Curriculum Framework for Romani (CFR), and the teachers are using the European Language Portfolios (ELPs) to promote reflective learning on the basis of learner self-assessment. The QualiRom workshop was designed to bring these practitioners together and discuss their experience in the light of Council of Europe principles and a reconsideration of the CFR and ELPs. Participants generally agreed that the CFR is an important systemic tool for increasing the quality of Romani language teaching in Slovakia, and considered the creation of an Association of Romani teachers. Furthermore, the State Pedagogical Institute will develop annual plans on the basis of the CFR for teachers teaching Romani language at primary schools and secondary schools for different language levels and age groups.
EOL keynote and workshop "Strengthening synergies between practice, research and policy" (Agrinio, Greece, 11 May 2018)
The conference was organised by the Regional Directorate for Primary and Secondary Education in Western Greece to support the implementation of important changes in policy and practice in language education in Greece. It brought together 37 professionals (teachers, headmasters, school advisors, policy decision-makers) who became familiar with the EOL project “Learning Environments where modern languages flourish” (2016-2019) through a number of presentations and a workshop.
The event was a great opportunity to test tools and resources that are still in development within the EOL project. It also highlighted the importance to develop a systemic approach to language education for social inclusion and advancement, democratic citizenship, European cooperation and professional development. It revealed a strong commitment to a common European education policy, as well as the participants’ great interest in the values of the Council of Europe and in the work of the ECML. They set up strategies to implement an overall approach to language education and identified opportunities for transversal cooperation and cross-subject synergies. Many of them expressed the intention to register on the EOL working platform and to join the network of partner schools.
ECML resources: just published!
More languages? PlurCur! Research and practice regarding plurilingual whole school curricula
Authors: Elisabeth Allgäuer- Hackl, Kristin Brogan, Ute Henning, Britta Hufeisen, Joachim Schlabach.
European language policy aims at fostering plurilingualism in individuals, but how this goal can be attained within schools as institutions has not been part of the education policy discourse. A project at the ECML took up the idea of a plurilingual whole school curriculum, and specific elements of such a curriculum have been implemented and tested at 16 schools in a number of European countries. Some of the elements have been accompanied by research. This volume presents research and reports on practical implementation of plurilingual whole school curricula.
Language for Work: A quick guide – How to help adult migrants develop work-related language skills
Authors: Alexander Braddell, Mathilde Grünhage-Monetti (project co-ordinator), Christophe Portefin and Kerstin Sjösvärd.
For the many migrants who arrive with limited language skills and no recognised qualifications, support to develop work-related language skills is vital. This resource offers guidance on how to provide that support. The quick guide is now available in 7 languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, English, German, Irish, Swedish.
Download the quick guide
Publication on Language for Work (available in Italian):
Braddell Alexander and Grünhage-Monetti Matilde (in collaboration with the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe), Quaderni della Ricerca “Lingua e lavoro”, Issue no. 40, Torino: Loescher Editore, 2018.
Language for Work website (available in English and French, resources available in additional languages)
ECML related publication
L'éducation plurilingue et interculturelle. La perspective du Conseil de l'Europe
Jean-Claude Beacco, Daniel Coste, L'éducation plurilingue et interculturelle. La perspective du Conseil de l'Europe, Paris: Editions Didier, Collection / Série: Langues et didactique, 2018.
Professional Network Forum of the ECML
The Professional Network Forum of the ECML is comprised of international associations and institutions that share common values and have overlapping expertise in the field of language education and assessment. Under the auspices of the ECML, the members of the Forum share their know-how and work together on areas of common interest in the service of language education.
Members of the Forum: ACTFL, AILA, ALTE, CEL/ELC, CercleS, EALTA, EAQUALS, ECSPM, ECML/Council of Europe, EDiLiC, EFNIL, EPA, EUNIC, FIPLV, IAM, ICC, OLBI.
News on FIPLV conference-related issues
Eaquals celebrated successful Annual International Conference (Prague, 26-28 April 2018)
Three days of presentations, workshops and discussions included a management training workshop, as well as plenary presentations on “Putting teachers first: focus on teacher wellbeing”, “High performance leadership”, and on “Impactful professional learning for teachers”. Eaquals recently introduced the Teacher Award Scheme to promote and disseminate good practices in language teaching, to foster a culture of sharing and to appreciate those dedicated to the language teaching profession. A scholarship award scheme has also been launched to enable Eaquals-accredited institutions to benefit under certain conditions from funding to attend Eaquals conferences.
The next Eaquals annual international conference will be held in Madrid, 11-13 April 2019.
With an ongoing discussion about German classes for new arrivals in Austria, languages are once again becoming the focus of media interest. In promoting German as the language of instruction in a positive sense, the Austrian Centre for Language Competence (ÖSZ) has been providing tips and materials for language-sensitive teaching for several years (www.sprachsensiblerunterricht.at ); a large thematic conference on this theme is also planned for this year. The topic is embedded in a variety of other language measures: the national video competition for the European Day of Languages, interculturality and the importance of first language, early foreign language learning, materials on language inclusion, a model evaluation of English writing performances, etc. reflect the whole range of ÖSZ activities for 2018.
ÖSZ is the National Contact Point for the ECML in Austria.
Offer of employment at the Austrian Language Competence Centre
The Austrian Language Competence Centre (ÖSZ, Graz) is looking for a language project manager (40 hours/week) to strengthen its team.
Focus of the work: development, dissemination and implementation (marketing) of language innovations in the Austrian school education system; management of e-learning projects; content management of project-specific IT developments.
If you are interested, please send your application by 11 June 2018 to email@example.com
Overview of the CCERBAL Conference (Ottawa, 3-4 May 2018)
The Conference of the Canadian Centre for Studies and Research on Bilingualism and Language Planning was a great success, with 200 participants coming from 5 continents. Issues related to translanguaging, plurilingualism, linguistic risk-taking and beyond were discussed and debated from various angles and in multiple contexts. The next CCERBAL Conference is planned for 2020.
New partnership: OLBI-ECSPM
The OLBI is proud to announce their new partnership with the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism (ECSPM). Both organisations seek to promote multilingualism, improve language teaching, and research language policy, and both are members of the ECML Professional Network Forum.
LISEO: the new CIEP resource and document engineering centre portal
The LISEO portal is specialised in educational policies and in the teaching of French throughout the world. It was designed by a team of researchers to provide access to a series of resources and services in the same space. With a single interface, users are able to follow international news on educational and linguistic issues at the heart of current discussions (e.g. pre-school education, vocational education, higher education, language proficiency, place of languages in teaching programmes, etc.)
The portal provides access to:
Recent resources (available in French)
Languages at work
Les langues au travail (available in French):
The first part of the publication analyses the number of languages used at work according to specific socio-demographic characteristics. The second part presents the languages most frequently used at work. A section is devoted to the reasons to learn a language for professional purposes, and a chapter to the use of English at work.
Latest documentary monitoring of the Institute for Pedagogical Research and Documentation (IRDP / Intercantonal Conference of Public Education of French-Speaking Switzerland and of Ticino):
New official contacts for the ECML in Austria and Romania
The ECML is pleased to welcome
The ECML would like to express its deepest gratitude to Ms Karin Weitzer (Austria) and to Ms Cristina Mace (Romania) for their support and wholehearted involvement during the last years.
Council of Europe developments
Videos from the webinar on the "CEFR companion volume and practical considerations for implementation" now available online
The Education Policy Division of the Council of Europe organised a webinar on 30 January 2018 to present the CEFR Companion Volume with New Descriptors that adds a number of new illustrative descriptor scales to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR).
The volume includes newly developed illustrative descriptor scales, schematic tables which group scales belonging to the same category (communicative language activities or aspects of competence), a rationale for each scale, explaining the thinking behind the categorisation, and - in an appendix - descriptors that were developed and validated but not subsequently included in the illustrative descriptors. In addition to the presentation of new descriptor scales the webinar addressed to issues related to exploiting the CEFR Companion Volume.
Extended training course at the ECML for English language teachers in Moldova
The implementation of the Council of Europe’s Confidence-Building Measures programme (CBMs), included in the Council of Europe action plan for Moldova for 2017-2020, was discussed in April at a meeting between Secretary of State Tatiana Molcean and Head of Division for Confidence Building Measures, Directorate of Political Affairs of the Council of Europe, Anna Capello-Brillat. T. Molcean welcomed the Council of Europe’s decision to continue the training course at the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz (Austria) for English language teachers in Moldova, including teachers from schools located in the eastern districts of the country.
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: developments in Austria, Cyprus and Romania
New reports on protection of regional and minority languages in Austria, Cyprus and Romania
Declaration against Anti-Gypsyism
Marking the International Roma Day, celebrated on 8 April 2018, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe invited mayors around Europe to sign a Declaration against Anti-Gypsyism. Until 8 April, 83 representatives from 32 member states have signed the declaration. At present, apart from the two official languages (English and French) of the Council of Europe, the Declaration is available in 21 non-official languages: Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Finnish, Georgian, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Turkish and Ukrainian.
Latest Council of Europe publications
State of democracy, human rights and the rule of law (5th report) - Role of institutions - Threats to institutions: English - French
Reference framework of competences for democratic culture (3 volumes) (available in English)
T-Kit 4 - Intercultural learning (2nd edition) (available in English)
Learning mobility, social inclusion and non-formal education: Access, processes and outcomes (available in English)
New European Commission Proposal for a Council Recommendation on improving the teaching and learning of languages
Last week the Commission adopted a set of proposed Council Recommendations and other policy documents under the headline “Building a stronger Europe: the role of youth, education and culture policies”. The press communication and the Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to language teaching and learning, together with its annex and Staff Working Document, which provides the scientific background for the Recommendation, as well as many examples of good practice are all now available online. The Recommendation and its annex about language awareness will be translated into all official EU languages and subsequently added to the three already published in the EurLex database.
Eurydice’s new and refreshed website
The website contains Comparative Reports devoted to specific topics, detailed National Descriptions of Education Systems in the 38 countries of the Erasmus+ programme, indicators and statistics, and News and Articles related to the field of education.
Special Eurobarometer 469 - Integration of immigrants in the European Union (report and summary in English, factsheets in national languages, annex)
Eurydice Brief: Citizenship education at school in Europe – 2017
The European Higher Education Area in 2018
Teachers as designers of learning environments. The importance of innovative pedagogies
Valuing our teachers and raising their status. How communities can help
Teaching for the future. Effective classroom practices to transform education
Working together for local integration of migrants and refugees
Engaging young children. Lessons from Research about quality in early childhood education and care
How do the performance and well-being of students with an immigrant background compare across countries?
Which skills for the digital era? Returns to skills analysis
Teaching in focus: What does teaching look like?
Podcasts: Educating educators: Training teachers and school leaders for the 21st century
Listen to the teacher! The teaching and learning international survey
A lifeline to learning: leveraging mobile technology to support education for refugees
Mercator - European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning
Call for papers for the 17th International Conference on Minority Languages "Minority languages in a globalized society" (22-25 May 2019, Leeuwarden (Ljouwert), Netherlands)
Submission deadline: 1st October 2018
Newsflash (May 2018)
New Regional Dossiers on:
Newsletter: Issue no. 140 (May 2018) - Issue no. 141 (May/June 2018)
Council of Europe
Council of Europe news
Council of Europe Education Department
European Day of Languages
European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
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