“A detailed plan to guide progress toward a goal”: Merriam-Webster’s on-line definition of a roadmap gives the exact purpose of the new ECML project A roadmap for schools to support language(s) of schooling. The project aims at supporting schools to develop their own strategy regarding languages of schooling, which assures the efficiency in enhancing students’ academic language skills and developing a language-aware school culture. A roadmap for schools to support language(s) of schooling will offer a user-friendly self-assessment tool – the Roadmap - to investigate the school’s strengths and areas to be developed regarding language dimension across all subjects and settings. It will also enable schools to deepen their understanding of the national/regional curricular aims to academic language and literacy skills and assist them in affirming and improving language-sensitive teaching across all subjects. The Roadmap has a holistic approach which emphasizes the roles of both school-leaders’ and teaching/non-teaching staff in building and implementing a strategy for languages of schooling. The project offers also examples of classroom interventions and collaboration among teachers, and examples of ways to involve non-teaching staff, parents and the wider community. A roadmap for schools to support language(s) of schooling supports and completes the other ECML projects, such as Developing language awareness in subject classes, and EOL-Matrix.
The project team had its first on-line meeting in late December 2016. The first face-to-face meeting was held in Graz at the end of March 2017. During two working days, the team discussed the goals and the stakeholders of the project, deepened the mutual understanding of the key concepts, planned the 2017-2018 timetable, and started identifying the areas to be assessed. We hope to be able to complete the set of criteria for the self-assessment tool with the help of the associate partners, by the end of September 2017, before the first workshop in the autumn of 2017. This workshop will gather stakeholders interested in the project and will enable them to discuss the proposed criteria, so that we can finalise a tool corresponding to their needs, to help them develop the linguistic and critical thinking skills ALL learners need and ensure an improved school success.