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ECML project PLURIWELL recruits participants to shape teachers’ plurilingual wellbeing in Europe

Author: Catherine Seewald/23 May 2024/Categories: Show on front page, front page tags, project news, Fostering the plurilingual wellbeing of language teachers

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The ECML project PLURIWELL is up and running. The team has begun its work to boost the plurilingual wellbeing of teachers around Europe. The main project partners, Gerit Jaritz, Kaaren Aaröe, Latisha Mary and Caterina Sugranyes, formally launched the project in Graz at a meeting early this year. The project leaders are currently recruiting additional experts, including both practicing teachers and teacher trainers, to take part in this initiative to enhance educators’ plurilingual wellbeing, defined here as teachers’ awareness, understanding and ease with their “own” languages and with how these languages allow them to relate to their environment. “The question is, what is my relationship with my languages, and what does that mean for me as a teacher?” the project coordinator Sugranyes said.

The selected participants will be invited to a networking event in October at the ECML offices in Austria to help build the framework for plurilingual wellbeing by creating materials and guidelines. In fact, the very core of the project will be these contributions from professionals from different geographic and linguistic contexts. Only with this range of perspectives will it be possible to gain a fuller picture of the complexities of plurilingual identity and wellbeing on a continent where so many languages coexist and sometimes clash, both in society at large and in educational settings in particular.

Teachers may be highly aware of these issues and fully committed to plurilingualism, but they are not immune from complications. It is true that, in the last several years, teachers, researchers and policymakers around Europe and worldwide have all increasingly embraced a more plurilingual approach to language learning. Indeed, there is a growing consensus in the field as to the benefits of using multiple languages in class in different ways. While there is ample evidence of the effectiveness of this approach, it often happens that for the professionals involved, implementing plurilingual methods comes with certain contradictions and challenges. Plurilingual wellbeing is about identifying and seeking to overcome some of the thorny issues that can emerge in the context of plurilingual identity.

Of course, these concerns can vary greatly from one educational context to another. Indeed, the main project partners all come from places with different kinds of plurilingual realities. At the upcoming network meeting, there will be representatives from places with an even wider range of plurilingual conditions. The potential contradictions affecting the plurilingual identity of a teacher from France are likely to differ from those experienced by one in Estonia. PLURIWELL is recruiting teachers from a range of contexts to explore these potential differences, but also the commonalities among teachers from around Europe. The participants will then work with their colleagues in their home countries to adapt the materials they have helped create to the specifics of their own schools and societies.

www.ecml.at/pluriwell

Caterina Sugranyes (coordinator), Karen Aarøe, Gerit Jaritz, Latisha Mary

 
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