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    Gazette 33

Gazette 33 - September-October 2016


Focus on ...

Current programme developments 2016-2019

European Day of Languages (EDL)

National developments in Armenia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Canada

New nominations and elections at the ECML Governing Board

Professional Network Forum of the ECML: forthcoming events

Council of Europe developments

Council of Europe recent publications

Other education news

Quick links

Focus on ...

ECML colloquium "Ensuring quality in language testing and assessment: the contribution to the CEFR" (Graz, Austria, 7 December 2016) – Register online now!

This one-day event will bring together several renowned experts in the field of testing and assessment to showcase the progress that has been made since the publication of the Manual for Relating Language Examinations to the CEFR, share experiences from different European contexts as well as address the challenges that remain when it comes to aligning language curricula and examinations to the Framework. The event is carried out in cooperation with the European Commission.

  • Costs: no attendance fee; participants will be expected to cover their own travel and subsistence costs.
  • Registration: 50 places in total will be available and these will be allotted strictly on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Draft programme: English French
  • Background information and online registration: EnglishFrench

Latest ECML publications

Inventory of ICT tools and open educational resources (ICT-REV)

Authors: Mateusz-Milan Stanojevic, Martina Emke, Pauline Ernest, Ursula Stickler, Joseph Hopkins, Aline Germain-Rutherford, Sarah Heiser, Regine Hampel.

A practical inventory of ICT tools and open educational resources for language teaching and learning has been compiled as a result of the series workshops: //www.ecml.at/ictinventory. The inventory currently comprises around 70 free resources that have been evaluated according to a set of pedagogical criteria. Many of the resources include examples of how they can be used in the classroom, suggested by teachers.
If you have any suggestions for new tools or resources to be added to the inventory, please use the ‘suggest a new web tool’ section to add these. Also, if you are willing to share examples of how you use the existing resources in the inventory in your context and language we would be delighted to add these. Over the coming weeks we will be adding a host of new resources to the inventory.
Target users: teachers and teacher trainers, language policy makers, multipliers.
Languages: English, French.

European portfolio for pre-primary educators – The plurilingual and intercultural dimension (PEPELINO)

Authors:Francis Goullier, Catherine Carré-Karlinger, Natalia Orlova, Maria Roussi.

This portfolio is designed for educators and teachers in the pre-primary sector, either in initial or in-service training. It encourages personal reflection on the professional skills related to the linguistic and intercultural dimension of working with children. The publication website includes the European portfolio for pre-primary educators – The plurilingual and intercultural dimension in an interactive pdf format, ideas for self-assessment, frequently asked questions, as well as a glossary and references.
Target users: educators, teachers and teacher trainers in pre-primary education, primary school teachers.
Publication website: www.ecml.at/pepelino
Languages: English, French, German.

Sign languages and the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – Descriptors and approaches to assessment (PRO-SIGN)

German translation now available

The ECML is very grateful to the Austrian sign language association shake hands, Vienna, for the German translation: Gebärdensprachen und der Gemeinsame Europäische Referenzrahmen für Sprachen – Gemeinsame Referenzniveaus, September 2016.
Original version in English written by : Lorraine Leeson, Beppie van den Bogaerde, Christian Rathmann, Tobias Haug.
Also available in Czech language. 

Article "Visiting Cornell Professor Beppie van den Bogaerde Advocates for the Deaf"
Written by Ryan Dougherty, published on the website of the Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, United States

Publications on ECML resources

Handbuch Fremdsprachenunterricht
Karl-Richard Bausch, Hans-Jürgen Krumm, Eva Burwitz-Melzer, Grit Mehlhorn (eds.)
Verlag Utb, UTB Uni-Taschenbücher Bd.8043, 6. Auflage, 2016.
With references made to two ECML projects: Plurilingual and intercultural competences – Descriptors and teaching materials (FREPA/CARAP) and the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages (EPOSTL)

"Etes-vous prêts à relever de nouveaux défis au nom du français ?"
Article written by Dan Ion Nasta, ECML Governing Board member, Founding Chairman of the Romanian Association of Teachers of French, in Le Messager, n° 14 – 2016, Association roumaine des professeurs de français, ISSN: 2067 – 175X, pp. 49-52.

"Session internationale de conférences sur la didactique du FLE 'Partager pour s'enrichir'" and "La Conférence 'Apprendre par les langues'"
Articles written by Rodica Mighiu I.Ş.J. Botoşani, ECML National Contact Point, in Le Messager, n° 14 – 2016, Association roumaine des professeurs de français, ISSN: 2067 – 175X, pp. 110-111, 126.

"Multilingual didactics – Thinking outside the box" / "Mehrsprachigkeitsdidaktik – Der Blick über den Tellerrand"
The Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures (FREPA/CARAP) serves as the basis for teaching and learning processes in the promotion of multilingual and intercultural skills. How can it be integrated into the teaching of German as a foreign language?
Article written by Janna Degener, published on the website of the Goethe-Institut, 2016; available in English and in German.

Current ECML programme developments 2016-2019

ECML Think tank "Whole-school support for the language/s of schooling" (Graz, Austria, 13-14 September 2016)

The ECML hosted its first ever "Think tank" within the current programme which brought together language experts from 16 European countries, three international non-governmental organisations, a representative from the European Commission and the ECML secretariat to look in depth at one of the greatest challenges facing European school systems today – the language of schooling. The overall aim of the think tank was to present the ECML with recommendations on the kinds of activities the Centre could undertake in this area, within the 2016-2019 programme. A number of very interesting proposals emerged which will be considered carefully by the ECML: expanding the Centre's current Training and consultancy offer; organising a joint EU-ECML event; developing an online self-assessment tool so that schools can better understand the challenges, assess their own situation and consider different solutions; creating a community of practice beginning with everyone who responded to the ECML questionnaire.

"Promoting excellence in sign language instruction" (Pro-Sign2): join the project workshop in March 2017

"Promoting Excellence in Sign Language Instruction" aims to raise the profile of sign language (SL) teachers in Europe and to support them in their efforts to achieve excellence in their teaching, both content-wise and didactically. PRO-Sign 2's goal is to disseminate high quality materials aligned to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and to facilitate the exchange and strengthening of expertise amongst Europe's sign language teachers to support them in their work and to raise the quality of sign language teaching and learning.

Join the project by getting in touch with the ECML National Nominating Authority in your country and applying to be the national delegate at the project workshop, planned in March 2017.

Andorra : National reform towards a competency-based education –
ECML training and consultancy : "To read a 'teaching unit' through the Framework of reference for pluralistic approaches to cultures and languages in the Andorran context"

On 6-7 September 2016, 42 language teachers of Catalan, Castilian, French and English, at primary and secondary level (students aged 8-18), met in Andorra la Vella, for the ECML training and consultancy event "Looking at teaching units through the perspective of FREPA", moderated by the FREPA experts: Ildikó Lörincz (Hungary) and Jean-François de Pietro (Switzerland).

Austria: ECML Training and Consultancy event on Mobility "Plurimobil"(ECML, Graz,17-18 October 2016)

At the event, teachers from Styrian secondary vocational schools were introduced to innovative ways to use mobility for better language learning and cultural awareness in a 3-step approach (before – during – after).

  • Programme (in German)
  • Plurimobil website – "Plurilingual and intercultural learning through mobility – Practical resources for teachers and teacher trainers": EnglishFrench

"A quality assurance matrix for CEFR use": Call for fellowship (February – April 2017) until 28 October!

News item: English French

European Day of Languages (EDL)   #coeEDL

The 15th anniversary of European Day of Languages – The Day has come of age!

A huge variety of events celebrating the Day were organised across the length and breadth of Europe. From major language festivals bringing together 6000+ participants to activities in individual schools and classrooms, there was something for everyone… just about everywhere! As has been the trend in previous years, a large number of activities were also organised outside Europe, with events celebrating the Day on 5 continents in 2016. Cultural institutes such as the Goethe Institut, Institut français, British Council, Instituto Cervantes and Instituto Camões were instrumental in setting up many events either individually or together under the auspices of EUNIC. The Translation offices of the European Commission contributed to organising over 50 events in Europe’s cities. E-twinning events also brought together networks from different countries. With around 1 300 events (currently) registered in the calendar of EDL activities, a new yardstick has been set for future years!

The Council of Europe statement and Secretary General’s message marking the 15th anniversary of the Day focused on the positive role that the Day can play in bringing together and celebrating the different cultures and languages present in European countries, at a time when it is often divisions and exclusion which are highlighted. The Day received widespread media coverage around Europe at national and local level as well as enormous promotion through social media networks.

Coming soon…

  • 2016 EDL photo gallery
  • And, of course, there are only around 330 days until the next European Day of Languages!

EDL celebrations in Graz on 29 September 2016

The Language Festival Graz 2016 celebrated the linguistic and cultural diversity of the City, motivating people to become interested in and learn languages. The participation of a wide range of regional educational institutions in addition to the ECML, the European Commission Office in Austria and the Austrian Centre for Language Competence of the Federal Ministry of Education highlighted the fact that Graz is the "secret" language capital of Austria – and perhaps even Europe!

National developments in Armenia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Canada

Armenia: current developments in the context of language education

Lusine Fljyan, Vice-Rector on Science and International Relations at Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences, provides two articles:

Ms Fljyan is currently preparing The Recommendations to the Minister on the Improvement of the Policy of Armenia on Linguistic and Intercultural Education.

Austria: the Austrian Centre for Language Competence at Interpädagogica – Latest news

Visit the Austrian Centre for Language Competence (ÖSZ) at the stand of the Austrian Ministry of Education at Interpädagogica 2016 (Vienna, 10-12 November 2016). ÖSZ will inform visitors about current language developments and present "Practical tips for inclusion in foreign language teaching" on 11 November 2016 (10.30-11.20, room: Schubert 1).

Latest newsletter ÖSZ Sprachbox 2/2016 and Calendar of events 2016-2017 (available in German)

ECML web pages dedicated to Austria: EnglishFrench

Denmark: The national conference of languages "Sprog på kryds og tværs"(26 September 2016) – Latest newsletter

National event: Sprogkonference "Sprog på kryds og tværs"

On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, the ECML Contact Point in Denmark organised the national conference of languages "Sprog på kryds og tværs" ("The crisscross of languages") on 26 September 2016, at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Odense.

As the conference had a different concept than in previous years, allowing for greater diversity, more language professionals and institutions were present. The subtitle of the 2016 conference was "The new directions of language education: research and practice". Two keynote speakers were invited: Robert O’Dowd from the University of Leon, Spain, who addressed language learning, with a particular focus on tele-collaboration and intercultural education, and Petra Daryai-Hansen, from the University of Copenhagen and University College Capital, who presented her new project on early language learning.

During the first part of the conference, four recently completed doctoral theses were presented – through the medium of several languages including Danish as a mother tongue or as a second language. The second part of the event focused on development projects for the different levels of the Danish educational system, from pre-school to university level.

Newsletter of the ECML Contact Point in Denmark

Article written by Ana Kanareva-Dimitrovska, Project Manager, Contact Point for the European Centre for Modern Languages in Denmark, Aarhus University

Finland: language education in the Finnish National Core Curricula

Language education has become a prominent factor in education of all levels. Its importance was duly recognised while updating the latest Finnish National Core Curricula for basic and upper secondary education. This article provides an insight into how language education is integrated into Finnish education.

Photo credit: Finnish National Board of Education

France: learning modern languages starting this school year 2016

To find out about language learning starting this school year, two infographics (2016, in French only)

A reminder of the important news concerning language teaching/learning at the start of this school year:

  • Improving French students' foreign language skills is a priority. Language learning plays a fundamental role in the construction of citizenship, in enriching personality and in being open to the world. It also enhances the employability of young people both in France and abroad.
  • The Minister has launched a national strategy for modern languages based on early language learning (the first foreign language starting at primary level, the second foreign language starting from the 5th grade), a continuous and more diversified offer of languages, encouraging greater student mobility.
  • Download the complete document on Modern Languages (available in French only)

Reminder of the new programmes from primary to the 3rd grade – starting in September 2016: They are available online, in the Official Newsletter of 26 November 2015, listed according to the new cycles:

  • Cycle 2 – from the first to the third year of primary school (age group: 6-9): the basic learning cycle: from now on, children's learning of a foreign language starts at the beginning of this cycle.
  • Cycle 3 – from the fourth year of primary school to the first year of secondary school (age group: 9-12) corresponds to the consolidation stage.
  • Cycle 4 – from the second to the fourth year of secondary school (age group: 12-15) is the further learning stage. Second language learning which started mainly this stage until now, will start from the age of 12.

Latest newsletters edited by CIEP

Articles written by Marion Latour, Centre international d'études pédagogiques (CIEP), Sèvres, France

Germany: learning German for refugees – Free web resources from the Goethe Institut for adults and children

Web offers from Goethe Institut

Refugees who are learning the German language and who want to practice German will find a wide variety of free language learning opportunities on the website of the Goethe Institut, including self-learning courses, speaking exercises, videos and information on dealing with authorities, in everyday life or in finding a job; an interactive vocabulary training in 16 languages which ​​can be used without any prior knowledge.

Resources suggested by Andrea Schäfer, Goethe-Institut, Munich

Books and podcasts for refugee children

A series of 6 German-Arabic books for children – "Einfach lesen!" – and 5 podcasts have been produced for refugee children by the Goethe-Institute to facilitate first contacts with the new language, provide an insight into the life of German children and offer some light relief and distraction.

Photo credits: Goethe Institut

​Greece: Foreign language teaching and learning within the Greek education system

Within the Greek education system, English as a first foreign language will be taught as a compulsory subject starting with the 2016-2017 school year – beginning from the first year of primary education and up to the final year of college. The teaching/learning of a second foreign language, be it French or German, starts in the fifth year of primary school and continues through to the end of college studies, with two hours per week. In a small number of colleges in Greece, Italian is also offered as a choice for a second foreign language. During the first and second year of secondary school, students learn only one foreign language (English, French or German), whereas in the third year, they are able to opt for a second foreign language (English, French or German) from a list also including other optional courses.

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the "Joint Study Programme for Foreign Languages Studies (ΕΠΣ-ΞΓ)" is being implemented within the country's education system. The programme applies to the teaching of foreign languages in both primary (elementary) and secondary (college) education. Through the new curriculum, foreign language teaching and learning objectives, content, methodology and evaluation are now organised in accordance with the competence levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (Council of Europe). This enables and indeed promotes the adaptation of foreign language teaching to the needs within specific educational, social and cultural contexts.

Article written by Androniki Charitonidou, PhD, Counsellor of French Language, IEP, Institute of Educational Policy

Iceland: Informal meeting with all participants involved in the ECML programme 2012-2015 and other national key players working in the field of language education (Reykjavik, 3 November 2016)

On this occasion, twelve workshop participants and six key players in language education in Iceland (researchers and trainers as well as project team members) will exchange their experience and present relevant projects. The new ECML 2016-2019 programme will also be presented. The event will be organised and moderated by Már Sigurdsson Eyjólfur, member of the Governing Board and National Authority of the ECML, and Þorgerður Eva Björnsdóttir, National Contact Point for the ECML.

Norway: multilingual web resources for teachers, parents and children

Tema morsmål – A website with learning resources in 17 languages

The website provides a wealth of resources designed for school teachers, parents and children, that can be used in kindergartens and schools. The resources aim to enhance the children’s language development in their mother tongue and in Norwegian, to offer teachers a source of inspiration on how to work in multilingual classrooms, and some entertainment for children and parents.

Link collection with digital learning-materials in 7 languages

Skolekassa.no is a website which supports the learning of  Norwegian, English, mathematics, science and social studies. For each subject, you can find links to websites where you carry out assignments, listen to sound files, read texts, write sentences and play fun educational games.

Resources suggested by Ms Sigrun Aamodt, The National Centre for Multicultural Education (NAFO), Høgskolen i Oslo og Akerhus

Switzerland: basic language skills and management, examples of good practice in language teaching, education and migration

Basic language skills and management of the Swiss education system

In 2011, the national objectives of training were adopted by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK).
They describe the basic skills that students must acquire at different stages of compulsory education in four disciplines. In 2017, the first assessment of the achievement of the national objectives of training will take place at the end of primary level for the language of schooling and for the first foreign language, which, according to region; can be either English or another national language.
All cantons participate in surveys with a cantonal sample. The surveys will make it possible to assess performance within the education system and will therefore constitute an instrument to support the management of the system. Survey results will be published in the 2018 report – "Education in Switzerland".
For more information on assessing the achievement of national training objectives, see the EDK website: FrenchGermanItalian

Inventory of examples of good practice in language teaching

The debate on foreign language teaching continues in Switzerland. To support teachers and schools to implement the recommended teaching approaches and to further improve student learning, the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK) plans to publish examples of good practice in teaching languages in 2017. These examples are collected from teachers from different linguistic regions, for the following areas: action-oriented approach, internal differentiation, exchange and mobility, bridges between languages, bilingual education and immersion, evaluation and assessment, and transition between levels.
For more information on foreign language teaching in Switzerland, see this factsheet: FrenchGermanItalian

Articles written by Dominique Chételat , Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK)

Publications on education and migration

Equité – Discrimination et égalité des chances au sein du système éducatif – Migration et origine sociale, written by Haenni Hoti (ed.): FrenchGerman

EDK publications on education and migration

Canada: OLBI's Annual report 2015-2016 – Wikipedia page

Annual report 2015-2016 of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) : EnglishFrench
Article on the cooperation between the ECML and OLBI, see p. 14.

OLBI's page on Wikipedia (with a reference to the ECML): EnglishFrench

OLBI's latest newsletter (September 2016): English/French

New nominations and elections at the ECML Governing Board and its Bureau

The ECML is pleased to welcome three new members to the Bureau of the Governing Board who were elected during the 25th meeting of the Board (13-14 October 2016), as well as four new members to the Governing Board:

  • Composition of the Bureau of the Governing Board for 2017-2018: Ms Ursula Newby (Austria, Chair), Ms Bronka Straus (Slovenia, Vice-chair) and Mr Steinar Nybøle (Norway, Bureau member) have joined Ms Claire Extramiana (France, Vice-chair), Ms Veselina Ganeva (Bulgaria, Bureau member), Ms Ingrid Jurela-Jarak (Croatia, Bureau member), and Ms Lusine Flyjan (Armenia, Bureau member); 
  • four newly appointed Governing Board members: Ms Efrosyni Tofaridou (Cyprus), Ms Pille Põiklik (Estonia), Ms Andrea Schäfer (Germany), and Ms Sandra Ebejer (Malta).

The ECML would like to express its deepest gratitude to Ms Irena Mašková (Chair of the Governing Board, Czech Republic), Ms Marja Beuk (Bureau member of the Bureau, Netherlands), Ms Suliko Liiv (Estonia), Ms Stella Konti-Theocharous (Cyprus), Mr Sebastian Vötter (Germany), and Ms Bernadetta Gerada Aloisio (Malta) for their continuous support and wholehearted involvement.

More information about the composition of the ECML Governing Board can be found on the dedicated website.

Photo: Ursula Newby, new Chair of the ECML Governing Board from 2017

Professional Network Forum of the ECML: forthcoming events

The Professional Network Forum of the ECML is formed of international associations and institutions that share common values and have overlapping expertise in the field of language education and assessment. Under the auspices of the ECML, the members of the Forum share their know-how and work together on areas of common interest in the service of language education.


Updated flyer of the Forum (status: October 2016): English –  French

Calendar of events of the Professional Network Forum membership: English French

Council of Europe developments

Language policy

Formal consultation (until 15th February 2017) on a new extended version of the CEFR illustrative descriptors

Just published! Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education 
Guide pour le développement et la mise en œuvre de curriculum pour une éducation plurilingue et interculturelle (2016)
Authors: Jean-Claude Beacco, Michael Byram, Marisa Cavalli, Daniel Coste, Mirjam Egli Cuenat, Francis Goullier, Johanna Panthier
To order the publication: English – French

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Developments since 1st July 2016 relating to the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, San Marino, Spain: EnglishFrench

Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities – Tenth activity report covering the period from 1 June 2014 to 31 May 2016: EnglishFrench

Managing diversity through minority rights: Council of Europe’s national minorities body launches new guidance document: EnglishFrench

Launching Conference of the fourth thematic commentary on the scope of application "The Framework Convention: a key tool to managing diversity through minority rights" (Strasbourg, 11 October 2016):

Pestalozzi programme for the professional development of teachers and education actors

"Evaluation and assessment of transversal attitudes, skills and knowledge" – Report of the trainer training course (Module A : Strasbourg, France - 20-23 October 2015 – Module B – Mosta, Malta – 24-27 May 2016): English

"Diversity of learners and diversity of teachers: learning together for a better future" – Report of Council of Europe Pestalozzi Programme Summer School 2016, in cooperation with the Academy of Bad Wildbad (Germany, 26 June – 3 July 2016): English

Calendar of activities 2016: EnglishFrench

Council of Europe recent publications

Council of Europe new tool to help governments strengthen democracy through culture: EnglishFrench

  • Indicator framework for culture and democracy: EnglishFrench
  • Brochure: EnglishFrench
  • Guidebook for users: EnglishFrench
  • Interview with Prof. Dr. Helmut K. Anheier from the Hertie School of Governance: English (video, 1'42)

"Europe matters – A question of values": a great educational game about European values.
Available in English, French and German.
Hard copies can be ordered via docrequest@coe.int.

2016 report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the State of Democracy, Human Rights and the Rule of Law in Europe – A security imperative for Europe: English French

"The Council of Europe: An overview": designed for the general public, the brochure outlines the Organisation’s activities which strengthen democratic institutions and practices in its 47 member states.
Available in English, French and German.
Hard copies, in French and English, can be ordered via docrequest@coe.int.

Other education news

European Commission


New education and training website relating to the EU's policies and initiatives all across Europe (available in 24 languages)

Eurydice publications

The organisation of the academic year in Europe – 2016/17 (only available in English)

The organisation of school time in Europe – 2016/17 (only available in English)

Recommended annual instruction time in full-time compulsory education in Europe 2015/16 (full version in English; comparative analysis in French and German)

Promoting citizenship and the common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education (in English)

OECD publications

Education at a glance 2016 – OECD indicators
(available in English, French and German)

'Education at a Glance': an international compendium of comparable national statistics on the state of education worldwide (available in English and French)

Schooling redesigned – Towards innovative learning systems (available in English)

What makes a school a learning organisation? (available in English)

Supporting teacher professionalism – Insights from TALIS 2013 (available in English)

Immigrant students at school – Easing the journey towards integration (available in English)

Open Educational Resource – A catalyst for innovation (available in English)

Mercator – European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Mercator newsletter no. 125 (September 2016)

Quick links

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Council of Europe news
Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation
European Day of Languages
European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML)
Language Policy Unit
European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages
Pestalozzi Programme

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