Series of 48 language education workshops in member states
The European Centre for Modern Languages is launching a series of 48 national training and consultancy workshops . The workshops which are hosted in member states offer a wide range of European expertise in language education and are adapted to the concrete needs and specific contexts within individual countries. This year represents the highest ever number of events organised according to this format by the ECML and reflects the increasing popularity of the Centre’s training and consultancy activities.
25 of the events will take place within the framework of the “Innovative methodologies and assessment in language learning” cooperation action between the ECML and the European Commission. These activities, covering member states of the ECML and the European Union, focus on Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference (RELANG), Supporting Multilingual Classrooms and Use of ICT in support of language teaching and learning
The other 23 events targeting the member states of the ECML focus on the following areas: Action research communities, CLIL and beyond – pluriliteracies, Language for work, Language of schooling in subject learning, Plurilingual and intercultural approaches (CARAP/FREPA), The ROADMAP – a self-assessment tool to foster school development, Setting up learning environments where modern languages flourish.
The events combine professional input from the ECML and expertise in the member state to initiate quality developments – the workshops can assist in change processes in language education at local, regional and national levels. The first of the events, a RELANG workshop, will take place at the Lithuanian National Agency for Education in Vilnius on 7-9 March.
Training and consultancy for ECML member states: network meeting for ECML training teams and national local organisers (Graz, 27 January 2023)
The ECML offers its member states European expertise in language education adapted to the concrete needs and specific contexts within individual countries.
On 26 January 2023, seven training and consultancy (TaC) teams exchanged their experience in the field of:
- Action research communities,
- CLIL and beyond – pluriliteracies,
- Language for work,
- Language of schooling in subject learning,
- Plurilingual and intercultural approaches (CARAP/FREPA),
- The ROADMAP - a self-assessment tool to foster school development,
- Setting up learning environments where modern languages flourish (online presentation),
focusing on highlights, challenges and learning opportunities, and conclusions for 2023 activities.
The network meeting with the local organisers from Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Slovak Republic and Slovenia took place on 27 January. The participants got an overview of the TaC offers and their benefits from previous experience, national contexts and needs, and the ECML support provided. Individual meetings took place for local organisers with the TaC teams to discuss the organisation and arrangements of their national events planned this year.
In 2023 the ECML will conduct 23 training events in 17 member states:
|Action research communities (ARC):
||Luxembourg, Montenegro, Norway
|Language for work (LfW):
|Plurilingual and intercultural approaches (FREPA):
||Greece, Malta, Serbia, Slovak Republic
|Supporting the language(s) of schooling (ROADMAP):
||France, Germany, Poland
|CLIL and beyond:
||Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, NorthMacedonia, Poland
|Language of schooling in subject learning (LiS):
||Malta, Slovenia, Belgium
|Setting up learning environments where modern languages flourish (EOL):
||Armenia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece
In addition, up to 25 workshops will be organised in ECML and EU member states through the Centre’s cooperation action with the European Commission – these will be announced shortly.
Ígrundun og þróun kennsluhátta - Action research in language teaching
Local organisation: Brynhildur Anna Ragnarsdóttir
ECML experts: Angela Gallagher-Brett (United Kingdom) and Christine Lechner (Austria)
Participants: 10 teachers of English, German, Danish, Spanish, and Icelandic as FL in upper secondary schools; the president of STÍL
The face to face Training and Consultancy event was organised by STÍL – the Association of Language Teachers in Iceland and the Institute of Continuing Education within the University of Iceland on 11-12 August.
During the event the “Action Research Communities for languages” team presented concepts of action research and the ARC project as well as Intercultural Learning approaches in the language classroom.
The participants were highly engaged during the event and contributed in a very positive way throughout.
Five action research projects were planned during the workshop to be carried out during the autumn. Participants will focus on the following themes:
- Increasing confidence & competence in speaking LOTEs – German & Spanish;
- Reading full literary texts: strategies to motivate learners to read texts rather than synopses;
- Focus on spoken Danish in action;
- Reducing the use of L1 in the language classroom/ Increasing the use of the L2;
- Individual teaching in Mathematics and Icelandic – focus on content related language acquisition.
An online event to share development of the projects will take place at the beginning of November and it is hoped that these will subsequently be published on the ARC website.
Brynhildur Anna Ragnarsdóttir (email@example.com)
The urgency of having Action Research Communities
Date and venue: 20-21 May 2022, European University of Armenia
Local organiser of the ECML training and consultancy: Sona Hakobyan
ECML experts: Christine Lechner and Renata Zanin
Participants: 25 language teachers, school teachers, university professors, head of studies and departments
In a time of rapid change, it is very important to have well-organised and up to date educational programmes and curricula. The ECML’s Action Research Communities (ARC) Training and Consultancy activities capitalize on all the benefits and strengths of action research and teacher communities and enhance professionals’ skills and further empower them. The Training and Consultancy events offer a way to help educators everywhere experience a common vision and carry out collaborative analysis and reflective practice.
ARC already has many success stories from previous training events in ECML member states - these were made available to the participants at the event via Padlet. The events focus on the specific needs of a country taking up the ARC offer. In the case of Armenia; an article on Classroom Action Research has been published by Sona Hakobyan (p. 134, see https://www.eiu.am/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/banber-2021-01.pdf). In the article, the questionnaire on teachers’ awareness of action research showed that teachers are not initially completely familiar with classroom action research, but, with the help of ECML training and consultancy event, many teachers were able to develop this knowledge. The ECML experts, Christine Lechner and Renata Zanin, motivated Armenian teachers to develop ARCs and boost their experience. The expert team also provided very well developed materials and brochures from the ECML.
Action research communities for language teachers: interculturality & the Language classroom
Dates and format: online event, 18 October 2021, 1-2 November 2021, 14 December 2021.
Local organiser: Linnaeus University and Karlstad University, Sweden.
ECML moderators: Christine Lechner, Angela Gallagher-Brett and Larisa Kasumagic.
Number of participants: pre-workshop: 21 participants; main workshop: 11 participants.
Background of the participants: teacher educators and language teachers (German, Spanish, French, English, Swedish as a second language).
Action Research Communities offer language teachers and teacher educators excellent opportunities to increase their intercultural awareness and reflect on how to integrate intercultural learning in their teaching practice. In addition, it can serve as a springboard for collaborations between teachers and teacher educators. During the workshops the participants experienced an exchange of ideas on how to implement intercultural and pluralistic approaches in the language classroom.
The theoretical insights into AR methods and interculturality, practical examples and materials presented by the ECML moderators Christine Lechner, Angela Gallagher-Brett and Larisa Kasumagic inspired the participants to plan their own projects and to discuss them in a group setting. Invited guest lecturers added new perspectives to the topic.
The moderators had also put together an extensive collection of material, including PowerPoint presentations, examples and checklists, which the participants can use in the future. Collaborative tools such as Padlet enabled the participants to post their ideas and projects and served as a space for reflection. The balance of theoretical input on ARC and interculturality, practical examples and time to exchange ideas was very much appreciated by the participants.
The participants were encouraged to present their own project ideas of classroom activities where interculturality should be a main part of the activity. In moderated group discussions, the participants were helped to develop their projects further. The atmosphere was constructive and encouraging, which was reflected in the lively discussions. The online format worked very well.
All in all, the workshop series provided the participants with a multitude of ideas, materials and approaches that they can implement in their lessons. The Action Research Framework is a useful tool for reflecting on and developing teaching practices.
Corina Löwe, Linnaeus University, and Brita Bodin, Karlstads University
ECML training and consultancy offer for member states “Enhancing language learning and teaching through action research communities for language teachers”
News item in Swedish
Action Research Communities som metod ger både språklärare och lärarutbildare goda möjligheter att stärka sin interkulturella medvetenhet och samtidigt reflektera över hur interkulturellt lärande kan integreras i klassrumspraktiken. Dessutom kan ARC bli en språngbräda för samarbete mellan verksamma lärare och lärarutbildare. Under workshopparna fick deltagarna möjlighet att utbyta tankar och idéer om hur man bäst inkluderar ett interkulturellt perspektiv och mångfaldsfrågor i språkklassrummet.
ECML:s workshopledare, Christine Lechner, Angela Gallagher-Brett och Larisa Kasumagic, bidrog med en teoretisk inblick i ARC som metod och gjorde även en grundlig presentation av ämnet interkulturalitet. Inbjuda gästföreläsare tillförde nya perspektiv. Innehållet i workshopparna inspirerade deltagarna att planera egna projekt och att diskutera dem i olika gruppkonstellationer.
ECML:s samtalsledare har också sammanställd ett användbart material som innehåller PowerPoint-presentationer, exempel och check-listor som workshopdeltagarna har fri tillgång till. Verktyget Padlet användes som samarbetsyta och fungerade mycket väl. Här kunde deltagarna ladda upp sina idéer och projekt och även både ge och få feedback. Det är tydligt att deltagarna uppskattade balansen mellan teorier kring ARC och interkulturalitet och utrymmet för praktiska exempel och erfarenhetsutbyten.
Workshopen inspirerade alltså deltagarna att utarbeta projekt för klassrumsundervisning där ett interkulturellt perspektiv var fokus. Alla fick också god hjälp att utveckla sina projektidéer i de ledda samtalsgrupper som ingick i workshopparna. Diskussionerna var livliga i grupperna och konstruktiva tankar och förslag växte fram. Online formatet fungerade utmärkt väl för workshopen.
Sammanfattningsvis menar vi att workshopdeltagarna fick med sig mycket matnyttigt material och massor med nya uppslag som lätt kan appliceras på klassrumssituationer. Action Research Communities är ett användbart verktyg för reflektion och för att utveckla sin egen undervisningspraktik.
Dr. Corina Löwe, Linnaeus University, and Brita Bodin, Karlstad University
“Action research for language teachers” in Lithuania: a powerful tool for learners, teachers and school development
ECML Training and Consultancy “Action Research for Language Teachers”
Organisation: Vytautas Magnus University, Education Academy, Institute of Teacher Professional Development, Lithuania
Training period: 28 September 2020 - 12 December 2020
Participants: 21 gymnasium language teachers, university researchers
Research on the improvement of pedagogical activities, by its nature and methodological features, encourages teachers to look for new forms and methods of teaching. Its essence is collaborative learning, which allows participants to systematically take action to solve specific teaching / learning problems that arise in the educational process. It is a team work that emancipates the communication between teachers and students, frees them from certain stereotypical relationships. because not only the teacher but also the student has to identify a problematic area of learning and choose a reasoned solution. The pedagogical improvement research activities and the results encourage teachers and students to reflect on their experiences with other colleagues, a wider circle of specialists. In this way, this research becomes useful not only for the personal development of the teacher and her/ his students, but also for the whole school community, including parents. The research data obtained can also be useful in developing new educational strategies, principles of educational policy.
The moderators of the seminar focused on developing the competence of language teachers. However, all the above-mentioned aspects of pedagogical improvement research were addressed. Taking into account the pandemic situation, the moderators, proposed new IT solutions, providing consultations, discussions and reflections on theoretical material, and involving project presentations from the participants. An excellent rapport was established between the teachers and participants of the workshop, and the teachers received answers to their questions. It proved a truly theoretically, technologically and practically relevant educational event that meets the needs of the educational community.
Contact: Nijolė Čiučiulkienė, Vice-Head of the Institute of Teacher Professional Development, Education Academy, Vytautas Magnus University, e-mail: Nijole.firstname.lastname@example.org
Pedagoginės veiklos tobulinimo tyrimas kalbų mokytojams: seminarai ir konsultacijos
Pedagoginės veiklos tobulinimo tyrimas savo prigimtimi ir metodologinėmis savybėmis skatina mokytojus ieškoti naujų mokymo(si) formų ir metodų. Jo esmė - bendradarbiavimu grįstas mokyma(sis), leidžiantis proceso dalyviams sistemingai imtis veiksmų sprendžiant ugdymo procese kylančias specifines mokymo (si) problemas. Tai - komandinis darbas, kuris emancipuoja mokytojų ir studentų bendravimą, išlaisvina iš tam tikrų stereotipinių mokytojo "visažinio" ir mokio "tuščio stiklainio" santykių, nes ne tik mokytojas, bet ir pats mokinys turi nustatyti probleminę mokymosi sritį ir pasirinkti argumentuotą jos sprendimą. Pedagoginės veiklos tobulinimo tyrimo veikla ir gauti rezultatai skatina mokytojus ir jame dalyvavusius mokinius reflektyviai pasidalinti savo patirtimi su kitais kolegomis, platesniu specialistų ratu. Tokiu būdu šis tyrimas tampa naudingas ne tik mokytojo ir jo mokinių asmeniniam tobulėjimui, bet ir visai mokyklos bendruomenei, įskaitant tėvus. Gauti tyrimo duomenys taip pat gali būti naudingi, kuriant naujas švietimo strategijas, švietimo politikos principus.
Seminaro rengėjai daugiausia dėmesio skyrė kalbos mokytojų kompetencijos ugdymui. Vis dėlto, buvo paliesti visi, aukščiau minėti pedagoginės veiklos tobulinimo tyrimo aspektai. Seminaro organizatoriai, atsižvelgdami į pandemijos situaciją, pasiūlė naujus IT sprendimus, teikiant konsultacijas, diskusijas ir teorinės medžiagos apmąstymus, dalyvių projekto pristatymus. Taigi, seminaro dėstytojų ir dalyvių santykiai buvo glaudūs, ir mokytojai gavo atsakymus į jiems rūpimus klausimus. Tai tikrai teoriškai, technologiškai ir praktiškai aktualus, švietimo bendruomenės poreikius atliepiantis edukacinis renginys.
Doc. dr. Nijolė Čiučiulkienė
VDU Švietimo Akademijos,
Profesinio tobulėjimo Instituto vadovės pavaduotoja
Action Research Communities: ECML training and consultancy activities 2020 in member states
The ARC-Team carried out two official training and activity events organised by Ana Kanareva-Dimitrovska, University of Aarhus in Denmark, and Nijolė Čiučiulkiene, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas in Lithuania. We were also able to run bonus sessions organised by Tita Mihaiu, Institute for CPD for German Teachers, Sibiu/Hermannstadt, Romania.
Despite initial scepticism that online-only would not be possible, in the end, in the situation we managed to run all sessions online.
9 November 2020: Pre-workshop session
7-8 December 2020: Main workshop
March/early April 2021: Follow-up session
8 June 2020, 15:15 - 16:45: Taster
28 September 2020, 15:15-16:45: Preparatory workshop
5 November 2020, 15:15-16:00: Q&A session
10-11 December 2020, 16:00-18:00 on both days: Main workshop
28 January 2021, 16:00-16:40: Voluntary Q&A session
4 February 2021, 16:00-17:45: Follow-up session with participant presentations
Contact & support by e-mail throughout the process
Additional ARC-based sessions for German teachers in Romania
2 parallel groups
Session 1, beginning of October: Introduction to action research
Session 2, second week of October: Content pack - Moving in the (online) language classroom
Project phase supported by local organiser Tita Mihaiu
Session 3, mid-November: Reflection
Session 4, end of November: Evaluation of action research process
Through the process that required a lot of replanning and rethinking we learnt about adjusting pedagogical approaches that online sessions require trainers to work in a strictly focused way and to be very clear about aims. Very precise planning is extremely important, and it is essential to do everything possible to understand the concerns of participants and to react in a flexible way.
We valued co-operation with local organisers who helped clarify who does what, coordinated with participants and explained expectations and concerns to trainers, taking on responsibility for the group and ensuring that participants received CPD recognition.
And we found out how important it is to exploit all online facilities available not only communicating through a learning platform, but also using resources such as Padlet and Google docs as a back-up for materials.
In the end we were surprised how everything fitted together, for example the way online discussions in breakout rooms were much easier than anticipated.
For the future we will be aiming towards blended approaches. It is very much hoped that 2021 will provide opportunities to hold face-to-face workshops, but these will be backed-up by online pre-workshops and follow-up sessions as online support throughout the process.
Project developments presented at conferences and published from late 2019 to early 2021:
Action research workshop for German teachers in Romania organised by the Centrul pentru formarea Continua in Limba Germana (CPD)
Action research workshop for German teachers in Romania organised by the Centrul pentru formarea Continua in Limba Germana (CPD)
Action research carried out by dedicated teachers leads to innovation in classrooms, enhanced teacher efficacy and helps learners to reach their potential.
Until very recently, for many European action researchers, it had always seemed that face-to-face meetings are an absolute necessity to get teachers involved in action research. However, we are currently making new experiences and discoveries.
The CPD Centre for German teachers in Sibiu/Hermannstadt is running a series of training activities on action research based on the ECML project “Action research communities for language teachers” (ARC). The framework for the activities is:
- 90-minute session on action research for German teachers organised by the Centre and held by members of ARC team
- 90-minute session on an innovative didactic approach held by an expert from Germany
- Teachers embark on small action research projects supported by a member of the ARC team at the Centre
- Theme: Moving around in the language classroom - even in times of online learning
- Online presentations of projects by participants
What we are finding out:
- The web-based tools developed by the project www.ecml.at/actionresearch are particularly suitable to be shown online!
- It is necessary to reduce timeslots, which, in turn, means precise preparation.
- Teachers from different parts of the country were surprised by the invitation to participate and grateful for the opportunity.
- It is really important that the communication platform for the events is well-organised and offers the functionality to:
- chat and record the chat;
- allow participants to speak;
- see everyone present during the session;
- show materials through screenshare moving flexibly from PowerPoint to pictures and websites;
- allow work in breakout rooms with easy transfer into breakout rooms and back again to plenary.
Aktionsforschungsworkshop für DeutschlehrerInnen in Rumänien, organisiert vom Centrul pentru Formarea Continua in Limba Germana (CFCLG) / Zentrum für Lehrerfortbildung in deutscher Sprache
Aktionsforschung, die von engagierten LehrerInnen durchgeführt wird, führt zu Innovationen im Klassenzimmer, erhöht die Effizienz der LehrerInnen und hilft den Lernenden, ihr Potenzial auszuschöpfen.
Bis vor kurzem schien es vielen europäischen AktionsforscherInnen, dass persönliche Treffen eine absolute Notwendigkeit sind, um LehrerInnen in die Aktionsforschung einzubeziehen. Zurzeit machen wir jedoch ganz neue Erfahrungen und Entdeckungen.
Das Fortbildungszentrum für Deutschlehrerinnen und -lehrer in Sibiu/Hermannstadt, führt auf der Grundlage des Projekts „Aktionsforschungsnetzwerke für SprachenlehrerInnen“ Fortbildungen zur Aktionsforschung durch.
Es wurde folgender Ablauf geplant:
- 90-minütige Sitzung zur Aktionsforschung für DeutschlehrerInnen, organisiert vom Zentrum und durchgeführt von Mitgliedern des ARC-Teams
- 90-minütige Sitzung über einen innovativen didaktischen Ansatz, unter der Leitung einer Expertin aus Deutschland
- LehrerInnen beginnen mit kleinen Aktionsforschungsprojekten, die von einem Mitglied des ARC-Teams im Zentrum unterstützt werden
- Thema: sich im Sprachunterricht bewegen - auch in Zeiten des Online-Lernens
- Online-Präsentationen von Projekten durch TeilnehmerInnen
Was wir gerade entdecken:
- Die vom Projekt www.ecml.at/actionresearch entwickelten Online-Tools sind für den Online-Einsatz besonders gut geeignet.
- Es ist notwendig, die Zeitfenster zu verkürzen, was wiederum eine präzise Vorbereitung bedeutet.
- Lehrerinnen und Lehrer aus verschiedenen Teilen des Landes waren von der Einladung zur Teilnahme überrascht und dankbar für die Gelegenheit.
- Es ist wichtig,
- dass die Plattform gut organisiert ist und Funktionen auf dem neuesten Stand der Technik bietet;
- dass es eine Chatmöglichkeit gibt und dass der Chat aufgezeichnet werden kann;
- dass man den TeilnehmerInnen das Wort erteilen kann;
- dass man alle während des Treffens sehen kann;
- dass man Materialien durch Teilen des Bildschirmes zeigen kann;
- dass man flexibel von PowerPoint zu Bildern und Webseiten wechseln kann;
- dass Gespräche in den Breakout-Räumen möglich sind, mit reibungslosem Hin- und Herschalten zwischen den Breakout-Räume und dem Plenum.
Action research communities for language teachers: new ECML resource website for teacher development and quality inclusive language education
The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) of the Council of Europe is pleased to announce the completion in both English and German of its ARC resource website “Action research communities for language teachers” (www.ecml.at/actionresearch), an output of the ECML programme “Languages at the heart of learning” (2016-2019).
This website offers resources to support language teachers use action research as a tool for the development of reflective classroom practice, taking them step-by-step through the process of engaging in action research in their respective contexts. It also provides materials for teacher educators in initial teacher education.
Given the challenges teachers and learners have faced during lockdown and the challenges ahead as schools across Europe attempt to return to some kind of normality, the need for teachers to reflect on their practice and to benefit from professional learning communities is greater than ever. These new resources can strengthen teacher development and the provision of quality inclusive language education.
Calling all teachers and teacher educators!
Are you a pre-service teacher who is interested in learning about action research and its benefits for your future teaching practice?
Are you a teacher at primary, secondary or tertiary education level who would like to develop reflective classroom practice by linking professional networks, academic expertise and good practice in your language classroom, and thereby to enhance the quality of your teaching?
Are you looking for impulses to engage in action research and a step by step reference tool which helps set out on your action research journey?
Are you a teacher educator or a training provider looking for ways to develop teachers’ professional skills in this area and for training materials which can be used in a flexible way?
If so, this new open-access resource website, developed in English and German through expert cooperation in the field of language education across geographic Europe and beyond, is most definitely for you.
Action research communities for language teachers
Click on the links below to go directly to the different resources:
Training and consultancy for ECML member states: Enhancing language learning and teaching through action research communities for language teachers (ARC)
A two-day training workshop had been planned to take place at the Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania at the beginning of May. Due to travel restrictions this was impossible.
However, on the 8th of June members of the ARC team were able to run an online session organised by Nijolė Čiučiulkienė to speak about the ARC project on Action research communities for language teachers and to announce the training workshop now planned for the end of the year.