en  fr  de

This is the testing site

  1. Home
  2.  > 
  3.  > 
    Programme 2020-2023
  4.  > 
    Language-sensitive teacher education

Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education

The purpose of the project is to develop resources in the form of building blocks for teacher educators and curriculum planners working with teachers of different languages and subjects. The building blocks include guidelines to help ensure that a focus on language-sensitive education is built into teacher education curricula and courses. The aim is to enable practising and future teachers to help their students to meet their language and communication needs.

Related resources

Working languages of the project: English, German
Project term: 2022-2023
Shortcut: www.ecml.at/languagesensitiveteachereducation      


Main idea and objectives

The role of language and communication in education

Developing the language and communication competences of students of all ages is essential for democratic participation in diverse modern societies, and therefore a crucial aim of all teaching and learning. Meeting this aim is a key collective responsibility of all teachers in an educational institution: subject teachers, teachers of the language of schooling, teachers of foreign languages and of the students’ home languages. 

What does language-sensitive teaching and learning involve?

Teachers must ensure that the way in which they themselves use language helps each individual student to use language(s) more and more effectively in their learning and, over time, become fully aware of how languages are used for different purposes in the wider world. 

This means that teachers need to develop language-related competences so that they, in turn, can:

  • be sensitive to their students’ language needs
  • understand and explore with their students the language demands of their subject
  • help develop their students’ language awareness and language skills
  • support their students as they gradually learn to use a wider range of the language of schooling and other languages in their learning and in their lives as citizens of democratic societies
  • to enable their students to understand how different languages relate to each other and to the language of schooling and can help them in their learning.

What are the implications for initial teacher education and for the further training of practising teachers?

Teacher education curricula and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes must address the broad range of language-related competences required by all teachers to teach their subject effectively. The training and professional development experiences must also include practical opportunities to apply language-sensitive principles in teaching or teaching practice.

How will the project help teacher educators and those supporting practising teachers of all subjects?
The project is developing various sets of building blocks that will help curriculum designers, teacher educators as well as those providing professional learning opportunities for practising teachers, to address more systematically the competences needed for language sensitive teaching in the courses they design and run for (future) teachers of subjects across the curriculum.


Expected project results

Numerous building blocks are being developed as part of each of the following three interrelated project outputs:

  • Sets of guidelines for reviewing and developing teacher education curricula and continuous professional development (CPD), and for incorporating modules or strands focusing on language-sensitive education into teacher education activities
  • Model tasks for orientation, reflection and design which focus on language-related competences which are relevant for different categories of (student) teachers
  • concise profiles of the competences related to language-sensitive education which are needed by teachers of a range of different subjects including foreign languages, the language of schooling as a subject, and students’ home languages.

The building blocks can be used in a flexible way to support curriculum reform processes in member states.

Target groups

  • Teacher educators, 
  • curriculum planners (pre-service and continuing professional development)

Upcoming events

There are no events in this section yet.

Latest articles

A new Building Block: The Teacher Competence Profiles for language-sensitive education

Inspiring discussions and valuable feedback engaging in further collaboration to develop Building blocks for language-sensitive education

Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education: preparing resources for piloting in autumn 2022

"Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education": project launch

Launch of a new ECML project “Building blocks for planning language-sensitive teacher education”