In principle, education for migrants should not be seen as distinct from that of general educational provision and the values developed in the work of the ECML apply to it. Nevertheless, there are specific issues related to language education for migrants, which include:
- Enabling migrants to achieve operational competence in the language of the new country quickly and efficiently
- Providing support to migrant children for successful integration into the school system; this includes learning academic discourse related to school subjects
- Developing ways for migrants, especially children, to learn or keep up their language of origin and develop their plurilingual repertoire
- Helping officials and others in contact with migrants to communicate successfully with them
- Ensuring that all migrants, especially those who stay mainly at home, have opportunities to learn the language of the host country
An additional feature of migrant education, especially for recent arrivals, is that their language education frequently takes place in informal settings outside mainstream education. Frequently this can involve the recruitment and training of instructors, interpreters and social workers; and it can include counselling and practical help on how to cope with the challenges of a new country, new regulations, new social norms.