The project’s network meeting on the “Roadmap for schools to support language(s) of schooling” was held on the 22nd and 23rd of November 2017 at the ECML headquarters in Graz. After an introduction by Ms Sarah Breslin, director of the ECML, and a presentation by the team members so as to enable the participants to understand the rationale behind the project, intense and dedicated group work and discussions took place which contributed to the successful completion of the meeting’s goals.
The sixteen participants from twelve different countries examined the Roadmap criteria in depth, discussed their relevance and reorganised them according to the following thematic fields: School language strategy, Organisational framework, Linguistically-responsive pedagogy and Language-sensitive school culture. The team then successfully facilitated the various approaches of the participants to reflect and rephrase the statements from the point of view of the different stakeholders: headteachers, teachers, learners, non-teaching staff and parents. Even though the wider community is an important stakeholder, the participants considered it unpractical to submit the self-assessment tool to them; therefore, questions will be set up for the other stakeholders to take them into account. The participants provided high-quality contributions during the meeting and were exceptionally efficient in providing the team with a new set of essential statements.
The team will now ensure that the statements are written in a clear, objective and accessible manner so as to finalise a user-friendly self-assessment tool. A Google group and Drive folder was set up in order to facilitate further involvement of the experts, at their request. A first piloting phase testing the statements among the Network experts will take place between 20 December 2017 and 8 March 2018 so as to have a fully functioning self-assessment tool before the next expert meeting.
It was an immense honour and pleasure to be able to build up the founding steps of the Roadmap with such a fully committed and hard-working group of professional participants.