The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is a Council of Europe institution to which thirty-three countries currently subscribe. The ECML assists its member states in addressing challenges within their national education systems by:
The work of the Centre focuses primarily on priority areas in member states such as migration and language education, plurilingual education, mobility and intercultural learning, new media in language education, evaluation and assessment, early language learning, content and language integrated learning, employment and languages. Teacher education is at the core of its work. ECML activities are complementary to those of the Council of Europe’s work related to the development of policies and planning tools in the field of language education and the Secretariat of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
Within the framework of its 4-year programmes, the Centre works together with ministries, language experts, national institutions and international language organisations. Through its programmes, the ECML provides a platform for gathering and disseminating information, stimulating discussion and training multipliers in matters related to language education. It also maintains Europe-wide networks for teacher trainers, researchers and educational administrators.
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The Council of Europe stresses the importance of societal multilingualism and of individual plurilingual competence as means to social cohesion. Why this is important and how it can be achieved are explained in the Language Policy Division document “Guide for the Development of Language Education Policies in Europe”. Ultimately, it is within the school, at the chalk face, that the necessary innovations need to take place. The case studies presented in this publication are an authentic illustration of how this is being realised in different contexts; and what successes and challenges it presents.
By bringing these innovative language education programmes and school profiles to the fore, we are participating in the creation of a new paradigm of school leadership whereby pupils, parents and the local community, instead of being excluded, controlled and forgotten become actively involved in language endeavours. Similarly, teachers can move on from being simply the executors of education programmes to becoming participants in drawing up, implementing and evaluating school policies. This work is intended to stimulate thought and to serve as a springboard for more schools to take up the European quest of building communities that are ever more inclusive, meaningful and democratic.
Target group(s): teachersteacher educatorsdecision-makers
Publication year: 2007
Antoinette Camilleri Grima
Promoting linguistic diversity and whole-school development (EN)
Promouvoir la diversité linguistique et le développement à l’échelle des établissements scolaires (FR)
ENSEMBLE - Website (EN)
Please use the following bibliographic reference if you choose to cite any part of this resource:
For the book:Grima Antoinette Camilleri (2007),
Promoting linguistic diversity and whole-school development, Council of Europe Publishing, Strasbourg.
For the website:
Grima Antoinette Camilleri
Promoting linguistic diversity and whole-school development, Council of Europe (European Centre for Modern Languages), Graz,
available at , accessed 27 Feb 2024.
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Download the catalogue of the ECML programme outputs 2016-2019 "Languages at the heart of learning": English - French
European portfolio for pre-primary educators - The plurilingual and intercultural dimension 11477
Language skills for successful subject learning - CEFR-linked descriptors for mathematics and history/civics 11028
Inventory of ICT tools and open educational resources 10536
Teaching the language of schooling in the context of diversity - Study materials for teacher development 9546
Empowering language networks - Tools for mediating ECML resources 8399
Collaborative community approach to migrant education - A virtual open course for educators 8201
A European learning network for professionals supporting work-related second language development 8031
A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning 7997
ECML publications for plurilingual and intercultural education in use - Tools and ideas for dissemination 7869
Towards whole-school language curricula: Examples of practice in schools 7616
List of publications 1998-2016
Modern Languages (2012)
Programme glossary 2008-2011 "Empowering language professionals” (2013)