New Council of Europe Recommendation adopted on 2 February on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture
The Recommendation emphasises the cognitive, linguistic and social benefits of learning several languages, demonstrating the ways in which plurilingual and intercultural competences contribute to educational success, to societal integration and to understanding, assessing and formulating the arguments and opinions that are essential to democracy.
It sets out a holistic vision for language education, one which places language at the heart of all learning and which embraces all languages, and all educational sectors and players, and guides Council of Europe member states towards the realisation of this vision.
Full news item
Take part in the “Action research communities for language teachers” webinar (8 March 2022)
The webinar will take place in German (16:00-17:00 CET) and in English (17:30-18:00 CET).
The moderators – Angela-Gallagher-Brett, Larisa Kasumagic-Kafedzic, Christine Lechner, Tita Mihaiu and Renata Scaratti-Zanin – will address the following questions:
More information and registration
ECML programme developments 2020-2023 – “Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences”
PALINGUI – Young children’s language learning pathways (PALINGUI): network meeting to refine key principles and to share good practice (16-17 March 2022)
The PALINGUI project aims to create the tools to support teachers and educators to be able to reflect on the language learning pathways of young learners (aged 3 to 12) and allow them to make this progress visible, not only for use within an educational environment, but also for the children and their parents. The project also aims to guide teachers in choosing appropriate teaching strategies to support children in the classroom and involve them in the process of making their own language learning visible.
This project is now entering into its next phase, starting with a network meeting in March 2022, which will involve a dialogue with a range of different professionals, to discuss and refine the key ideas and principles and allow for the sharing of good practice from a range of different educational contexts.
If you are interested in this project, and want to share your ideas or experiences, please contact Inge Birnie (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Follow the progress of the project on Twitter (@Palingui) and on the website “Young children’s language learning pathways – Making early language learning visible”
ECML transversal competences think tank (8-9 February 2022)
On 8-9 February 2022 the ECML hosted a think tank on the topic of Transversal competences in foreign language education, which brought together 36 language professionals working in this area from 34 member states.
Due to covid restrictions the event was held online.
The think tank was prepared and moderated by: Raili Hilden (Finland), Paula Mattila (Finland), Richard Rossner (France), Katja Zaki (Germany), David Newby (ECML consultant).
In many education systems, the development of learners’ transversal competences has become an important focus of policy. Together with the foregrounding of plurilingual approaches and mediation arising from Council of Europe initiatives, such as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and its Companion Volume, this focus on transversal comptences is having an impact on school curricula in a range of different subjects, including foreign language education.
The think tank participants reviewed and explored ways in which learners’ transversal competences are being developed as part of (foreign) language education and examples of grood practice highlighted solutions to the challenges of incorporating TCs in curricula, teacher education programmes and classroom teaching.
The ECML’s website on transversal competences is currently being updated and as of the second week of March 2022 presentations, curricula and teacher education examples from member states will be available on the resources section of this site.
“Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment” – The METLA Project: overcoming challenges… and hopes for the future
2021 mainly focused on the development of the METLA databank with mediation tasks combining a range of languages and on the first online project workshop organised by the ECML. Participants were familiarised with the aims, objectives and key notions of the project, were given examples of mediation tasks in different languages, and designed their own cross-linguistic mediation tasks which were further expanded by the METLA team.
The project was also presented at numerous online conferences, symposia and seminars organised by different organisations and professional associations, as well as universities.
The METLA outputs will foster the integration and dissemination of cross-linguistic mediation on a broader European level, by providing teachers with an array of examples which should not be seen as models, but as an inspiration for the creation of their own contextualised tasks based on their respective teaching contexts, pedagogical goals and students.
The full news item summarises the key progress of the project over the past year.
Participate in a survey on the place of home languages at school available in 9 languages: open until the end of 2022
The RECOLANG team (Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils) is carrying out a European survey on the place of home languages at school, particularly within different education programmes or curricula involving migrant adolescents aged 11-18. This survey focuses on the practices of assessing home language skills and their role in different European education systems. The survey is made up of two complementary sections targeting different target audiences:
The survey will be online until the end of 2022. More detailed information on the survey can be found on the ECML website.
ECML Colloquium 2021 “The future of language education in the light of Covid – lessons learned and ways forward”: presentations online
The video presentations of the colloquium “The future of language education in the light of Covid – Lessons learned and ways forward” (14 December 2021) are now online. The following questions were addressed during the event:
The initiative continues in 2022 with plans for collecting learners’ voices, a webinar, a think tank as well as guides for language teachers and for decision-makers. You can find out more about this initiative here.
Training and consultancy activities
RELANG and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms: 20 workshops in 17 countries planned in 2022
In response to the call for the 2022 round of RELANG and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms national workshops, a total of 27 requests from EU and ECML member states were received.
Events will take place between mid-March and mid-December 2022 in the following countries: Albania, Armenia, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland – with slots for one-two further workshops still to be determined.
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.
These activities take place within the 9th edition of the European Commission – ECML joint action on Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning.
Action research communities for language teachers: interculturality & the language classroom – Online event in Sweden (October, November, December 2021)
The training provided teacher educators and language teachers (German, Spanish, French, English, Swedish as a second language) with an excellent opportunity to increase their intercultural awareness and reflect on how to integrate intercultural and pluralistic approaches in their teaching practice. The theoretical insights into AR methods and interculturality, practical examples and materials presented inspired the participants to plan their own projects and to discuss them in a group setting.
The extensive collection of materials made available to them can be used in their future practice in this field. In addition, this event can serve as a springboard for collaborations between teachers and teacher educators.
ECML training and consultancy offer for member states “Enhancing language learning and teaching through action research communities for language teachers”
“Learning environments where modern languages flourish”: ECML training and consultancy workshop in Serbia (4 November and 9 December 2021, online)
The workshop helped experts in the field of teaching and learning languages from primary and general and vocational secondary schools to create action plans that will be implemented in schools to establish language-friendly environments where foreign languages are taught in a comprehensive way, either as separate subjects or through integration into subjects.
The participants recognised the applicability of the tools presented to identify challenges in terms of strengths and priorities in their own professional practice and appreciated the opportunity to exchange ideas and experience.
ECML training and consultancy offer for member states “Setting up learning environments where modern languages flourish (EOL)”
Language for Work: Supporting work-related second language learning in Slovakia (online, 8 October and 26 November 2021)
Researchers from universities in Slovakia, Ukraine and Poland and members of the Slovak Federation of employers' associations learned about key steps in supporting work-related second language learning. The training and consultancy event focused on the following issues: preliminary ethnographic research in companies, identifying needs and expectations of employers; schemes and strategies for supporting L2 learning at work; implementation experience in different countries; provision of sustainable support for L2 learning in the Swedish, German, Italian and UK contexts; development of instruction manuals and other useful materials; competences of the different actors; language advocate programmes.
ECML training and consultancy offer “Language for work: how to support work-related language learning for adult migrants”
European Day of Languages
EDL t-shirt contest winner 2022
Congratulations to Dominika Maj from Poland, who is the winner of the design contest for the 2022 European Day of Languages t-shirt!
Dominika, who is a graphic design high school student (ZSE-T im. Cichociemnych) in Gliwice, describes her inspiration for the design as “...the light bulb symbol alludes to creativity and self-discovery through collaboration with other people. Knowledge of languages allows us not only to communicate, but above all to develop...”.
There were over 2 000 entries for the competition and with so many excellent designs, it proved an extremely difficult task to select just one winner this year! The t-shirt will be soon available for order in 40+ language variations via the EDL site.
To find out more, see the shortlisted entries and enter next year’s competition: https://edl.ecml.at/tshirtcontest
Great Bake-Off recipe book – now available
Over 570 cake recipes were submitted by individuals and schools from all over Europe for the ‘Great Bake-off’ initiative’, organised from July – September 2021 for the 20th European Day of Languages.
To help share some of these mouth-watering delights, a recipe book based on these has been produced and is now available for download. It proved quite a challenging task to narrow the cake recipes submitted down to just 20 and some of the panel of expert culinary judges gained several kilos in the process! To ensure there is a linguistic challenge involved, the recipes are still in the original language in which they were submitted – so when testing them out you may also discover the taste for a new language!
Bon appétit! Buen provecho! Guten Appetit! Jó étvágyat! Head isu!...
Download recipe book
Adaptation of ECML resources
Ireland launches an Intercultural Look at our Schools Toolkit
An Intercultural Look at our Schools Toolkit is an online toolkit for self-evaluation and support for intercultural and linguistic diversity in schools wishing to address inclusion. It was developed in Ireland as a localised version of the self assessment tools established by the ECML project “A Roadmap to support the languages of schooling” (which is available in English, French, German and Finnish).
Set up at the initiative of the Post-Primary Languages Ireland (PPLI) in collaboration with Dublin-Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB) the Irish toolkit aims to:
The toolkit advocates for a whole-school approach to improvement. It surveys and includes the voices of all members of the school community.
Find out more at : https://ilaos.ppli.ie/
Publications quoting the work of the ECML
L2 students’ language-related difficulties in subject classes
Härmälä Marita, Barkhanajyan Artashes, “L2 students’ language-related difficulties in subject classes”, Revue française de linguistique appliquée, 2018/2, Vol. XXIII, pp. 45-58, ISSN 1386-1204, available at www.cairn.info/revue-francaise-de-linguistique-appliquee-2018-2-page-45.htm.
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.
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.
ALTE: 57th Meeting and Conference (Paris, France, 20-22 April 2022)
ALTE ‐ Association of Language Testers in Europe is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the ALTE 57th Meeting and Conference “The future place of humans in language assessment”.
This event will be hybrid to allow those delegates who are not able or allowed to travel to connect online during the 3 days of the event.
Registration: link; deadline: Monday 4 April 2022. Registration for this event is restricted to ALTE members/individual expert members and associate members only.
Contact: ALTE Secretariat, email@example.com.
Eaquals webinar series and Annual International Conference 2022
NEW – Eaquals Plurilingual Webinar Series 2022
Eaquals is delighted to announce their Webinar Series 2022 has now been prepared and will include webinars in Spanish, French and Italian. The webinars address a wide variety of topics related to language teaching and learning.
The information is available on the website here.
The webinars are open to both members and non-members and those interested can register via the Eaquals website.
REGISTRATION OPEN – Eaquals Annual International Conference, Venice, April 2022
Eaquals has announced that registration is open for the annual international conference which will take place in Mestre, Venice from 28th-30th April 2022.
There is a wonderful line up of plenary speakers and trainers with Professor Steve Walsh, Gisella Lange, Dr Waldemar Martyniuk and Ania Kolbuszewska. Presenters will be speaking on the following topics:
The 2022 symposium of ECSPM (European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism)
This year’s symposium, to be hosted by the “Centre of Excellence – Permanent Linguistic Observatory”, l’Università per Stranieri di Siena (UniSTRASI) Italy, 8-9 April 2022, is on “Language(s) and the construction of knowledge in European HE”. A follow up of the 2021 Symposium on “Multilingualism in Higher Education (HE) in Europe”, this year’s event will focus on (a) explicit and implicit policies of HE institutions, (b) multilingualism, academic literacies, and the linguistic construction of academic knowledge in European universities. Prominent speakers mainly from Europe, but also from Australia and China, will present their views on these issues and will discuss them with scholars who are members of the ECSPM-CURUM.
Those interested in taking part in the online discussions to take place during the two days of the symposium or in simply attending (no fee required), please write to ECSPM General Secretary: Guðrún Gísladóttir (e-mail).
About the ECSPM: https://ecspm.org/
Austria: IDT 2022 ‐ Recent resource
International Conference of Teachers of German (IDT) 2022 in Vienna (15-20 August 2022, University of Vienna)
IDT is the largest forum of the subject German as a Foreign and Second Language worldwide. Around 3 000 people from all over the world are expected to attend the 17th edition which will take place this year.
Motto of the conference: mit.sprache.teil.haben (take.part.with.language).
Target group: teachers and researchers in the field of German as a Foreign Language / German as a Second Language.
Focus: further education, mediation between theory and practice, exchange of experiences of experts from all over the world in the subject German, professional and language-political positioning of the subject.
Registration. There is also the possibility of participating in IDT as part of a national seminar. Information can be found here.
Austrian Language Competence Centre: recent resource
The new brochure “Aufbau von Schreibkompetenz in den lebenden Fremdsprachen. Fokus Sekundarstufe II” (available in German) offers a collection of methodological-didactic approaches and practical examples on the topic of writing at secondary level. It provides authentic writing prompts and instructions for planning, organising, revising and presenting written work.
ECML web pages dedicated to Austria
“Estonian Language Strategy 2021-2035” now available in English
The “Estonian Language Strategy 2021-2035” focuses on developing and strengthening Estonian but also sets strategic goals for foreign language learning. It addresses language policy challenges in three broad areas: status and prestige of Estonian; language technology and infrastructure; and the learning and teaching of languages. The strategy works in unison with the “Education Strategy 2021-2035” and other national strategic documents to enable people to fulfil their potential and contribute to the development of Estonia and global sustainability.
Pille Põiklik, Chief Expert, Language Policy Department, Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, Munga 18, 50088 Tartu, Estonia | E-mail
ECML web pages dedicated to Estonia
Topical report on the state of the language reserve in Finland published
In early 2021, The Finnish Network for Language Education Policies (Kieliverkosto) published the report Language Reserve. Now! which took a comprehensive look into the language reserve in Finland.
An English summary of the report is now available here.
The current report is a follow-up on the 2017 report Multilingualism as a strength (Pyykkö 2017), in which more than 30 procedural recommendations for developing the national language reserve were suggested. Based on these recommendations, the following research questions were formulated:
Language Reserve. Now! – English summary
Language Reserve. Now! – Full report in Finnish
Pyykkö (2017) Multilingualism as a strength. Procedural recommendations for developing Finland’s national language reserve
Sanna Riuttanen, Project researcher at The Finnish Network for Language Education Policies | E-mail | Website | Twitter
ECML web pages dedicated to Finland
Ireland: One school, many languages – Creating an environment where all languages are valued – A toolkit for schools
One school, Many Languages (January 2022) – this attractive brochure has been designed as a practical resource for primary school teachers. It contains links to lesson plans, videos, audio resources that can be used in the classroom and articles following the latest research and best practice.
The toolkit has been designed by Mother Tongues to disseminate some of the key points from the Supporting Multilingual Classrooms national workshop, delivered in Ireland on 27th and 28th September 2021 by the ECML experts, Chantal Muller and Prof. Terry Lamb. This event was funded by the European Union and the European Centre for Modern Languages.
In February 2022, The Irish Times featured Mother Tongues and the toolkit in an article:
“Speaking in mother tongues shows heritage is a class act – Embracing diverse languages inside the classroom gives all pupils a great advantage”.
Follow Mother Tongues on social media:
Nordic Journal of Language Teaching and Learning (NJLTL)
The Nordic Journal of Language Teaching and Learning (NJLTL) is an international open access journal which publishes scholarly articles on subjects related to teaching and learning foreign languages, particularly in the Nordic context. The journal promotes research and professional development work across the Nordic countries, although articles within the fields of foreign language learning and teaching from outside this region are also accepted. Articles may be written in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English, French, German, Spanish. All publications in NJTLT are available from the website free of charge.
The Editorial Board is composed of representatives of the National Contact Point for the ECML in Denmark and Norway as well as of ECML former and current project coordinators and experts.
Council of Europe developments
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages: Norway and Poland
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.
Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: Croatia and San Marino
The FCNM is one of the most comprehensive treaties designed to protect the rights of persons belonging to national minorities.
CEFR online workshop series 2022
The Education Department of the Council of Europe is organising a new series of online workshops in 2022 to further support policy makers who are responsible for language policy and language education professionals in the implementation the CEFR Companion volume. Nine monthly online workshops will take place in English or French (without interpretation) on the first Thursday of each month between 16:00 and 18:30 CET.
The video recordings, PowerPoint presentations, classroom materials and background readings from these workshops are made available at www.coe.int/lang-cefr.
The calls for registration are sent via e-mail to the subcribers of the Council of Europe language policy newsletter that can be subscribed to here.
Full news item (webinar list and dates)
Competences for democratic culture : launch of the Teacher reflection tool (RFCDC)
The teacher self-reflection tool aims to support teachers and other educators to develop their own competences relating to democratic culture, which
builds on the values of democracy, human rights and intercultural dialogue. It offers guidance throughout this development process and on working with the Council of Europe’s Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC).
The tool can be used as a means of getting acquainted with the RFCDC, but it can also be used as a companion to self-reflection on teaching and democratic competences.
Web section dedicated to the Teacher reflection tool
Web section dedicated to the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
2021 Annual report of the Intercultural Cities programme
The report presents the activities organised during the year, as well as the tools and methodologies developed to assist local and regional authorities worldwide in the design, implementation and review of intercultural policies. In relation to language, the intercultural approach focuses on promoting multingualism as a resource
for education, business, tourism, cultural life etc. The provision of courses and other facilities for migrants to learn the host country language(s) are important, as well as activities which highlight the value of migrants’ languages, and enable them not only to preserve and transmit these languages to their children and other members of the community, but also take pride in them as a heritage enriching the community.
Council of Europe news item
2021 Annual report “Intercultural Cities – Building bridges, breaking walls”
Thematic papers “Multilingualism”
European Higher Education Area: looking back, looking forward
In the article “Future challenges for the European Higher Education Area”published in University World News, Sjur Bergan, former Head of the Council of Europe’s Education Department, takes a look at how the European Higher Education Area developed as well as at some of it main challenges for the years to come.
Council of Europe recent resources
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, Teaching, assessment – Companion volume (2020): now available in 6 language versions!
News from other organisations
EU – Enhancing learning through digital tools and practices: how digital technology in compulsory education can help promote inclusion
Carried out over 12 months between September 2020 and September 2021, this EU comparative educational study aimed to assess the actual and potential role of digital technologies in promoting access, quality and equity in compulsory school education across Europe, and their role in complementing and enhancing traditional forms of teaching and learning. The European Commission’s report Enhancing learning through digital tools and practices : how digital technology in compulsory education can help promote inclusion (October 2021) presents a final summative analysis of the study findings, and includes 8 country case studies and 32 examples of promising practice measures.
Podcast (25 min. 42) summarising the report
European Union: Conference “Getting Europe moving!” (Online & Paris, 19 January 2022
The conference “Getting Europe Moving!”, held within the framework of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, aimed to give a new impetus to mobility programmes.
In an online village, each of the 27 EU member states showcased examples of inspiring practice promoting more inclusive and better recognised mobility for all young people including students, pupils, apprentices, etc. Virtual stands promoted European organisations facilitating mobility and multilingualism. The ECML showcased Plurimobil – practical resources for teachers and teacher trainers resources which aims to enhance plurilingual and intercultural learning through mobility.
21 February 2022 – International Mother Language Day: Unesco webinar “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”
The overall aim of IMLD 2022 was to contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 by recognizing the role of teachers in promoting multilingual teaching and learning through technology. More specifically, IMLD 2022 aimed to consider the potential role of technology, including traditional media such as radio and television, in supporting multilingual teaching and learning, and to discuss action needed to ensure the design and delivery of technology-enabled multilingual teaching and learning.
The UNESCO webinar organised on this occasion explored two main themes:
The IMLD recordings, visuals and the message of the UNESCO Director-General have been made available online in the six UN official languages.
Endangered Languages Project
The Endangered Languages Project serves as an online resource for samples and research on endangered languages as well as a forum for advice and best practices for those working to strengthen linguistic diversity. The dedicated website provides a language map and an online catalogue containing information on 3 456 languages. The resources – uploaded by users and researchers alike – include information, academic publications, and research concerning the world’s endangered languages on anthropology, sociology, education, cognitive science, environmental science, and public policy.
The project is now managed by First Peoples' Cultural Council and the Endangered Languages Catalogue/Endangered Languages Project (ELCat/ELP) team at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in coordination with the Governance Council.
About the project
OECD recent publications
Trends shaping education 2022: publication
How learning continued during the COVID-19 pandemic – Global lessons from initiatives to support learners and teachers: publication – webinar (24 January 2022)
Fostering 21st-century skills in higher education – How can governments and institutions support students’ skill development?: article, videos, report, blog
Mercator – European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning
Lastest newsletter issues: no. 179 (January 2022) – no. 180 (February 2022) – no. 181 (March 2022)
Translanguaging: recent publication
The recent book Pedagogical translanguaging by Jasone Cenoz and Durk Gorter (University of the Basque Country) is a theoretical and instructional approach that aims at improving language and content competences in school contexts by using resources from the learner’s whole linguistic repertoire.
More information and free download (Cambridge University Press)
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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