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    Home language competences

Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils

The project will collect and analyse examples of how migrant pupils’ home languages are evaluated in order to define criteria and produce materials for formative evaluation, taking into account evolving plurilingual repertoires. Particular attention will be paid to synergies between the learning of languages and the development of the language(s) of schooling. The overall aim is to support social and institutional recognition of home languages and to value pupils’ plurilingual repertoires.

Related resources

Working languages of the project: French, English
Project term: 2020-2022
Shortcut: www.ecml.at/homelanguagecompetences     


Main idea and objectives

The project will collect and analyse practices from several countries for assessing the language competences of migrant populations (home language competences) in order to define quality criteria for how they are evaluated. It will particularly focus on the ways in which plurilingual repertoires are taken into account, and on recommendations for the implementation of this type of formative evaluation, for example in terms of frameworks of test materials and level descriptions for specific languages.

The challenge is twofold:

  1. to recognise the language skills and plurilingual repertoires of pupils - whether a pupil (or his or her family) has recently migrated or not, - as a pathway to greater social justice and a vehicle for acheiving educational success,
  2. to promote, through formative evaluation, an inclusive approach that builds on existing language skills by integrating diverse methods of access to knowledge, skills and know-how (school curricula and „A framework of reference for pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures/FREPA“).

The formative evaluation test frameworks developed through the project will recommend, in particular through a mediation activity, implementation in scenarios relating to language competences and their actual use and plurilingual response methods as well as links to the language of schooling and/or the languages of the school curriculum. Furthermore, by proposing level descriptions for specific languages, by collecting assessment practices in languages for which very few level test materials exist, this action, which is based on current assessment practices in different European contexts, questions the potential 'transferability' of the CEFR and related assessment practices, particularly in the work of mapping language reference levels which the project requires.

Analysis and working methods will be based on the exchanges / expertise of the project team members / network members in order to implement in a collaborative way a common understanding of criteria for formative assessment, and to compile a bank of materials or frameworks.

Article about the Recolang project

View article

Source : Courriel européen des langues n° 44. https://www.france-education-international.fr/document/cel-decembre2020

Other articles

Ollivier, C. (2021). e-lang citoyen: Un cadre didactique et des fiches de tâches pour l’apprenant-citoyen usager des langues et du numérique. Courriel européen des langues, 45, 6–7. https://www.france-education-international.fr/document/cel-juin2021

The place of home languages at school: participate in a European survey!

The RECOLANG team (Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils) is carrying out a European survey on the place of home languages at school, particularly within different education programmes or curricula involving migrant adolescents aged 11-18.

This survey focuses on the practices of assessing home language skills and their role in different European education systems. 

The survey is made up of two complementary sections aimed at two different target audiences:

  • A section aimed at pupils aged between 11 and 18 (or their families), who are from a migrant background and one or more home languages other than the language(s) of the school. This section is available in Arabic, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Persian (Dari/Farsi), Portuguese and Turkishhttps://surveyforlearners.questionpro.com
  • A section for schools and educational institutions, teaching and supervisory staff in schools, reception centres and organisations involved in initial and further professional development of teachers working with this age group (11-18 years). This section is available in English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian and Portuguese: https://enqueteinstitutionseducatives.questionpro.com

The survey will be online until the end of 2022. We would be very grateful if you could participate in this survey and disseminate it as widely as possible through your professional networks to anyone who might be interested in this project.

The Recolang project team

More information

Video available in French

Expected project results

  • Mapping of practices and contents of existing level tests for migrant audiences
  • Database of practices and experiences listing the criteria for achieving quality formative assessment
  • Training module with a guide for stakeholders

Target groups

  • Teachers 
  • Individuals and institutions involved in the assessment of language competences
  • Decision makers/policy makers in language education 

Upcoming events

There are no events in this section yet.

Latest articles

“RECOLANG – Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils” – Team meeting on 31 May and 1st June 2023: finalising the website, dissemination and perspectives

“Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils”: expert meeting (Graz, 12-14 September 2022)

Recolang expert meeting, 21-23 June 2022

Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils – an ECML workshop for all countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention

“Resources for assessing the home language competences of migrant pupils”: Recolang network meeting (online, 15-16 June 2021)

The place of home languages at school: participate in a European survey!

Finalisation of the survey on family language assessment practices, place of the survey in the construction of the Recolang project

Launch of the RECOLANG project, 12-13 March 2020

This project is supported by countries signatory to the European Cultural Convention.