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    Gazette 51

Gazette 51 – June-August 2020

 


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Featured articles

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European Day of Languages 2020 - Discover the world through languages!

Like many other activities this year the European Day of Languages (EDL) is likely to be significantly impacted by the Covid-19 crisis. Perhaps this lends a certain uniqueness to the 2020 Day (at least we hope it is unique…) and adds another dimension and challenge to it.

With social distancing rules still likely to apply in many countries, we may not quite reach last year’s numbers of 1,400 events in the EDL calendar and over 350,000 people participating. However we are convinced that the initiative this year will stimulate even greater levels of creativity and innovation than ever.

With the current situation in mind, we are proposing the motto “Discover the world through languages!” for this year’s EDL. Even if you may not be able to ‘physically’ go to the country of your choice at the moment, through learning its language/s you can gain a unique insight into its culture and prepare yourself for a time when you can visit again.

If you are involved in the organisation of an event this year, why not showcase your creative ideas and activities through the EDL calendar? You can also order promotional materials (wristbands, stickers and posters).from your national relay to help celebrate your event!

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What’s new for EDL 2020?

The language challenge handbook and app:

  • After the success of the Handbook of language challenges last year which, thanks to the support of many of the EDL national relays, now exists in 24 languages, we are currently adapting this into an app for mobile phones. The app will be available for download for both Android and Apple phones from early September. The handbook and the app offer a wide range of challenges to keep language learners motivated – in particular during a prolonged period away from the ‘physical’ language classroom. They can easily be used by parents, teachers and/or students/children directly.
  • Taking on the role of a ‘secret agent’, the learner has a mission to complete which involves successfully carrying out as many of the 50 challenges as possible. The challenges focus on different basic skills and are set at different levels of difficulty.
  • For the Day itself there is a 51st challenge which is “What do you dare to do in a foreign language?” and invites users to create a short video clip, based either on the one of the existing challenges or on one of their own invention, and upload it to the EDL website. Ideas and further information will shortly be on the website.

In addition to the challenges, the following activities, competitions and resources are planned for development over the course of the summer.

Coming soon!

New features

  • The ‘Which language is it?’ game tests your ability to identify individual languages through listening to conversations in an everyday setting. It is surprisingly difficult!
  • A list of ideas for organising events which respect social distancing.
  • A ‘myth or fact’ quiz on language learning.
  • ‘How you can learn languages successfully’ guide will provide practical tips on language learning.
  • ‘ICT resource of the day’ for online language teaching/learning and ‘Language challenge of the day’.

Competitions

  • EDL t-shirt design contest: the winning t-shirt design for this year’s European Day of Languages by Catalina María Puebla Coenen from Spain is now available for sale online and we will organise the popular contest (with over 1000 entries for 2020) again for a new design for the 2021 edition of the Day.
  • The most innovative European Day of Languages’ event was won in 2019 by the Colegiul National "Stefan cel Mare" with “Fotbañol/ Jugar al fútbol y aprender español”. The competition, with a small reward, will be organised again for 2020 (from 20 September to 20 October).
  • In the build up to the Day, we will also be running a poll on ‘the most popular reasons for learning a language’ on the homepage of the website – with the results to be announced on 26 September.
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Results from the ECML programme "Languages at the heart of learning": new resources

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“EOL – Learning environments where modern languages flourish”

This new resource website is of particular relevance to language teachers, subject teachers, teacher educators and headteachers at a time when schools are cautiously reopening across Europe.

The website which is available in English, French and German, provides a wide range of tools to create whole-school learning environments where languages are at the very heart of learning and teaching. This holistic approach supports and enhances cooperation and professional development of all actors involved and embraces all fields of education – learning, teaching, schools and education systems.

The EOL tools and resources can help develop and strengthen quality language education which celebrates linguistic and cultural diversity and is so essential today to ensure intercultural dialogue and social cohesion in our societies:

  • EOL matrix – a dynamic tool to create a language friendly learning environment in schools;
  • Moodle online professional development course;
  • examples from EOL partner schools which can easily be transferred to other contexts;
  • research within EOL.

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CEFR-QualiMatrix – A quality assurance matrix for CEFR use

The new resource website is of particular relevance to language professionals in these challenging times. The resources and ideas provided can inspire teachers and other language education professionals to engage in curriculum renewal to help foster effective language learning, supported by the CEFR action-oriented approach.

Alongside the matrix tool, the website offers a rich collection of resources and promising practices that can be used by different stakeholders at the levels of policy, curriculum development, teaching and assessment:

  • an interactive matrix for self-evaluation and online tutorials;
  • a database with examples of promising practices;
  • CEFR-related quality principles in language education;
  • a collection of resources for planning, teaching and assessment.
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"Use of ICT in support of language teaching and learning": (re)watch the online webinars

With Europe still in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are currently obliged to teach fully online. For a lot of language teachers this is a completely new and unfamiliar situation, seemingly with plenty of potential pitfalls.

The ECML hosted three webinars open to teachers of all languages, drawing on our extensive experience and work of the project "ICT-REV: Use of ICT in support of language teaching and learning". The workshops focused on teachers’ needs in technology dependent teaching and provided examples of how technology can be used to promote interaction in online language teaching.

Participants explored the Inventory of ICT tools and Open Educational Resources, and reflected on how specific applications can be used to bring added value to online language teaching and learning.

You can (re)watch them here in English (6 May 2020), French (8 May 2020) and German (11 May).

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Publications quoting the work of the ECML

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European Journal of Language Policy

European Journal of Language Policy, Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2020
With details of new EU comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages and with articles highlighting the work of the Council of Europe, among others, in the field of language teaching, plurilingualism, minority and regional languages, pluralistic approaches, CLIL, and the use of languages by local and regional authorities.

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ECML programme developments

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Launch of the RECOLANG project "Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils" (12-13 March 2020)

The RECOLANG project (2020-2023) is the first ECML project to be funded through the Ordinary Budget of the Council of Europe. It is therefore open to all 50 signatory countries to the European Cultural Convention. Its purpose is to raise awareness across Europe of the importance of taking the plurilingual repertoires of all pupils into account when developing education policies to ensure that together we create more equitable European education systems.

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Launch of the VITbox project “CEFR Companion Volume Implementation Toolbox” (26-27 March 2020)

The project aims to provide digital resources that exemplify how to implement the ideas of the new CEFR Companion Volume in language teaching at university and in vocational training. These resources will include short videos, checklists, texts and classroom tasks for use by teacher educators and teacher trainers in their training sessions and by language teachers for self-study purposes.

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Training and consultancy for ECML member states

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Training and consultancy offer 2020-2023

The ECML offers its member states European expertise in language education adapted to the concrete needs and specific contexts within individual countries. ECML experts work with national authorities and local experts to devise and implement in-country activities, tailored to the particular context and target audience.

The Training and consultancy offer covers the following topics for the period 2020-2023:

  • Language of schooling in subject learning
  • Teacher competences for languages in education
  • Plurilingual and intercultural approaches (FREPA)
  • Supporting the language(s) of schooling (ROADMAP)
  • Learning environments where modern languages flourish (EOL)
  • ICT in language teaching and learning
  • Action Research Communities (ARC)
  • Quality education in Romani (QualiRom)
  • Language for work
  • CLIL and beyond (pluriliteracies)
  • Young migrants - supporting multilingual classrooms **
  • Testing and assessment – Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the CEFR **
(** Activities under the ECML-EC cooperation agreement 2019-2020)

Dedicated web section and upcoming events

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Professional Network Forum of the ECML

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Upcoming 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, IAM, ICC, OLBI.

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Eaquals Association: training webinars

The Eaquals webinar series offers monthly online training on a variety of topics within the language teaching sector relevant for language teachers, teacher trainers, academic managers and researchers.

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National developments

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Austria: recent news of the Austrian Language Competence Centre (ÖSZ)

Annual report 2019 of ÖSZ: available in German

ÖSZ Newsletter "Sprachnachrichten" (June 2020): in available in German

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France: recent resources

Courriel européen des langues no. 43 (June 2020)
This special COVID-19 issue of the newsletter edited by France Éducation International, the national contact point of the ECML, focuses on the following topics:
- Chantal Manès-Bonnisseau highlights new forms of learning and alternative solutions for non-connected students;
- the ECML treasure chest: spotlight on four ECML projects - EOL (learning environments), e-lang (digital literacy), ICT-REV (selection of digital tools) and ILLEY (languages for children);
- school and language teaching in times of confinement: testimonies from the national contact points for the ECML in Austria, Denmark, Estonia and Poland;
- feedback: combining language skills and digital citizenship; the regional language to maintain the link: when Alsatian students write to their isolated elders;
- web-based resources to explore for both teacher and learner.

CRID: latest newsletter "Veille et ressources documentaires"
The Documentary Resources and Engineering Centre (CRID) of France Education International offers a multilingual documentary collection including: a reference collection on the teaching of French as a foreign language, unique in France, and a documentary collection on educational policies and and language teaching in the world.

Scientific Research: new portal
The National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) has set up a new portal to centralize and make accessible all the publications of its researchers.

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Germany / Goethe Institut: Virtual Conference "Impulse"

The virtual conference "Impulse" (15 May 2020) for teacher trainers offered ideas and assistance for planning and implementing effective further education and training in 2020.
Anna Schröder-Sura's presentation focused on "Multilingual and multicultural competences of learners and teachers from the perspective of the Framework of reference for pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures (FREPA)".

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Switzerland: latest news from the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK)

Newsletter: April 2020 - July 2020: available in French, German, Italian

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Canada: Spotlight on the ECML and 25 years of innovative achievements in the field of language education

This special issue of In Other Words, edited by the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI, University of Ottawa), highlights recent developments by the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe and the shared vision on plurilingualism. As a proud partner and national point of contact for the ECML in Canada, OLBI congratulates the ECML for their 25 years of trailblazing in inclusive linguistic teaching and education.

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Council of Europe developments

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Greece assumes Chairmanship of Committee of Ministers (15 May - 18 November 2020)

Greece took over from Georgia the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. Among others, the Georgian Presidency aimed to promote one of the core values of the Council of Europe – democracy – through education, culture and youth engagement. The Greek Chairmanship intends to highlight the need for all of us, citizens, democratic societies and member States, to concentrate on the younger generations. "Education and Democratic Culture in a digital era" will be one of the thematic priorities.

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Just published: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment - Companion Volume

This publication which updates the CEFR edited in 2001 marks a crucial step in the Council of Europe’s engagement with language education, which seeks to protect linguistic and cultural diversity, promote plurilingual and intercultural education, reinforce the right to quality education for all, and enhance intercultural dialogue, social inclusion and democracy.
Translations to ten languages are underway, most of which will become available this year.

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European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

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.

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Recent Council of Europe resources

Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture: now also available in Armenian and Turkish

The Council of Europe developed this Reference Framework, to be adapted for use in primary and secondary schools and higher education and vocational training institutions throughout Europe as well as national curricula and teaching programmes.
The resources are now available in Albanian, Armenian, English, French, Georgian, Macedonian, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Ukrainian and Turkish.

Bookmarks - A manual for combating hate speech online through human rights education (2020 revised edition)

Pursuing education and awareness-raising among young people to combat hate speech online and offline and to promote human rights values is the aim of this valuable tool for teachers in both the formal and informal education systems. The manual exists in 20 languages in its digital version.

"Easy steps to help your child become a digital citizen"

Parents, and “non-tech” grandparents too, can help children become digital citizens! This guide explains some of the easy steps to follow, to help children master what it takes to act responsibly and respectfully online.

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News from other organisations

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European Union

European survey on language teaching and learning

Please take part in this new survey developed by the Italian National Institute for Documentation, Innovation, Educational Research (INDIRE) in collaboration with the European Commission by 10 July 2020. They would love to hear about language teaching and learning in your school and about your experiences with distance learning. The results will be shared in a report and used to support the implementation of the Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages.

Recent resources

Education begins with language. Thematic from a programme of seminars with peer learning to support the implementation of the Council Recommendation on a comprehensive approach to the teaching and learning of languages (2019-2020)

Focus on: Can the coronavirus pandemic improve our schools?

Focus on: What has the covid-19 crisis taught us about online teaching?

COVID-19 multilingual terminology available in IATE

EPALE - Community Stories initiative: One of the articles focuses on the need to explore online teaching and learning opportunities in times of COVID-19.

'My House of European History' offers multilingual learning kits for foreign language classes and history/civic education (oral history account, written testimonials concerning Europe).

Updated descriptions of the 38 Erasmus plus countries' education systems: you can either browse by national unit or by chapter.

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NESET webinars on language education and multilingualism

(Re)watch the webinars are based on a new report entitled "The future of language education in Europe – case studies of innovative practices", co-chaired by the European Commission:

  • Helping multilingual children to catch up and succeed through the use of online language learning tools (18 June 2020)
  • Innovative language teaching methods, and school networks and labels as ways to promote multilingualism and language education (25 June 2020)
  • The role of bilingual education models and language sensitive curricula in multilingual contexts (1st July 2020)
  • The future of language education in Europe: lessons learnt from case studies (8 July 2020, at 4pm CEST)

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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. 160 (May 2020)no. 161 (June 2020)no. 162 (July 2020)

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Quick links

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Quick links

Council of Europe
Council of Europe news
Council of Europe Education Department
European Day of Languages
European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)
Council of Europe Language Policy portal
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

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