The ECML Governing Board held its 31st meeting on 15-16 June, bringing together representatives from 29 countries in a hybrid format. The Board meeting involved Hungarian representation for the first time since Hungary’s re-accession to the Partial Agreement in November 2021. With the Centre due to start its next programme in 2024, the meeting presented the opportunity to discuss the overall framework of the programme and the procedure for gathering national priorities in language education which will provide the foundation for next year’s Call for project submissions.
Board members received updates on the Centre’s ongoing work, including on:
- the Centre’s first ever summer academy which, with the support of the European Commission, will bring 25 teacher educators to the Centre from ECML and EU member states from 4-8 July for the ‘Inspiring innovation in European language teacher education’ event;
- the “Future of language education in the light of Covid” initiative which is currently running a classroom activity and questionnaire – seeking to complement the data already gathered through the initiative by collecting learners’ voices, offering them a channel for telling their stories and voicing their opinions on how the pandemic affected their language learning;
- the developments for this year’s European Day of Languages which takes “Valuing all languages in Europe” as its motto and on a series of ways of further highlighting plurilingualism in the ECML’s work.
With regard to the situation in Ukraine, taking note of the new web pages supporting the (linguistic) integration of refugees from Ukraine, the Board decided that language education experts from Ukraine should be invited to take part in ECML activities on the same basis as the Centre’s member states for the current programme.
During the meeting Board members took part in a webinar on the new Council of Europe Recommendation on the importance of plurilingual and intercultural education for democratic culture which was adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in February. The webinar explained the background to the Recommendation – where it came from, how it is structured, and why it was adopted as well as indicating key messages and initial measures for implementation. This webinar represents the first in a series planned for the academic year 2022-2023 that will explore specific aspects of the Recommendation and their implications for different target groups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7b_e4h6ps0
For the period 2023-24 the ECML Governing Board re-elected Claire Extramiana (France) as Chair and elected Pille Põiklik (Estonia) as Vice-Chair. Bronka Straus (Slovenia) and Matthias von Gehlen (Germany) were also elected to the Bureau.