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    Gazette 39

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Teacher education for linguistic diversity colloquium: live webcast on 13-14 December 2017

The colloquium on “Teacher education for linguistic diversity: the contribution of the ECML“ is organised by the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe in cooperation with the European Commission.

With the increasingly diverse linguistic and cultural composition of classrooms around Europe, this topic has become a central issue in language education, has been addressed in several ECML projects and is given current priority by the European Commission. The colloquium will provide an opportunity to reflect on and evaluate the contributions made by the plethora of didactic research and innovative practices which have arisen over the past fifteen years.

At the core of this colloquium will be the contribution made by the Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches (FREPA) and its impact on different aspects of language education throughout Europe.

Due to the high level of demand to participate in the event, the ECML has decided to stream the event live, starting from 9:30 am on 13 December and concluding at 13:00 on 14 December. The event will be in English and French and will be streamed in the original language of the speaker only.

During the colloquium, the following issues will be addressed:

  • supporting multilingual classroom and language-sensitive teaching
  • teaching tools for supporting diversity in education;
  • the role of plurilingualism in new curricula;
  • plurilingual curricula scenarios at different educational stages;
  • reference frameworks for pluralistic approaches in teacher education
  • the perspective of the European Union;
  • examples of responses to linguistic diversity in specific member states.

The colloquium will be of particular interest to those who are engaged in pluralistic education, whether as teachers, teacher educators or curriculum designers, and aims to support their efforts in facilitating change in this area. For further information on the event, including the Colloquium programme, please visit the colloquium webpage.

WEBCAST – starting on Wednesday, 13 December at 09:30.


European Day of Languages 2017 – a record-breaking day!

Based upon this year’s enthusiastic response to the European Day of Languages, languages and language learning appear to be more popular than ever around the continent.

In his statement on the occasion of the Day, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, highlighted the great value of Europe's cultural diversity, “Europe's nations are always at their strongest and most prosperous when we are open and outward-facing, willing to embrace other ways of life, and when we welcome those who can contribute to our societies”.

This diversity was very evident in the 1,400 EDL events registered in the online calendar of activities. The number possibly only represents the tip of the iceberg, with at least 50 countries celebrating the Day this year, including Japan, South Africa and the United States. A huge variety of events covering all ages were on display. Activities such as Summercove school’s “European Rap” reflected the linguistic diversity present in the classroom and, at the other end of the age spectrum, there were also events for the ‘not so young’, such as the “Sprachentag für Senioren”, encouraging the older generation to learn new languages or reactivate old ones! Romania, with over 300 events registered, again proved to be the most popular country for celebrating the Day. In total, the EDL website was accessed over 1.6 million times during the month of September which surpassed all previous records.


European Day of Languages 2017: on the subject of records...

This year the EDL also established a ‘world record’ for the largest number of videos submitted on the theme of languages. The competition, inviting people to say why they love a particular language, produced a wealth of creative, well-produced and often amusing video clips which are now hosted on the EDL website. It proved particularly popular among schools, all over the continent. In total, over 2,800 videos were sent in (over 12 hours of viewing footage!) which may be difficult to beat. Just in case you don’t have time to view all of them, a selection highlighting the wide range of submissions is available here.

With regard to other initiatives, over 40,000 votes were recorded for the “most innovative EDL event” competition which closed on 20 October. The most popular events from 20 countries will receive prizes from the ECML and a competition to design a t-shirt for the 2018 European Day of Languages is still underway and will close on 20 December.

On a local level, the language festival in Graz coordinated by the Graz language network and taking place in the City museum, proved highly successful. It brought together around 2,500 participants in a day of fun and, of course, educational activities, involving singing, dancing, language taster courses, theatrical performances (not always intentional!), games and competitions.

We would like to thank everyone who took part in activities related to the 2017 European Day of Languages for making it a very special Day and we hope that you will be back again for an even bigger and better EDL next year!


Action research communities for language teachers: ARC presentation at the Collaborative Action Research Network (CARN) annual conference (University of Crete, 20-22 October 2017)

Two members of the ECML’s Action research communities for language teachers (ARC) team from Austria and the United Kingdom attended the annual CARN conference at the University of Crete, Greece, in October 2017 and presented the latest developments in the ARC project. The event provided them with a great opportunity to engage with action researchers from education and health working in a diverse range of contexts.


"Developing language awareness in subject classes": project workshop (Graz, Austria, 16-17 November 2017)

The workshop focused on the development of concepts and materials and piloting activities. The participants gained increased awareness of what language means when learning a subject matter. They could also become familiar with methods and concrete scenarios on how to support L2 students learning subject matter content.

Four teachers from Andorra, Austria, Canada and Iceland describe how they could benefit from the approaches discussed at the event here.


"Promoting excellence in sign language instruction - Descriptors and approaches to assessment" (Pro-Sign 2)

This resource establishes European standards for sign languages for professional purposes in line with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and provides an overview of assessment descriptors and approaches.


Digital literacy for the teaching and learning of languages (e-LANG)

This project aims to address the teacher training need by providing the basis for a teaching methodology which integrates new technologies. The project workshop (Graz, 10-11 October 2017) brought together 40 participants from 34 countries. The participants had the opportunity to discover the pedagogical approach guiding the e-LANG project, to explore the training modules developed by the project team, and to contribute to the project by creating real-world tasks and suggesting resources for language activities.

During their meeting which followed the workshop (Graz, 12-13 October) the project team worked on the pedagogical framework detailing the main principles of the socio-interactional approach (which guides the entire project). By the end of 2017 or beginning of 2018, it will also be possible to freely access the first training modules on Moodle. These will be offered to teachers interested in developing their digital literacy.


"Inspiring language learning and teaching in the early years - Why it matters and what it looks like for children aged 3-12 years": launch of the ECML project website

This project aims to help teachers and other educators prepare young children to successfully face the challenges of a culturally and linguistically diverse world. It will provide them with learning and teaching resources and strategies which take existing linguistic repertoires into account in order to (further) develop the linguistic and intercultural competences of both learners and educators.


Towards a Common European Framework for Language Teachers

In 2018, the project will develop a new inventory, drawing on existing models of teacher competences. This will seek to link individual competences with professional learning experiences that further develop the capacity of teachers to place languages at the heart of learning and to support key Council of Europe actions in the field of education.


Training and consultancy activities


ECML training workshop "Plurilingual and intercultural learning through mobility" (Yerevan, Armenia, 10-11 October 2017)

The workshop "Plurilingual and intercultural learning through mobility" was organised for the school and university language teachers, student teachers and language teacher volunteers to train them to prepare the learners for activities before, during and after mobility projects and to improve the quality assurance and capacities of institutions involved in international programmes.


Workshops in Luxembourg

Workshop “Use of ICT in support of language teaching and learning” (Luxembourg, 21-22 September 2017)

The workshop "Use of ICT in support of language teaching and learning" enabled course organisers and teachers to integrate ICT tools in their teaching in a productive and reflected manner. Attitudes towards technology in teaching were discussed in an open environment that encouraged the exchange of pedagogical practices and (classroom) experiences.

Workshop “Adult migrants – Quality assurance in language and citizenship courses” (Luxembourg, 21-22 September 2017)

The training workshop targeted at course organisers and teachers who work in a school environment that caters to a large immigrant population. Referring to the Self-assessment handbook for providers of courses for adult migrants, participants were encouraged to consider how well courses are designed for this particular student population and to what extent the learning objectives are derived from a needs assessment of this specific student group.


Workshop "Beyond CLIL" (Amersfoort, Netherlands, 13 September 2017)

The presentation delivered by ECML representatives gave participants a new perspective on their current teaching and on the way they can support their students experience a deeper learning. It also helped to further develop their understanding in the area of "Pluriliteracies".


Forthcoming training and consultancy events

This strand of ECML activities responds in a targeted and bilateral way to specific national priorities in ECML member states.
Consult the calendar 2017-2018: English - French


How to help adult migrants develop work-related language skills - a quick guide

Language skills and employment are both crucial to the successful integration of adult migrants. These two enablers are related. Migrants need language skills to find suitable employment and then progress at work. Employment can help migrants to develop their language skills. Migrants who arrive with the language skills and qualifications they need to secure quality employment may require little further support. For the many other migrants who arrive with limited language skills and no recognised qualifications, support to develop work-related language skills is vital. This short resource offers guidance on how to provide that support.

This publication is a product of the project Language for work – Tools for professional development, part of the 2016-19 programme of the European Centre for Modern Languages. It was written by members of the project team, Alexander Braddell (United Kingdom), Matilde Grünhage-Monetti (Germany, project co-ordinator), Christophe Portefin (France) and Kerstin Sjösvärd (Sweden).


Sign languages and the CEFR for Languages: PRO-Sign publication now available in Estonian and Icelandic

Estonian version: PRO-SIGN - Viipekeeled ja Euroopa keeleõppe raamdokument - Ühtsete keeleoskustasemete kirjeldused
Icelandic version: PRO-SIGN - Táknmál og hinn samevrópski viðmiðunarrammi tungumála. Útlistun á almennum viðmiðunarstigum
Authors: Lorraine Leeson, Beppie van den Bogaerde, Christian Rathmann, Tobias Haug

The ECML would like to express its deepest gratitude to:

  • the Language Policy Department, Ministry of Education and Research (Tartu), for the translation into Estonian - Contact: Pille Põiklik, Chief Expert; and
  • the Communication Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (Reykjavík) for the translation into Icelandic - Contact: Kristín Lena Þorvaldsdóttir, Department Director, Sign Language Department

The publication is now available in Czech, English, Estonian, German and Icelandic.


ECML related publication


"Language for Work - A European learning network for professionals supporting work‐related second language development"

TDAR — Transfer and development of Arbetsam results - ett pärlbandsprojekt som del i ett långsiktigt utvecklingsarbete (available in Swedish)
Folder written by Kerstin Sjösvärd and Bengt Larsson and edited by Stiftelsen Äldrecentrum.
The folder about the last decade of work in the Stockholm region mentions the ECML project "Language for Work". It was spread at Almedalsveckan to around 500 persons in Sweden.


Professional Network Forum of the ECML


Forthcoming events

The Professional Network Forum of the ECML is comprised 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.



National developments


Canada: calls for proposals - a new Compendium of language management in Canada project

Call for proposals:
CCERBAL 2018 Conference "Translanguaging: opportunities and challenges in a global world" (Ottawa, 3-4 May 2018)

Deadline for proposals: 15 December 2017
Conference website

Call for papers:
International Conference on foreign languages, communication and culture and International Seminar on Canadian Studies (Holguín Cuba, 26-28 April 2018)

Call for papers deadline: 15 February 2018
Conference website

Compendium of language management in Canada project
The project led by The Language Management Interdisciplinary Research Group has been online since early September 2017. Although the website is now active, there are pages still under construction. The website offers a wealth of useful information on the site including: Political foundations; Linguistic history of Canada; Legislative framework; Language rights; Demolinguistic statistics. The official launch on the website will be on 19 January 2018.


France: new resources (available in French)

The ECML: brief video presentation

Claire Extramiana, French Governing Board member of the ECML, explains the ECML in a short video (available in French)

Resources edited by the General Delegation to the French language and languages of France (DGLFLF, Ministry of Culture)

Rapport au Parlement sur l'emploi de la langue française

Repères 2017 : Éléments pour une politique linguistique dans les Outre-mer

Vocabulaire des TIC

Results of the "Survey on the languages of France and collaborative projects 2017" conducted between 21 September and 21 October 2017 by Wikimédia France and the General Delegation to the French language and languages of France (DGLFLF, Ministry of Culture)

Langues et cité n°29 : les langues de Polynésie française

Langues et cité n°28 : les langues de Guyane

Resources edited by the International Centre for Pedagogical Studies (CIEP)

Newsletter "Veille et ressources documentaires": October 2017 - November 2017


Ireland: launch of the strategy for foreign Languages in education 2017-2026 and the policy on Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022

New strategy for foreign Languages in education 2017-2026

On 4 December 2017 the Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton T.D., launched the government’s strategy for foreign languages in education 2017-2026. The Plan sets out a roadmap to put Ireland in the top ten countries in Europe for the teaching and learning of foreign languages, through a number of measures targeted at improving proficiency and increasing the number of languages taught and immersion programmes.

Gaeltacht Education 2017-2022

In October 2016 the Irish Department of Education and Skills launched its policy on Gaeltacht* Education 2017-2022. The Policy sets out a vision for Gaeltacht education that recognises the role that schools and early-years settings play in providing high quality Irish-medium education and in fostering Irish-language proficiency and usage in the wider Gaeltacht community. It aims to support and improve the quality of Irish-medium instruction in Gaeltacht schools and pre-schools, and to ensure the availability of a high quality and relevant Irish-medium educational experience for all young people living in Gaeltacht. Through this policy schools located in Gaeltacht planning areas can opt to seek recognition as a “Gaeltacht school” where the school commits to delivering all curriculum areas and subjects through the medium of Irish and engages with the community in the Gaeltacht language planning process. The development and implementation of the Policy is a central commitment contained in the national Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 and plays a key role for the future of the language and Irish culture.

(*) Gaeltacht is the Irish word for an Irish speaking area.



New law relating to Luxembourg citizenship from 8 March 2017

This new law, which came into effect on 1 April 2017, aims to facilitate access to Luxembourg citizenship, ensuring equity and social cohesion. The granting of citizenship is dependent, among other things, on knowledge of the Luxembourgish language. This must be documented through a certificate confirming successful completion of the language evaluation examination in Luxembourgish. The Luxembourgish language evaluation examination includes an oral production test at the A2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and an oral comprehension test at B1 level. The Institut National des Langues is responsible for organising the language evaluation examination in Luxembourgish and for assessing and certifying the required level of competence.



Recommendations for language teaching and examples of good practice

The Swiss Conference of Cantonal Directors of Education (CDIP) has adopted recommendations relating to the teaching of national languages and of English. In line with the recommendations, examples of good practice in language teaching have also been published. They have been organised into seven themes covering all types of immersion schools, pluralistic approaches, assessments and exchanges. They are available online on the Langues.educa platform, which also offers teachers a tool for the self-assessment of their language skills.

  • Newsletter of the CDIP: French - German
  • Recommendations for compulsory foreign language teaching (national languages and English) at school: French - German
  • Examples of good practice of language teaching / Self-assessment tool for teachers’ language skills: German - French - Italian

Institute for Pedagogical Research and Documentation (IRDP / Intercantonal Conference of Public Education of French-Speaking Switzerland and of Ticino) – Latest documentary monitoring:
22 September - 4 October 2017
5-26 October 2017
27 October - 16 November 2017


Council of Europe developments


Recently published: CEFR Companion volume with New Descriptors

The Companion Volume is intended as a complement to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR). It represents another important step in a process that has been pursued by the Council of Europe since 1971 and owes much to the contributions of members of the language teaching profession across Europe and beyond.

The “Companion Volume” is the Council of Europe’s response to requests that have been made by the groups involved in the field of language education to complement the original illustrative scales with more descriptors. In addition to the extended illustrative descriptors, it contains an introduction to the aims and main principles of the CEFR.

The volume contains:

  • a text explaining key aspects of the CEFR for teaching and learning;
  • updated versions of the 2001 scales (gaps filled: better description at A1 and the C-levels, new analytic scale for phonology);
  • descriptors for new areas: mediation (including reactions to creative text/literature), online interaction , and plurilingual/pluricultural competence;
  • examples for the mediation descriptors for the four domains public, personal, occupational, educational;
  • a brief rationale for each descriptors scales (old as well as new);
  • a brief account of the development project.

The French version will be published before the end of the year, with German following next Spring.

More information on the CEFR website.


Council of Europe toolkit for language support for adult refugees

This toolkit was presented on 23 November 2017 at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg bringing together over 70 of Europe’s most active associations who are coping with the day-to-day realities of refugees’ linguistic integration. The comprehensive package comprises 57 tools and other resources that can be freely downloaded and adapted to meet the needs of different contexts The resources are designed to assist organisations, and especially volunteers, providing language support for adult refugees.
Throughout the toolkit “refugee” is understood in a broad sense and includes asylum seekers as well as refugees.

  • News item: English - French
  • Toolkit available in 7 languages: English - French
    Also available in Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Turkish

European Qualifications Passport for Refugees

The European Qualifications Passport for Refugees is a document providing an assessment of the higher education qualifications based on available documentation and a structured interview. It also presents information on the applicant’s work experience and language proficiency. The document provides reliable information for integration and progression towards employment and admission to further studies. It is a specially developed assessment scheme for refugees, even for those who cannot fully document their qualifications.

Website of the pilot project: English - French

Video interview with Stig Arne Skjerven, Director of Foreign Education Department, Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT) - Norway (in English)


Pestalozzi Programme for the professional development of teachers and education actors: recent resources

Final report of the Pestalozzi Programme fifth Summer School 2017 "Competences for a democratic culture: from onlookers to engaged and active citizens"
The report focuses on how teachers can best promote a democratic culture in their classrooms.

Final report for the training course "Strengthening education for democracy"

Website of the Pestalozzi Programme: English - French


Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities

Latest developments in Austria, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, the Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Sweden.

The Advisory Committee Thematic Commentary No. 3 on the language rights of persons belonging to national minorities under the Framework Convention and the Advisory Committee Thematic Commentary No. 4 "The Framework Convention: a key tool to managing diversity through minority rights - The scope of application of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities" is now also available in Dutch and Frisian.


European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Latest developments in Austria, Denmark and Montenegro

  • Website: English - French - Also available in German, Italian and Russian


10 December - European Action Day of the No Hate Speech Movement youth campaign

8-9 December, Strasbourg (European Youth Centre) - Love Human Rights - Everyday, Everyone, Everywhere - is the motto of the European Action Day of the No Hate Speech Movement youth campaign to celebrate the International Human Rights Day marked on 10 December.
Campaign website


10 Years (2007-2017) of Intercultural Cities: Making Diversity Work for Cities Milestone event in Lisbon

Cities in Europe and in the world can gain immensely through cultural diversity with a variety of skills and creativity, while adopting policies and practices that facilitate intercultural interaction and inclusion. The Council of Europe celebrated this real success-story in Lisbon (28-29 November) with a Milestone Event, organised in co-operation with the city of Lisbon and Portuguese authorities: "Urban policies for inclusive migrant integration and diversity advantage".

The Intercultural Cities’ programme offers a comprehensive methodology for city leaders and a range of analytical and assessment tools, including the Intercultural Cities Index, that municipalities can use to evaluate the success of their integration strategies.


2017 edition of the European Local Democracy Week (ELDW)

The 2017 edition of ELDW, which marks the 10th anniversary of this initiative, took place from 9 to 15 October 2017 - the official week of the ELDW - and also during the entire month of October. Towns and cities in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe and beyond, together with their national associations, were invited to roll out activities on the theme ‟Citizen participation, consultation and commitment for a thriving local democracy”.


Denmark took over the six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers

On 15 November Denmark took over the six-month chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers (November 2017 - May 2018). Denmark will focus on preserving the European human rights system, gender equality, involvement of children and youth in democracy, the fight against discrimination of persons with disabilities and combating torture.

Website: English - French (also available in Danish, German, Italian and Russian)


Recent Council of Europe publication

Digital citizenship education - Volume 1: Overview and new perspectives (2017)
Authors: Divina Frau-Meigs, Brian O’Neill, Alessandro Soriani, Vitor Tomé


European Commision

Communication from the Commission - Strengthening European Identity through Education and Culture


Eurydice brief:Key data on teaching languages at school in Europe - 2017 edition
Full report

Report and Brief on Modernisation of higher education in Europe: Academic staff – 2017
Short video with some key figures from both reports available on the Eurydice Facebook page

Compulsory education in Europe - 2017/18

The structure of the European education systems 2017/18: Schematic diagrams

Citizenship education at school in Europe – 2017

National student fee and support systems in European higher education – 2017/18

Structural indicators for monitoring education and training Systems in Europe 2016 – Thematic overviews

Mobility scoreboard: Higher education background report

European Framework for the digital competence of educators: DigCompEdu

Open Education Europa - The gateway to European innovation learning

Latest newsletter (November 2017)

EPALE - Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe

Blog for "Supporting work-related second language learning for adult migrants"


Mercator Research - European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Latest newsletters: October 2017 - November 2017


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