European Day of Languages
21st European Day of Languages
This year’s European Day of Languages was organised under the motto of “Valuing all languages in Europe”, the title of a former ECML project and publication from the early 2000s which seems more relevant than ever today.
The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, echoed this sentiment in her statement on the occasion of the Day, inviting everyone to celebrate ‘...the rich tapestry of languages which make our continent so special’ and (…) to value all languages in Europe’. There were also special EDL tweets marking the Day from the President of Iceland and the Irish Minister of Education.
The Day once again proved to be a record-breaking occasion – with over 600 000 visits to the dedicated website on 26 September, 1.2 million visitors over the course of the week and an estimated 430 000 people participating in the 1 500 events registered in the EDL events calendar.
New games and resources
For the 2022 edition of the Day, the dedicated website which now counts Maltese amongst its languages offered a host of new games and resources to help celebrate, such as:
Competitions, polls and initiatives
In addition to the resources, a series of competitions, polls and initiatives were also organised.
As ever, a big thank you to the EDL National Relays for their enormous commitment in promoting the Day and sending out materials to schools and event organisers in their countries. We are also most grateful to everyone celebrating the Day this year and making it an occasion to remember and to repeat with even greater success next year!
Webinar “Mediation in teaching, learning and assessment” (7 December 2022, 16:00-17:00 CET – Graz time): registration open
Do you wish to include cross-linguistic mediation in your daily pedagogical practices but do not know where to start from? Then this is the webinar you were waiting for! The European Centre for Modern Languages' METLA project (2020-2022) has developed a *Teaching Guide* for foreign language teachers, containing information about the theory and practice of mediation. It includes suggestions and tips on how to teach cross-linguistic mediation, and examples of mediation tasks which draw on the Companion Volume of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR-CV).
This webinar will help participants familiarise themselves with the notion of mediation, the aims and objectives of the METLA project and the contents of the *Teaching Guide* (and how it could be used for training purposes).
Examples of mediation tasks in different languages will be shown and the METLA databank will also be presented. The ultimate aim is for participants to gain awareness of how to design materials to develop and assess their learners’ mediation performance.
Target group: This webinar is designed to support language teachers and teacher educators. Educational authorities responsible for foreign language teacher education programmes may find some information useful along with decision makers, such as school principals, curriculum planners or material developers.
Sign up for the webinar
ECML project website
ECML programme developments 2020-2023 – “Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences”
Digital citizenship through language education: new webinar recording and publication
Webinar recording “Creating pathways between digital citizenship and language education: Defining a pedagogical framework and its accompanying tasks” (10 November 2022)
The webinar provided an opportunity to discover ways digital citizenship education can be explored in language teaching and learning. The e-lang citizen project team showcased the latest project developments and productions, and presented the main tenets of their pedagogical approach and concrete tasks aiming at developing both language skills and digital citizenship.
Webinar recording in English and French
Project website in English and French
New publication in German: Digitale Kompetenz und sozio-interaktionaler Ansatz für das Sprachenlehren und -lernen
The book Towards a socio-interactional approach to foster autonomy in language learners and users explores a possible evolution of the action-oriented approach and the tasks associated to it as presented in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It introduces a socio-interactional approach to language teaching and learning and a new type of task to be implemented on the web 2.0: real-world tasks.
Download the publication in German: Digitale Kompetenz und sozio-interaktionaler Ansatz für das Sprachenlehren und -lernen
Also available in English, French
Related resource website
Presentation of the METLA project at the Symposium of the Finnish Association of Applied Linguistics (AFinLA) (Helsinki, Finland, 27-29 October 2022)
In their presentation “Embracing the ‘multi-’ in language assessment through cross-linguistic mediation: the METLA project”, the METLA team highlighted how a more inclusive approach to language assessment can be promoted since the environment in which learners live and thrive is “multi-”, e.g. multilingual, multicultural and multimodal. This can be achieved by introducing crosslinguistic mediation in the language classroom. The presentation also focused on the role of cross-linguistic mediation in language assessment, the key considerations for evaluating it, as well as illustrative examples from the Mediation in Teaching, Learning and Assessment (METLA) project.
Full news item
Project website (available in English and French)
METLA Facebook Group
“Enhancing language education in cross-border vocational education education (initiale/in-service)”: network meeting (11-12 October 2022)
The core team members of the project invited nine experts – from practitioners and researchers to administrators with different decision-making abilities and needs – for the network meeting to Graz. The exchange and the discussions provided a great variety of new perspectives and highlighted the fact that all neighbouring regions share similar challenges. The Guide which is being prepared will focus on these common needs.
Full news item (including voices from the network meeting in Czech, German, French and Lithuanian)
PALINGUI: network meeting (29 September 2022)
The second online network meeting of PALINGUI – Making Language learning pathways visible for children aged 3-12 – focused on guiding teachers in supporting child-centred approaches in implementing multilingual practices in their educational setting through observation, assessment, and documentation. The meeting was attended by over 30 participants from across Europe and beyond, including practitioners, researchers, and policy makers working in the field of language education.
Full news item (including the links to the meeting notes and the padlet)
Training and consultancy activities
Showing solidarity with the education community in Ukraine
Due to the current situation in Ukraine, many teachers throughout the country have been forced to move their teaching online. In response to this situation, the European Centre for Modern Languages’ expert team – “ICT in language teaching and learning” (ICT-REV), is organising a series of professional development events between 14-20 December for language teachers across Ukraine.
The principal goal is to address the immediate and urgent needs of Ukrainian language teachers by focusing on a pedagogically driven implementation of technology in language instruction, with a special emphasis on freely available ICT tools and open educational resources that can be utilized to enhance learning online, taken from the ECML’s ICT-REV inventory.
Romania: CLIL – A rewarding challenge (27-28 October 2022)
Twenty-seven foreign language teachers and teachers of non-linguistic subjects in bilingual/intensive classes, teacher educators and foreign language inspectors participated in the online workshop “CLIL and beyond: pluriliteracies for deeper learning”. The event offered an innovative professional experience in the field of modern languages as a vehicle for making visible and further fostering students’ literacy in various non-linguistic fields.
This ECML training and consultancy event has been organised by the Romanian Ministry of Education with the support of Teachers’ Training Centre – Arad.
Montenegro: integration of pedagogy and technology in ICT with foreign language teachers (Podgorica, 14-15 October 2022)
Twenty-two foreign language teachers (English, Italian, German) from primary and secondary schools and university teachers from the Faculty of Philology of the University of Montenegro learned how to individualise teaching and training modules using available ICT tools and open educational resources for language teaching. They were shown ways of pursuing this development individually and via the initiation of local or regional clusters of multipliers.
Belgium: an approach to language teaching and learning through ‘Pluriliteracies’ (Brussels, 6-7 October 2022)
Thanks to the two-day workshop, about 30 participants – primary and secondary (language and CLIL) teachers, pedagogical advisors for language and CLIL teaching, teacher trainers, CLIL coordinators from all school networks and from Flanders and French and German speaking Belgium – discovered how to improve and strengthen the quality of their interventions. This can be done through a dynamic process of practical tool sharing, illustrative videos, in-depth explanations of the theory, and exchanges between professionals in the field, and above all, through an active approach to harnessing the benefits of Pluriliteracies.
This ECML training and consultancy event was organised by Ministry of the Federation Wallonia Brussels.
Slovenia: “Language of schooling in subject learning: Identifying and integrating linguistic and subject objectives – hands-on training sessions” (Ljubljana/online, 26-27 September 2022)
The ECML training and consultancy offer “Language of schooling in subject learning” was presented at the Final Project Conference of the “Languages Matter” initiative at the Faculty of Education in Ljubljana (the local organiser of the event) and via Zoom. More than 100 teachers, teacher trainers and international experts worked during the two-day event to determine which factors assist and which hinder the creation of a supportive learning environment for the development of plurilingualism in the Slovenian school context.
Estonia: Setting up learning environments where modern languages flourish – ECML training workshop (Tallinn, 22-23 September 2022)
Forty-six participants (foreign language teachers, language experts from the Ministry of Education and Research in Estonia, headmasters, head teachers, experts from universities) discussed how to make schools more language friendly in a systematic manner, taking into account the learner, the class, the school and the system.
“EOL – Learning environments where modern languages flourish” is a perfect workshop for schools and school teams who are working to tailor inspiring and inclusive language learning programmes and settings for the learners.
This Training and Consultancy event was organised by Estonian Foreign Language Teachers Association.
France: RELANG – New pedagogical guide on mediation competence
A new guide has been developed based on the input and experiences of a RELANG training workshop on exploring ways of testing mediation and plurilingual/multicultural competences in the classroom, which was organised in Paris on 9 and 10 December 2021 by the Modern Languages Unit of the Education Policy Support Service. It is intended to help inspectors, trainers and teachers to take advantage of the knowledge shared during this training, in order to promote its implementation in academies.
The guide retraces and summarises the whole training provided in December 2021, namely
A dedicated web page also integrates the participants' videos and the pedagogical guide on mediation skills. It aims to promote the RELANG initiative (Linking language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference) and to raise awareness of the ECML among inspectors, trainers and teachers in France.
France: the LISEO portal honours Belgium and the VITbox project
This month the LISEO portal of France Education International highlights Belgium – the 34th member country of the ECML – through interviews with its Contact Points and National Nominating Authorities, as well as the VITbox project:
Author: Haydée Maga, France Education International, ECML National Contact Point
Ireland: supporting creativity and reflective practice in the MFL classroom through the ECML experience
On October 3rd 2022, I received a notification that I won a European Language Label Award. This award is in recognition for a project that I did which examined the use of eTwinning as a means to support creativity, and reflective practice in the MFL classroom. This project was based on a pluriliteracies approach to teaching Modern Foreign Languages. Using a pluriliteracies approach supports teachers with fostering deep learning in their classrooms by paying attention to the development of students’ understanding of the subject as well as the development of their subject specific literacies. The project resulted in participants seeing an overall improvement in their language skills as well as an improvement in relation to their abilities with reflecting in the Target Language.
Due to attending the Summer Academy which was hosted by the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz, I was able use the learnings from there to really develop my project to fully support students in their language learning journey. Furthermore, it played an important role with improving my understanding of supporting all learners and educators. At the Summer Academy, I listened to experienced individuals discuss normalising pluriliteracies in education. This included participating in practical activities regarding approaches and environments to support pluriliteracies in education. Overall, my experience at the Summer Academy played a pivotal role with the design and implementation of my project supporting creativity and reflective practice in the MFL classroom. This is something that I am extremely grateful for.
Author: Damien Lonergan, Modern Foreign Languages Advisor, Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) Support Service, Education Schools’ Support Service, Monaghan Education Centre, Ireland
Norway: fourth edition of the International Day of French Teachers
The fourth edition of the International Day of French Teachers, 24 November 2022, was celebrated in Norway, in particular via social media.
The Fremmedspråksenteret, The Norwegian National Centre for English and other Foreign Languages in Education, paid homage to French teachers with some humour!
This Genially is reusable and a collaborative Padlet has been created to provide individual illustrations of the profession of French teacher and to highlight French teachers as everyday heroes!
The Norwegian Association of French Teachers (ANEF) published a Spotify playlist of the members’ favourite French songs on their website.
The French Institute of Norway also marked this day by providing French teachers with an escape game, Explora Lingua, to raise awareness of multilingualism. Through the game, developed by the French Institute of Denmark in collaboration with the French Institutes of Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, students will discover 6 countries (Germany, Spain, France, Greece, Iceland and Italy) and their national language.
Author: Solena Diane Pradayrol, Fremmedspråksenteret, ECML National Contact Point
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.
Eaquals Annual International Conference 2023 (Tallinn, Estonia, 27-29 April 2023): call for papers
The Eaquals Annual International Conference provides an opportunity to exchange expertise and examples of best practice with an audience of language education professionals from over 40 countries. Members and non-members of our Association will attend and delegates will include academic managers, language teachers and business directors along with specialists from international education organisations.
Speaker proposal (deadline 28 November 2022)
XVIIth CercleS International Conference (Porto, 14-17 September 2022)
XVIIth CercleS International Conference, organised by the Association of Higher Education Language Centers in Portugal / Associação de Centros de Línguas do Ensino Superior em Portugal (ReCLes.pt) and The Porto Accounting and Business School (ISCAP) was held in Porto from 14-17 September 2022. The Conference included 3 keynote addresses, 130 oral presentations and workshops, a poster presentation session, 4 CercleS Focus Groups meetings, and a Roundtable on the future of CercleS. There were participants from 22 different countries.
Author: CercleS General Secretariat
Council of Europe developments
Iceland takes over the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers
Iceland has taken over the rotating Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers from Ireland. The main priorities of the Icelandic Presidency, which will run from November 2022 until May 2023, are: the Council’s core principles of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law; as well as children and youth, equality, and the environment.
Council of Europe web page on the Icelandic Presidency
Icelandic Presidency website
Photo credit: Council of Europe
Webinar recording on “Mediation in/for the language classroom – Learning situations and formative assessment”
The eighth workshop of the CEFR Online Workshop Series 2022 entitled “Mediation in/for the language classroom – Learning situations and formative assessment” (3 November 2022) focused on the implementation of mediation to language learning. Mediation offers a wide array of pedagogical opportunities, notably the possibility of designing new learning situations and fostering formative assessment. In this webinar the participants explored both these dimensions by focusing on the KSAs (knowledge, skills and abilities) required when mediating in a foreign language and how these KSAs can be integrated in learning activities and in self- and peer-assessment rubrics for students to monitor their output.
Webinar recording, handout, presentation
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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The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages celebrates its 30th anniversary– Statement by the Bureau of the Committee of Experts
On 5 November 1992, 11 member states of the Council of Europe signed the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages in Strasbourg, considering that the preservation and development of Europe's cultural traditions and wealth depended on the protection of its regional or minority languages. This unique convention, which entered into force in 1998, brings together 25 states parties and applies to about 80 regional or minority languages. By playing a decisive role in safeguarding our linguistic heritage and promoting and developing multilingualism for 30 years, the Charter has become a major reference point in this field.
European Day of Languages (26 September): promoting linguistic diversity in times of digital change
In a speech given at the roundtable “Shaping the Future of Linguistic Diversity: Digitalization and Youth” on the occasion of the European Day of Languages, Jarmo Lainio, first vice-chair of the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, highlighted the importance of promoting linguistic diversity during times of digital change. In addition to face-to-face education and real-world classroom activities, successful online teaching requires changes in teaching methods and the development of comprehensive supporting policies, in order to foster access to online learning for speakers of regional or minority language. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) can also facilitate the everyday use and promotion of regional or minority languages and their transmission to the next generation.
LEMON – Learning Modules Online Platform: latest e-courses
The LEMON platform currently offers 18 self-learning online courses which vary in length from 2 to 25 hours, catering for different needs of different categories of learners. The “Keys series” is targeting busy professionals and provide concentrated information within maximum 2 hours of self-learning.The latest courses include:
Artificial intelligence and education
Report on Artificial intelligence and education (provisional edition)
Council of Europe online bookshop
E-Relevance – The role of arts and culture in the age of artificial intelligence
The Best Practices section includes a chapter dedicated to AI and endangered or extinct languages
Available in English
News from other organisations
Forthcoming by Routledge (2023): Internationalising higher education and the role of virtual exchange
The volume entitled Internationalising higher education and the role of virtual exchange introduces Virtual Exchange (VE) as an innovative form of online intercultural learning and investigates the myriad of ways VE is being carried out across universities, ultimately arguing for its integration into university internationalisation policies and course curricula.
Robert O’Dowd explores the role of Virtual Exchange and telecollaborative learning in university education, focusing among others on the Council of Europe’s model of Competences for Democratic Culture.
Robert O’Dowd is Associate Professor in the Department of Modern Languages at the University of Leon, Spain.
10th EDiLiC conference (University of Copenhagen, 28-30 June 2023)
The 10th EDiLiC Conference will focus on the topic “From early childhood to adulthood: Transitions, continuity, and disruptions in plurilingual education”. It will provide a forum for dialogue between all those engaged in research and practice in plurilingual education, pluricultural education, in content and language integrated learning, and the intersections between these fields. A particular focus will be put on spaces of transitions, continuity, and disruptions across educational levels and learning contexts from early childhood to adulthood.
Regular registration until 1 February 2023.
Late registration until 1st May 2023.
Photo credit: University of Copenhagen
European School Education Platform
Introducing the European School Education Platform
Webinar recording (10 November 2022, 1 hour)
Education at a glance 2022 – OECD indicators
Education Policy Outlook 2022 – Transforming pathways for lifelong learners
Improving early equity: From evidence to action
Learning (in) Indigenous languages – Common ground, diverse pathways, OECD Education Working Papers
Finland’s Right to Learn Programme, OECD Education Policy Perspectives no. 61
Webinar recordings (2022)
Assessing creative thinking: What, why and how? (recorded on 8 November)
Early equity: From evidence to action (recorded on 26 October)
Ask an expert: Why is media literacy so important for 21st century children? (recorded on 25 October)
The state of world education: Discussion of data from Education at a Glance 2022 (recorded on 5 October)
Teachers are crafting our future (recorded on 12 September)
Mercator – European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning
Latest newsletter issues (2022):
No. 188 (November)
No. 187 (October)
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