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Towards whole-school language curricula
Examples of practice in schools

These resources provide tools which help to clarify, develop and implement plurilingual, intercultural and inclusive whole school policies in different contexts in ECML member states.

Getting started Success factors Examples Videos 

Getting started

The proposed whole-school policy is designed in such a way that languages taught as subjects are not treated in isolation and language and non-language instruction overlap so that all subject teaching is also language teaching. This consistent implementation of content-based language(s) instruction is transferable to all non-language content lessons.

These pages will inform you about the activities that partner schools implemented during the term of the PlurCur project. In some schools, these activities have become a regular part of school life.  

Here are some examples of school projects presented on the website: 

  • Eurolanguages
    Jonas Erin, Cécile Crespin, Yannick Hernandez | Lycée Victor et Hélène Basch, France

The role of whole school approaches in language education

PluCur seeks to encourage a global approach to all the languages learnt and used in schools. 

These include:

  • the “language of schooling” which is usually the national language of the country or region (for example French in France);
  • languages spoken at home by the learners (e.g. languages of migrants);
  • foreign languages learnt as subjects in the school (e.g. an English classroom in Poland);
  • in some cases classical languages (e.g. Latin, Greek)
  • as well as the languages used to teach different subject areas (e.g. German as a language of instruction in a science classroom in Romania). 

For further information, see the Platform of resources and references for plurilingual and intercultural educationCouncil of Europe.

Learners develop their own "repertoires" of the different languages they know and use. The competences acquired in one language can be of use in learning another one and there is complementarity and interplay among the languages they know. 

Whole school approaches create synergies between the teaching and learning of the national/regional language, the different foreign languages and the other languages present in schools. They also raise awareness of plurilingualism and practical opportunities for students to develop their repertoires involving several different languages. The project explores different ways in which this can be achieved.

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Video presenting the publication on the occasion of the ECML conference in December 2016. The presentation took place in the context of a workshop involving two related ECML project results/publications (Language Descriptors and Pluriliteracies).

More languages? – PlurCur!

Research and practice regarding plurilingual whole school curricula

European language policy aims at fostering plurilingualism in individuals but how this goal can be attained within schools as institutions has not been part of the education policy discourse. A project at the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe took up the idea of a plurilingual whole school curriculum, and specific elements of such a curriculum have been implemented and tested at 16 schools in a number of European countries. Some of the elements have been accompanied by research. This volume presents research and reports on practical implementation of plurilingual whole school curricula.

Publication year: 2018

Author(s): Elisabeth Allgäuer- Hackl, Kristin Brogan, Ute Henning, Britta Hufeisen, Joachim Schlabach

Download publication

Mehr Sprachen? – PlurCur!

Berichte aus Forschung und Praxis zu Gesamtsprachencurricula

Herausgegeben von Elisabeth Allgäuer-Hackl, Kristin Brogan, Ute Henning, Britta Hufeisen & Joachim Schlabach

Erschienen in der Reihe: Mehrsprachigkeit und multiples Sprachenlernen, Nr. 11

Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren, 2015. 978-3-8340-1536-5. 22,00 €, 280 S.

Inhaltsverzeichnis als PDF

The whole school curriculum represents the inclusion of all languages and their variants at a given school, i.e. not only the major language but also foreign languages, heritage languages, minority languages, even classical languages in a school district.
Eva Žitná, workshop participant and English language teacher, Slovak Republic


Download the flyer in English or in German

For ongoing activities, please see the ECML training and consultancy page:

These pages result from a project run within the ECML's Learning through languages programme entitled "Plurilingual whole school curricula (PlurCur)".
Find out more about the project here.