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    Gazette 58

European Language Gazette no. 58

November 2021 January 2022

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Featured articles


Take part in the joint ECML-EC Colloquium “The future of language education in the light of Covid – lessons learned and ways forward” Tuesday, 14 December 2021, 9:30-17:15 (CET)

The colloquium sets out to address the following questions:

  • What insights have been gained from using radically different modes of language education during the Covid pandemic – remote, hybrid, socially distanced?
  • How can the challenges of examinations and assessment be overcome?
  • What innovative kinds of support for learners and teachers have been developed?
  • What specific challenges have arisen in relation to ensuring inclusive language education for all?
  • Do we need a new kind of “educational literacy”?
Drawing on the results of a Europe-wide ECML-EC survey on language teachers’ experiences during Covid and on lessons learned, related ECML-EC Training and consultancy activities in the areas of assessment and multilingual classrooms, and on responses to Covid developed by the European Commission and by the OECD, the colloquium will consider how this wealth of experience and knowledge might impact on future ECML programmes and act as a springboard for shaping a promising future for language education in Europe at the levels of policy, teacher education and classroom practice.

Live stream:

More information:


The ECML welcomes back Hungary as a member state

Hungary has become the 35th member state of the Enlarged Partial Agreement on the European Centre for Modern Languages!
The Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Péter Szijjártó, notified the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, of the country’s accession on 17 November 2021. The decision to re-join the ECML is one of the outcomes of the recent Hungarian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers (May-November 2021) and represents a clear signal of the value that Hungary places on the work of the Council of Europe and its European Centre for Modern Languages.


20th Anniversary of the European Day of Languages


A record breaking day!

It is difficult to believe that the Day of Languages has already been with us for 20 years. During that time it has developed into a milestone in the calendar for many schools, cultural institutions and associations – synonymous with fun, educational activities promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity present in our societies.

Despite challenges and ongoing restrictions related to Covid, the 2021 Day proved more successful, on almost every level, than ever – with a record-breaking 1 577 EDL events registered in the calendar involving 310 000 people and 3 million page views of the dedicated EDL website (www.coe.int/edl) in September.

There were a lot of new resources and initiatives – supported greatly in their development by the National Relays for the Day:

  • A 2021 ‘secret agent’s language challenges’ app is packed with a range of new features, such as a quiz developed by our colleagues at the DG Translation of the European Commission. The app is not restricted to the Day of Languages but can be used throughout the year. Budding agents can now also compete with friends. (Available in 25+ languages)
  • Lara's language journey booklet follows her on a voyage of discovery through a selection of Europe’s many languages, learning about some of their similarities and differences. (Available in 20 languages)
  • Downloadable posters perfect for the classroom: a Language tree poster showing the different language families (in 20 languages) and 20 things you might not know about Europe’s languages (available in 10 languages)
  • The ‘EDL's international happy birthday video’ and the ‘20th Anniversary Great Bake-Off initiatives atttracted around 600 entries each. The resulting recipe book featuring just 20 of the most mouth-watering cake recipes and a ‘directors cut’ of happy birthday videos will be available on the website from 17 December (just in time for Christmas…).
…And quite a few competitions
  • Poland’s Szkole Podstawowej w Zbrosławicach received the most votes in this year’s ‘Most innovative event’ competition with its Europejskie Dni Języków Obcych activity. Congratulations to the winners!
  • The 2022 EDL T-shirt design competition is still open until 31 December so there are still a few days to come up with your award-winning design! Which will no doubt feature on the catwalk in Paris and Milan next year!
  • A poll on the most effective way to learn a language was comprehensively won by “watching TV shows and series and/or listening to music, podcasts, or radio in a foreign language” followed by “tandem learning” in a distant 2nd place.
And for 2022 – we just need to make an even bigger and better EDL!


ECML programme developments 2020-2023 – “Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences”


Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils – an ECML workshop for all countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention

The online workshop, which took place on 2-3 December 2021, focused on the rationale, objectives and methods for the assessment of the home language competences of plurilingual students with the overall aim of enhancing professional support for young migrants’ learning and for their educational pathways.
Thirty-six countries nominated participants for this workshop. In addition to participants from ECML member states and partners from Canada, experts from Georgia, Italy, Portugal, the Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine took also part in this event.This project is financed by the Council of Europe's Education department.

The RECOLANG team is carrying out a European survey until December 2022 on the place of home languages at school, particularly within different education programmes or curricula involving migrant adolescents aged 11-18.


“Enhancing language education in cross-border vocational education” – Survey on languages and intercultural proficiency in cross-border working environments: first insights

What do teachers, teacher educators, learners, political and economic stakeholders think about languages, plurilingualism and intercultural proficiency in cross-border working environments? What are their experiences? What are the main difficulties? The project team launched a survey focused on the different stakeholders in the fields of education, the economy and politics in different border regions and discussed the first insights during their meeting on 15-16 November. In view of the specificity of each border region, there is great unanimity on certain issues, first and foremost: knowing languages is an asset for professional success. The detailed analysis of all the responses will be helpful for developing concepts and pedagogical materials.


Hybrid workshop “Digital citizenship through language training” (e-lang): first deliverables

The e-lang workshop held on 4-5 November 2021 brought together 27 participants from across the ECML countries. It provided an opportunity for the team to present the profile of the citizen as a user of languages and technology, the pedagogical approach and the first tasks designed by the team, and for participants to design tasks which will be finalised in the coming months. The next stages will focus on the production of a book presenting the pedagogical framework and tasks for the development of digital citizenship and language competences.


ECML VITbox project “CEFR Companion Volume Implementation Toolbox”

The project workshop held in September brought together 34 participants from all over Europe who discussed the development and revision of the VITbox resources, worked on dissemination activities and planned a network meeting in April 2022. At their meeting in November, the VITbox team reflected on these outcomes. They will now work on the final project webpage and make the resources available to a larger audience for dissemination and feedback purposes, while continuing to develop, pilot and finalise the remaining VITbox modules.

The VITbox tools will be available in various languages to help teacher educators use and disseminate the ideas of the CEFR Companion Volume. They will include digital documents and examples of inspiring practice in the implementation of the Companion Volume in language learning, teaching and assessment at university and in vocational training.


“CLIL in Languages Other Than English – Successful transitions across educational stages”: digital series of talks on plurilingualism and interculturality (University of Copenhagen)

In her talk entitled “Content and language integrated learning and plurilingual education across educational levels” (22 November 2021), Petra Daryai-Hansen (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) presents the initial results of two projects that she is coordinating: the project “CLIL in Languages Other Than English – Successful transitions across educational stages”, supported by the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe and the Danish National Centre for Foreign Languages (NCFF), and the project “Plurilingual education – Minority and majority students' language awareness across educational levels”, financed by the Independent Research Fund Denmark.

In the talk on “Merging plurilingual and STE(A)M education to develop interculturality: teachers’ theories and practices in context” (8 November 2021), Danièle Moore (Simon Fraser University, Canada) discusses the potential of inquiry-based plurilingual and transdisciplinary projects to encourage critical awareness of plurality in the context of teacher training and K-12 instruction.

Coordinated by Petra Daryai-Hansen, all talks and recordings are online and free of charge.


Training and consultancy activities


Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference (RELANG): training and consultancy in Albania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia

The successful joint action between the ECML and the European Commission is currently in its 8th year. Between September and December 2021, a series of RELANG workshops targeting practitioners, multipliers and administrators at national level took place in Albania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Romania, and Slovenia. You can read more about these events, listed in chronological order, by following the links below:


Supporting Multilingual Classrooms: training and consultancy in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, and Norway

The initiative “Supporting multilingual classrooms” is supported by the EU-ECML cooperation agreement 2020-2021 “Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning”. Five events targeting practitioners, multipliers and administrators within national education systems took place in Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Ireland, and Norway between September and December 2021. You can read more about the outcomes of the workshops by clicking on the relevant links:


Quality education in Romani for Europe: QualiRom training in Croatia (8 November 2021, online)

The workshop was designed for teachers in primary and secondary schools, and representatives of NGOs involved with the integration of Roma children, with the aim of promoting the inclusion of Roma in the education system and facilitating the integration of Romani speakers and improving the educational situation of Romani children.


ECML national Language for Work in Ireland (30 September – 1st October 2021, online event)

This was the first ECML funded Language for Work National Training and Consultancy event to take place in Ireland. The event was designed to support development of work-related language skills crucial to the integration and participation of second language (L2) adult migrants and ethnic minorities in Irish workplace settings. A broad range of stakeholders attended the event and shared ideas about developing and supporting language for work provision for L2 learners in Ireland.


Describing teaching competences in language education: teacher educators from Austria and South Tyrol consulted with European experts (16-17 September 2021)

During the online ECML training and consultancy event “Teacher competences for languages in education”, teacher educators from Austria and South Tyrol were informed about the outcomes of the ECML project “Teacher competences for languages in education” and the variety of existing description models. The findings from this event will be helpful for the creation of high-quality descriptions of teaching competences and will subsequently be integrated into the current and future curriculum revisions in the area of teacher education. The further development of national competence models such as the Competence Profile for Teachers of German as a Second Language will certainly also benefit from this training.


ECML Governing Board 2021


A hybrid ECML Governing board meeting!

On 5-6 October the Governing Board of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) held its 30th meeting both in the Centre's premises and online. A special warm welcome was extended to Belgium, which became the 34th Member state of the ECML in July this year.

Within the packed agenda, a number of points deserve special mention: the endorsement of a comprehensive evaluation report on the previous ECML programme 2016-2019; the adoption of a new 2-year project entitled “Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education” which will begin in 2022, and satisfaction with the latest revisions to the draft Recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture, which should help support its forthcoming adoption by the Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE).

The Governing Board re-elected Mr. Steinar Nybøle (Norway) as Vice-Chair and Ms. Maria Lorigan (Ireland) as Bureau member, as well as electing Mr. Panagiotis Passas (Greece) to the Bureau for the first time.


Recent ECML resources


“Roadmap for supporting the language(s) of schooling”: webinar recording and adaptation and implementation of the Roadmap in Ireland

Roadmap is a web-based, user-friendly resource for creating a strategic whole-school development plan which fosters inclusion by raising awareness of all languages present in the school community and provides concrete guidance on how to advance learners’ competences in the language(s) of schooling. It offers an interactive self-assessment tool, practical materials and a large database of promising practices and can be adapted to specific national contexts. One such adaptation has already taken place in Ireland – why and how this was done has been presented at the webinar.

The webinar was intended for all those working in language education and on language-related themes within school development – teachers, teacher educators, school leaders and administrators.


Publications quoting the work of the ECML


Recent resources

Association pour le Développement de l'Enseignement Bi/plurilingue (2021), Le Centre européen pour les langues vivantes (CELV) du Conseil de l'Europe – Entretien avec Sarah Breslin, directrice exécutive, published on 24 November 2021. (In French)

Radio Helsinki (2021), “Snapshots from Sprachenfest”, Interviews at the Language festival in Graz, Austria, on 24 September 2021:

Image: ADEB, 2021


ECML international events calendar


Promote your events through the international events calendar!

You are welcome to use the online calendar of the ECML to promote your international language-related events and/or inform yourselves about international events in this field. It is advisable to suggest your conferences, colloquia etc. at least one month before the events take place.


National developments


Austria: recent resources

Sprachenbox 2/2021

In this issue, you can find out how the Austrian Language Competence Centre (ÖSZ) celebrated the 20th anniversary of the European Day of Languages, which innovative projects were awarded the renowned “European Language Label” this year, at which conferences and in which media they presented ÖSZ and their work, and what the “Styrian of the Day” is all about.

This issue also focuses on two Sprachen-im-Blick events, a new “PUMA” poster, the promotion of the German language, language-sensitive subject teaching and competence-oriented foreign language teaching from primary school to upper secondary school: among others, new task examples are being developed, further training courses are being offered in cooperation with teacher training colleges.

Website www.schule-mehrsprachig.at completely redesigned

Find out interesting facts about first language teaching and dealing with multilingualism in schools on this website.


France: recent resources

LISEO is the documentary portal of France Education International – the national contact point for the ECML in France. It provides resources in the field of education, teaching and promotion of French around the world.


Ireland: Léargas strategic statement 2021-2023 – New look website live

Léargas strategic statement 2021-2023

“Léargas strategy statement 2021-2023 - People matter, partnerships work, programmes transform” outlines the following priorities: inclusion and diversity, encouraging participation in democratic life, fighting climate change, and supporting the digital transitions in society. Léargas' work supports the implementation of both national and EU policy, among others by “maximising bilateral relationships and international networks to encourage active participation in society, improve the quality of educational practice and systems across the sectors [they] support, enhance foreign language competence and cultivate European citizenship and solidarity”.

Léargas – A completely redesigned website

The new look Léargas website is live! You can explore opportunities to run projects, receive recognition for innovative languages initiatives, join networks, train and learn with European programmes. The logo has had a refresh too: it symbolises exchange through the meeting of different cultures in a shared centre, representing the values at the heart of Leargas' work.


Switzerland: recent resources

Recent publications edited by the Research Centre on Multilingualism of the University of Fribourg:

Assessing foreign language skills in near-authentic settings: scenario-based test tasks on the computer |
> Fremdsprachenkompetenzen nahe an der Realität testen: szenariobasierte Testaufgaben für den Computer |
Testare le competenze nelle lingue straniere vicino alla realtà: esercizi computerizzati basati su scenari
Authors: Katharina Karges, Peter Lenz, Thomas Aeppli, Malgorzata Barras.

Multilingual pedagogy in compulsory foreign language education: a videographic research project |
La didactique du plurilinguisme dans l'enseignement des langues étrangères à l'école: un projet de recherche vidéographique |
Mehrsprachigkeitsdidaktik im schulischen Fremdsprachenunterricht: ein videographisches Forschungsprojekt |
Didattica plurilingue nell'insegnamento scolastico delle lingue straniere: un progetto di ricerca videografico |
Authors: Elisabeth Peyer, Malgorzata Barras, Gabriela Lüthi


Canada: Annual report on official languages for 2019-2020

The Annual report on official languages for 2019-2020 describes the Canadian government’s efforts to highlight official languages during the 2019-2020 fiscal year. It presents an overview of the various measures taken by federal institutions to foster the development of official language communities in minority settings and to promote French and English in Canadian society.
Moreover, 2019-2020 marked the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Official Languages Act. This year was crucial to modernizing and strengthening the Act so that it can continue to meet the needs and aspirations of Canadians.


Professional Network Forum of the ECML


Forthcoming events of the Forum members

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.




“Foreign languages”: webinar & discussion series 2022

Eaquals webinar series 2022 includes webinars in French, Italian, and Spanish. They address a wide variety of topics related to language teaching and learning.

Eaquals Annual International Conference (28-30 April 2022, Venice, Italy)

The conference provides an opportunity to exchange expertise and examples of best practice with an audience of language education professionals from over 40 countries, including academic managers, language teachers and business directors along with specialists from international education organisations. The programme will be organised under 5 main themes: language teaching and learning, course design, CEFR and assessment, staff development, leadership and management, business and marketing.

Eaquals 30th Anniversary publication “If you want to go far” (2021)

The publication can be downloaded here.


Council of Europe developments


European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: latest 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.

On the occasion of the European Day of Languages (26 September), Vesna Crnić-Grotić, Chair of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, delivered a message at an event organised by NPLD.

Recent developments


Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: facts and figures

The FCNM is one of the most comprehensive treaties designed to protect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.

The new Questions & Answers leaflet is summarising facts and figures about the Framework Convention in English and French but also in many other languages such as Croatian, German, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Spanish or Ukrainian. The leaflet is available online and hard copies can be made available upon request.


New publication “The democratic culture in the digital environment – a handbook for schools”

The handbook is divided into four sections – values, attitudes, skills, and knowledge and critical understanding. It contains 56 examples of lesson plans which focus on one or more competences for democratic culture.
Available online in English and Serbian.


News from other organisations


Mercator – European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Lastest newsletter issues: no. 176 (September 2021)no. 177 (October 2021)no. 178 (December 2021)


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