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Thank you, Waldek! Welcome to Sarah!

Sarah Breslin: New Executive Director of the ECML

01 October 2013

The ECML is pleased to inform you that Sarah Breslin takes up her new duties as Executive Director of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe today 1st October.

Sarah is a passionate linguist, with a thorough understanding of both policy and practice in language education and general education, having worked in a range of sectors and countries since she graduated with first class Honours in French and German from the University of Glasgow in 1986. After training to become a language teacher, Sarah worked for 15 years in Catalonia as a TEFL teacher and became first Director of Studies and then Director of a prestigious language school in Tarragona. She then moved into Higher Education, where she was Head of Modern Languages in the Faculty of Tourism  and teacher of English and German. On returning to the UK, she worked for 4 years in further education, teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Spanish, before becoming Head of International and EU programmes. Before taking up post as Director at SCILT, Scotland’s National Centre for Languages at the University of Strathclyde, Sarah worked for the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) where her focus was on education policy both at UK and EU level, as well as cross-border qualification recognition. We wish her every success in her new challenge at the ECML.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Waldemar Martyniuk warmly for his excellent work during his five very years as Executive Director.   It is with both sadness and gratitude that we pay tribute to Waldek - sadness because his term as Director now has come to an end and gratitude because he has played a key role in consolidating the success of the ECML. During a period particularly marked by economic challenges the ECML has consolidated its position as a prominent Centre for competence in language education and as an important part of the Council of Europe's effort to promote education policy and practice that further European values and the full range of purposes of education. In this, the ECML has cooperated closely with the Council of Europe Language Policy Unit and, more broadly, with the Education Department and with other parts of the Council. This period was also marked by innovative initiatives such as the creation of the Professional Network Forum on Language Education, the development of training and consultancy services for the member states and the signature of important cooperation agreements among others with the European Commission and the Moscow State Linguistic University. Waldek will be missed both as a colleague and as a friend.

Picture caption: Waldek and Sarah on the Murinsel, Graz, celebrating the European Day of Languages
Photo credit: cp-pictures

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