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Academic seminar “Pluralistic approaches to languages”: a highlight of the French Presidency of the European Union in the Reims Academy (France, 29 November - 1st December 2021)

ECML training and consultancy event for member states

Author: Catherine Seewald/17 January 2022/Categories: Training and Consultancy, 6mtp TAC Plurilingual education

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Venue: INSPE of Reims, France
Local organisers: Frédéric Bablon and Magali Censier, Rectorat de l'Académie de Reims, France
ECML experts: Béatrice Leonforte (Switzerland), Anna Schröder-Sura (Germany), Michel Candelier (France)
Participants: 110 Inspectors, technical advisors, primary and secondary school teachers, educational advisors, trainers


From 29 November to 1 December 2021, an academic seminar was held on pluralistic approaches to languages. This seminar is a continuation of and complementary to a previous one dedicated to the awakening to languages, in 2019.

The large-scale event was organised  jointly by the European Centre for Modern Languages in Graz (Austria) and the academic authorities (Ia-Dasen de l'Aube, IA-IPR de langues vivantes, DAREIC) with the support of the Grand Est Region, and benefitted  from the national FPEU label (French Presidency of the European Union).

International experts in pluralistic approaches to languages were invited to present their research findings.

The speakers were :

  • Michel Candelier, professor emeritus at the University of Le Mans, coordinator of several European projects including the EVLANG project (Awakening to languages in primary schools) and the CARAP/FREPA project (Framework of reference for pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures) developed at the ECML (Council of Europe, Graz, Austria), where he is a prominent collaborator;
  • Béatrice Leonforte, trainer at the Haute Ecole Pédagogique of Locarno and scientific advisor to the Working Group for compulsory school programmes in the canton of Ticino (Switzerland), specialist in plurilingualism, in particular for language awareness in primary school and integrated didactics at secondary level;
  • Anna Schröder-Sura, teacher and trainer in the didactics of Romance languages, specialist in the didactics of plurilingualism at the University of Rostock (Germany) and working with the ECML in particular on the elaboration and dissemination of CARAP;
  • Anne-Marie Voise, trainer in language teaching at the INSPEs of Versailles, Dijon and Créteil and teacher-researcher at the UPEC;
  • Véronique Lemoine-Bresson, teacher-researcher at the University of Lorraine, at the ATILF laboratory (CNRS) in the language didactics and sociolinguistics team; she also teaches in the Masters MEEF programme at the INSPE in Lorraine.

A seminar in two parts:

The first half-day was reserved for managers from the academy, inspectors and educational advisors from various disciplines. The action carried out by the Academy of Reims on language awareness and integrated language teaching (1st and 2nd level) was presented, followed by keynotes by Michel Candelier (From languages as learning objects to “language” as a vector for disciplinary learning. Building synergies) and Anna Schröder-Sura (Teacher competences for the use of pluralistic approaches: an overview of an ongoing project at the ECML, Council of Europe. A general discussion on the principles of synergy, their implementation, foreseeable obstacles, objectives, teaching skills.

After the welcome speech by the director of INSPE Reims, the second day was an opportunity for Olivier Brandouy, rector of the academy, in his talk on “the importance of the language dimension for all educational processes, “to affirm his conviction that “the response to the challenges of language can only be global, involving everyone, whether a language specialist or not, in a coordinated manner”, and to reaffirm his “commitment to reinforce the essential position given to the development of language at nursery school”, to “continue the action intended to develop the linguistic awareness of our pupils to prepare them in a more sustainable way for the learning of modern foreign languages” and to understand the importance of developing and cultivating  intercultural competence among our pupils”. Finally, he recalled the innovative work accomplished over the last four years in the field of languages within the academy.

The invited experts and 17 academic facilitators (IEN 1er degré, CPD langues, secondary school teachers and school teachers) then offered the large audience an in-depth discussion and workshops on practical application and feedback on experiments which demonstrated and promoted  the research actions already in operation within the academy.

These concrete approaches illustrating “what exists” aroused great interest. Many of those present said that they were keen to promote and use them in their professional practice and to disseminate them within their respective schools.

The day ended with a plenary lecture by Béatrice Leonforte who presented the different aspects of the implementation of pluralistic approaches (integrated in the school curriculum) in the canton of Ticino.

This seminar was therefore rich in theoretical insights, and provided exchanges opening up new perspectives for consideration – which have already prove effective in the academy - of the pluralistic approach to languages and the beginning of a more transversal and global reflection on French as an academic language.

Thank you to our partners, the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe, the Inspé de Reims and the Région Grand Est!


Frédéric Bablon, Michel Candelier, Magali Censier, Yvan Jacquemin


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