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    Gazette 47

Gazette 47 - May-July 2019

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Featured articles


ECML 2020-23 medium-term programme

The response to the ECML’s Call for Proposals for its 6th medium-term programme 2020-23 - Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences – which closed on 21st April 2019, has been hugely positive with 60 project proposals and 321 team member applications received. Together this represents responses from 28 ECML member states and 7 non-member states, proof of the relevance of, and high levels of interest in, the 5 priority areas. These are:

  • Language professionals as agents of change
  • Considering and reconsidering flagship resources of the Council of Europe
  • Foreign language learning and teaching in the spotlight
  • Bi-/plurilingual education for a new decade
  • Organising language education

The ECML is now advancing with the project evaluation process and is also reviewing the response to its Call for Training and Consultancy Activities for the next programme. As with projects, the Centre finds itself in the enviable position of being “spoilt for choice”. A short list of both projects and Training and Consultancy Activities will be presented to the ECML Governing Board in October 2019 who will be tasked with adopting the new programme 2020-23. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our member states and their experts for ensuring the success of both Calls and look forward to the new programme taking shape over the next few months.

We believe this success is indicative not only of the key contribution made by the ECML to date - especially encouraging in this, the Centre’s 25th anniversary year – but of the continued need for the ECML as it strives to address the challenges of ensuring quality language education in the Europe of tomorrow.


European Day of Languages 2019

18 years ago on 26 September 2002, the first ever European Day of Languages took place. In the subsequent years the Day has gone from strength to strength. This year more events than ever are planned around Europe and indeed the world, organised by schools, universities, cultural institutes, associations, municipalities, businesses and many other organisations and by many very dedicated individuals. If you are involved in the organisation of an event this year, you can showcase your creative ideas and activities through the EDL calendar which listed activities from over 50 countries in 2018. On the EDL website (http://www.coe.int/edl) you will also find a treasure trove of ideas for activities and resources to help you celebrate the rich diversity of Europe’s languages and make the 26 September a very special day!

What do you dare to do in a foreign language? The EDL language challenge

The language challenge handbook contains a series of 51 ‘challenges’ which encourage learners (or ‘special agents’ in training as we call them in the handbook…) to go a little outside their comfort zone and take advantage of the many opportunities available to practice or learn more about a language. The handbook offers a range of fun challenges that can either be taken independently or in the classroom, so that the ‘special agents’ are fully prepared for their next mission! Some are easy and don’t involve much time, whilst others are a bit more demanding – hopefully there is something for everyone. Anyone completing 20 challenges or more can reward themselves with a certificate from the website.

To add an extra incentive to the initiative, the 51st challenge is “What do you dare to do in a foreign language?” and invites users to create a short video clip, either based on the one of the challenges in the handbook or on one of their own invention and upload it to the EDL website.

The handbook, which is inspired by the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute’s (University of Ottawa) Linguistic Risk-Taking initiative, is currently available in English and French and we hope to have it in 20+ languages well in advance of the Day.


Language for Work project receives the European Language Label award

Language for Work has proved a highly successful initiative, taking place over two successive ECML programmes. Among its outputs are:

  • a quick guide on how to help adult migrants develop work-related language skills (available in 15 languages),
  • a collection of 35 practices from Europe and Canada that documents different ways to support work-related L2 learning through formal, non-formal and informal learning,
  • a checklist of competences for different actors in different settings to support work-related L2 development,
  • a guide "Communicating with migrants" offering guidance to staff in labour market administration and public services.

The project’s website also acts a platform for an active network, where teachers, providers, researchers, employers and authorities can share expertise and develop practice. The LfW Network currently counts over 200 registered members.

As a sign of recognition of both the importance of the issue and the quality of the LfW work, the EU’s European Language Label 2018 was awarded by Italy for the book, Lingua e lavoro. Published by the Italian publishers Loescher and LaLinea in cooperation with the ECML, the volume was edited and mainly written by LfW members. The coordinator of the project, Matilde Grünhage-Monetti received the award at a ceremony in Florence in May.


A roadmap for schools to support the language(s) of schooling - getting there!

The Roadmap is aimed at primary and secondary schools seeking to help all their students to succeed academically. The focus is primarily on the students who depend on the school to develop their competences in the language of schooling, i.e. the language usually used to teach the different school subjects. The lack or limited access to this language in a family context, for whichever reasons can hinder these students from gaining access to knowledge on the same basis as others.

During 2018, the project team, in collaboration with a large number of experts, developed an online self-assessment tool as the first step of the Roadmap. 2019 will see the finalisation of the Roadmap with the establishment of a database of promising practices, gathered from the ECML projects and from teacher practice from different countries in Europe. The schools using the Roadmap will receive a complete feedback on their strengths and level of progress.


Strategies, tools and resources for changing your school into a place where languages can flourish

The EOL project "Learning environments where modern languages flourish" aims to respond to the needs expressed by the 33 ECML member States, particularly with regard to the attractiveness and efficiency of language learning. By drawing on all the stakeholders in education – pupils, parents, teachers, management staff, inspectors, researchers – the project team built on the collective knowledge of the EOL network. This has led to a series of outputs, including an online training course and 52 tools to support language policies. More than 100 schools from 16 European countries contributed in this reflection process.

The work of the project team at their last meeting consisted mainly of defining how these tools can best be adapted for use in different contexts. The training course and tools will be accessible on the EOL site in autumn 2019.


Describing teacher competences for language education

In the last six months, the team members of the "Towards a common European framework for language teachers" project have been engaged in an intensive final round of review and consultation. The online Guide to instruments and frameworks describing teacher competences for language education will be finalised over the summer. The analysis of 40 competence frameworks has inspired the team to propose a model of teacher competences which, while related to learners’ language and intercultural competences, are common to all teachers.


Training and consultancy activities


Call for the ECML-EC joint Action "Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning" 2019-2020 open until 5 July 2019

In September 2019, 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 two 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 2019 to 20 September 2020, 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 5 July 2019.
For further information, please contact Adelina Rosca (adelina.rosca@ecml.at), the ECML-EC cooperation agreement coordinator.


National training and consultancy events: latest workshop results

The ECML offers its member states European expertise in language education adapted to the concrete needs and specific contexts within individual countries. This bilateral support in a range of key areas helps strengthen the cooperation between member states and the ECML by taking the expertise gained from ECML projects directly into member states.

Training workshop on Electronic European Language Portfolio - e-ELP (Zagreb, Croatia, 23-24 May 2019)

Training workshop on Content and language integrated learning (CLIL) - A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning (Larissa, Greece, 16-17 May 2019)

Training event on Developing online teaching skills for the 21st century classroom in Denmark (Aarhus, Denmark, 25-26 April 2019)

Enhancing ICT use and skills in the language class within the Czech schools (Prag, Czech Republic, 21-22 March 2019)

RELANG tools to align Danish tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference and Companion Volume (Copenhagen, Denmark, 12-13 March 2019)


ECML resources


European portfolio for pre-primary educators – The plurilingual and intercultural dimension: now available in Polish!

The PEPELINO publication offers a tool for reflective practice in initial teacher training that focuses on developing a variety of language skills of children, valuing diversity in and around the school and familiarising with key issues in Europe related to the subject.

The Polish version Europejskie portfolio dla studentów i nauczycieli wychowania przedszkolnego. Wielojęzyczność i międzykulturowość w wychowaniu przedszkolnym includes an introduction written by Professor Małgorzata Pamuła Behrens about the role of pre-primary education and the aims of this publication.


National developments


Celebrating 100 years of Estonian as a state language

2019 marks the passing of a century since Estonian was first mentioned as a state language in the newly established republic. In celebration of this milestone, the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research has declared 2019 the Year of the Estonian Language. Throughout the year, events are organised highlighting key areas and issues related to Estonian. Each month in 2019 focuses on one such area.
Events are recorded and regularly added to on the website of the Institute of the Estonian Language.



Latest newsletter edited in German by the Austrian Language Competence Centre (ÖSZ), the national Contact Point for the ECML in Austria: "Sprachbox no. 2" (June 2019) focuses on the European Language Festival in Graz (25 September 2019)

Latest online news



Recent resources

Ministère de l'Education Nationale et de la Jeunesse/CNESCO, Resource kit "Langues vivantes étrangères : comment mieux accompagner les élèves ?".

Results of the national call for projects "Cultural action and French language" : 38 resources and tools now available online.

A digital and collaborative dictionary to illustrate and highlight the wealth of French in the world. The General Delegation for the French Language and the languages of France (Ministry of Culture) was in charge of coordinating the development of a Dictionary of francophones.


Edited by CIEP

"La lettre du CIEP": April 2019

"Veille et ressources documentaires du CIEP": April 2019 - May 2019

"Veille sur les ressources pédagogiques pour l’enseignement du français": April 2019

Edited by the General Delegation on the French Language and the Languages of France

April 2019 - June 2019


Norway: improving school quality - the new competence development model

Norway is committed to a high quality and equitable education system and has started to implement the new competence development model that sets out to develop teacher professionalism with in-service professional development.

The OECD report Improving school quality in Norway. The new competence development model aims to support Norway in this effort. It proposes concrete actions to adapt the implementation strategy for impact. It is valuable not only for Norway, but also to the many countries that are looking to promote school-based professional development and bridge the gap between policy design and effective implementation.


New Governing Board member for the ECML in Switzerland

The ECML is pleased to welcome Karine Lichtenauer, Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK), as new member of the ECML Governing Board for Switzerland. In addition, Ms Lichtenauer also fills the positions of ECML Nominating Authority and National Contact Point.


Professional Network Forum of the ECML


Forthcoming events

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, ICC, OLBI.


Council of Europe developments


Protecting and promoting sign languages in Europe - Council of Europe: reply of the Committee of Ministers to the recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has recently adopted a report on Promoting and protection sign languages in Europe, as well as a recommendation to which the Committee of Ministers responded in May 2019. Among others, the Committee of Ministers refers to the Council of Europe’s longstanding Language Policy Programme and to the work of the Enlarged Partial Agreement, the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML).

In addition, an expert report on the challenges facing sign language in Europe has been prepared at the request of the Finnish Presidency of the Committee of Ministers. The report written by Eeva Tupi gives an overview of the status of sign languages and associated rights in Council of Europe member states. It includes national examples of good practices as well as feedback from national associations of the deaf. It offers ten recommendations on how to promote the status of sign languages, arguing that they should be understood and recognised both from a disability and a language rights point of view.

The world's most famous deaf rap artist Signmark, who comes from Finland, performed in front of parliamentarians attending the Spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. He was there to publicise this new report. (video)


European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: reform of the monitoring mechanism - national developments

The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages is the European convention for the protection and promotion of languages used by traditional minorities. Together with the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities it constitutes the Council of Europe's commitment to the protection of national minorities.

Impressions on minorities and minority languages in a changing Europe
The conclusions and impressions of the 20th anniversary conference of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (18-19 June 2018) are now available in the form of a brochure.

70 years of advocacy for minority rights in Europe: strengthening the monitoring mechanism of the Charter
On 28 November 2018, the Ministers' Deputies adopted changes to be made in the operation of the Charter's monitoring mechanism with a view to strengthening it. These will enter into force on 1 July 2019.
Learn more about the preliminary discussions and the details of the reform.

Recent national developments: reports and recommendations
Czech Republic

More information about the Charter


Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: national developments

The Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities is one of the most comprehensive treaties designed to protect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.

Latest national developments

Bosnia and Herzegovina: follow up meeting on the application of FCNM (12 April 2019)

Ireland: publication of the 4th Advisory Committee Opinion and government comments

Italy: receipt of the 5th cycle State Report

Republic of Moldova: receipt of the 5th cycle State Report

Malta: receipt of the 5th cycle State Report

Poland: receipt of the 4th cycle State Report

Switzerland: Adoption of a Committee of Ministers’ resolution


Integration policies should not pursue migration-control goals

The Council of Europe has recently published an Issue Paper on human rights aspects of immigrant and refugee integration policies based on a comparative assessment of 11 Council of Europe member states. The Issue Paper focuses on specific integration policies such as learning the language or acquiring knowledge about the political institutions, society and democratic values of the receiving country, as well as residency requirements, income thresholds or housing requirements in the context of family reunification.


Young refugees should receive additional temporary support after the age of 18, recommends the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers to member states

On 24 April 2019 at the 1344th meeting of the Ministers' Deputies, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)4 on supporting young refugees in transition to adulthood.
Concerning languages, member states should, in accordance with their national laws and regulations, continue to provide language education and, if possible, certify language competences of young refugees throughout the transition period, according to their needs and in order to facilitate their integration and inclusion in society. They are also encouraged to promote and support youth work and non-formal education/learning targeted at young refugees in transition to adulthood that aim to support the development of language and communication skills. They should make all such information and advice available in an accessible form that is gender and culture sensitive and provided in a language that is understood by the individuals concerned.


Recent Council of Europe resources

Ready for future challenges: reinforcing the Council of Europe, April 2019
Annual report by Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, for the 129th Ministerial Session in Helsinki, 16-17 May 2019.
Press release

Annual report on ECRI's activities covering the period from 1 January to 31 December 2018
Hate speech and xenophobic populism remained major concerns in Europe in 2018
Press release

New series of didactic and awareness videos addressing local governments wishing to evolve as intercultural municipalities.
What interculturalism is about?
The video introduces policy makers, practitioners and local authorities’ staff to the main principles of the intercultural approach as both a philosophy and a policy paradigm for inclusive integration. Examples of good practices drawn from ICC member cities are also showcased.

Manual on community policing launched by the Intercultural Cities (ICC) programme.
The Manual provides local police, including high-rank police managers, public safety directors, managers, and decision makers, with guidance to implement policing principles to design new procedures, protocols, structures and specialised units in their police community, to effectively address the challenges that diversity may pose to the achievement of peaceful coexistence, in the medium and long term.
Press release

Digital citizenship... and your child - What every parent needs to know and do
We are all taught at home, at school and through our daily activities how to become responsible citizens, but today it is vital that we, and our children, also become digital citizens.


News from other organisations


European Union

European Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages

Language skills are at the heart of the ambitious vision to create a European Education Area. Being able to speak foreign languages is not only a skill needed for studying abroad, but also on increasingly international job markets. Learning languages enables people to both discover foreign cultures and to broaden their perspectives.

After negotiations between the European Commission and EU Member States, the Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages was adopted by Education Ministers at the Council meeting in Brussels on 22 May 2019. The Recommendation aims to:
  • boost language learning by the end of compulsory education by focusing on achieving specific competence levels, based on the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR);
  • introduce into education and training the concept of language awareness, which provides an inclusive framework for language learning taking into account individuals’ language skills;
  • ensure that more language teachers have the opportunity to learn and study abroad;
  • identify and promote innovative, inclusive and multilingual teaching methods using tools and platforms at the EU-level, such as the School Education Gateway and eTwinning.

The Council welcomed the European Commission's intention to "strengthen cooperation with the Council of Europe, and the European Centre for Modern Languages, in the field of language learning to enhance innovative methods in teaching and learning of languages and increase awareness of the crucial role of language learning in modern societies".

Bucharest Declaration on the role of culture in building Europe’s future
The EU Ministers of Culture adopted the declaration within the framework of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union during their informal meeting on 16 April 2019.
Among others, they acknowledge "the need to ensure a holistic and strategic approach to cultural policies at EU and MS level in order to highlight the diversity and wealth of Europe’s cultures and languages, the vitality and sustainability of the European cultural and creative sectors, as well as a shared cultural heritage creating a sense of common belonging to the EU". They believe that promoting linguistic diversity will facilitate the circulation of works, ideas and knowledge across Europe and beyond. And they emphasise the importance of EU support for the mobility of artists and of cultural and creative professionals, as well as for the cross-border exchange of artistic and cultural works. They believe that this helps promote cultural cooperation and exchanges, intercultural dialogue and language skills.
Full version of the Declaration
Press release of the Informal Meeting of the Ministers of Culture in Bucharest (16 April 2019)

Recent resources

European Commission

Vocational mobility in Europe: analysing provision, take-up and impact

Brussels statement on multilingualism: multilingual communication, a vehicle to bring international organisations closer to the citizens

European Council
The dictionary "EU terms in English to Finnish" is very useful when you need to find the translation of EU words and expressions in English and Finnish. It contains words and expressions from all policy areas, but also more general language.

Vocational education and training systems in Europe at a glance

Can adult learning create active citizens?

Recommended annual instruction time in full-time compulsory education in Europe – 2018/19

School Education Gateway

Watch the webinar on "Literacy skills", recorded on 30  April 2019 with Christine Garbe, Universität zu Köln, to gain an overview of the required literacy instruction in schools, and how teachers can prepare themselves for introducing these skills in their classrooms.

Watch the webinar "Teacher vs. game - who is the real game-changer?", recorded on 28 May 2019 with Daniela Hau, to learn more about how to get the best out of games in classrooms, and what are the benefits games have for both teachers and students.

Watch the webinar "Social and emotional learning - Fostering skills for today’s classrooms", recorded on 11 June 2019 with Carmel Cefai, Rita Arundel, Kelly Roberts et Lisa Greenough, to learn what social and emotional learning (SEL) means for both students and teachers in the classroom.


Mercator - European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning, hosted by the Fryske Akademy, researches multilingual education and language learning in Europe. For policy makers and professional workers, it is an independent and recognized reference centre.

Newsletter: Issue no. 151, May 2019 | Issue no. 152, June 2019


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