Local organisers: Denisa Ďuranová (National Institute of Education and Youth, Slovak Republic) and Jitka Tůmová (National Pedagogical Institute, Czech Republic)
ECML experts: Terry Lamb, United Kingdom; Catherine Carré-Karlinger, Austria
Participants: 9 participants from the Slovak Republic, 10 participants from the Czech Republic (foreign language teachers/teachers of other subjects, teachers of the language of schooling, teachers of the language of schooling as a second language, school administrators, school advisers, policymakers)
“On 20 – 21 June 2023 the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML) in cooperation with the National Institute of Education and Youth in the Slovak Republic and the National Pedagogical Institute in the Czech Republic carried out a two-day workshop on Supporting Multilingual Classrooms. The workshop, resulting from a joint initiative of the ECML and European Commission, was organised in the Slovak Republic for the fourth year, and in 2023 it was the first international workshop involving two countries - bringing together both Slovak and Czech experts.
One of the main reasons behind this joint event is that curriculum reform for primary and lower secondary education is underway in both the Slovak Republic and the Czech Republic, with a priority on the educational standards for Slovak/Czech as a second language. This is due to the increasing numbers of pupils with migrant backgrounds, with many coming in particular from Ukraine as a result of the ongoing war.
The primary aims of the two-day workshop were to: promote access to quality education for migrant children; bridge the gap between foreign pupils and other pupils; strengthen teachers' professional competences in the field of assessment and evaluation of pupils' language competences; improve the quality of language teaching and to support the development of plurilingual competences of all pupils in multilingual classrooms, based on the linguistic and cultural diversity of pupils. The workshop was also devoted to international networking among participants and experts of the international initiative.
The workshop focused on: experiences and practices in the field of language education of migrant children; reflection on attitudes towards linguistic and cultural diversity; plurilingual activities and classroom management; development of the plurilingual dimension in all subjects; issues of assessment in multilingual schools/classrooms; building relationships and collaboration between schools and the community.
The workshop facilitators explained how to work with parents, plan activities, promote inclusion and collaboration with other actors, such as school organizations. Participants identified priorities that will enrich their own practice.
The video developed during the event provides a flavour of the atmosphere and collaborative spirit during this very successful Supporting Multilingual Classrooms workshop.
More information about the Supporting Multilingual Classrooms workshop in the Slovak Republic is available at https://www.statpedu.sk/sk/vyskum/vzdelavacie-aktivity/podpora-multilingvalnych-tried-iv/"
Denisa Ďuranová in collaboration with Jitka Maříková Tůmová
ECML project website: Supporting multilingual classrooms – EU-ECML cooperation agreement 2023 "Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning"