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    Initiative: The future of language education
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The future of language education in the light of Covid
Lessons learned and ways forward

The initiative explores how the Covid pandemic affected language education in Europe and looks at ways in which the experience, skills and insights gained may bring about beneficial lasting changes in the teaching and learning of languages.
Colloquium 2021

Webinar "The future of language education – learning lessons from the pandemic"

The Covid pandemic has presented challenges for all sectors of education and has led to widespread changes in educational practices. These have greatly affected language teaching and learning across Europe.

In February 2021 a month-long survey developed under the auspices of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) and its Professional Network Forum was launched to find out how institutions and teachers and learners of languages have responded to the challenges presented by successive lockdowns and social distancing. It also explored how language teaching and assessment methodologies have evolved, and what the impact has been on language learning and motivation. There were over 1700 responses from professionals in 40 countries working at different educational levels. 

These responses painted a clear and rich picture of the variety of ways in which teachers and learners have coped with the situation. They also provided insights into some of the positive changes in language teaching that the pandemic has generated, as well as challenges that teachers and learners have confronted. 

This webinar, which continued the series of  ECML webinars on Covid 19 and language education, focused on preliminary findings from this Europe-wide survey, including key statistical data and a  review of the major themes, challenges and lessons learnt. 

Recorded 27 April 2021

Webinar in English: https://youtu.be/V8iAxTYBlAw
Initiative website:  www.ecml.at/future-of-language-education


Top 10 ‘burning issues’ raised by language teachers who responded to the February 2021 survey

Download the list

Case studies

In 2021 sixteen teachers from various countries submitted brief case studies on their professional experiences during the Covid emergency. In the case studies they described a project or teaching experience, then reflected on what they learned from this and how their teaching has changed since the emergency began. 

The 16 case studies are summarised here, and links to the full case studies are provided. Some were featured during a Colloquium held in December 2021: Francesco Imparato presented his case study live, and the authors of four other case studies, Eva Lorencovičová, Susan Starbuck, Heather Kretschmer and Alina Pisica, contributed short videos which were shown during the event.

Following an ECML-EC RELANG training workshop on assessment practices In November 2021, seven further case studies were received from teachers in Cyprus. These focused on experiences of language assessment during the pandemic and are summarised separately here.



This is a bibliography of articles and information about language education and education in general during the Covid pandemic, that have been published since 2022. It will be periodically updated.

Report on the two Think Tanks in 2021

Available for download here.

Leaflet - A Guide to Language Education in Pandemic Situations - and Beyond

Download in English or French

Lesson ideas to stimulate discussion among learners

Download the document

Learners' and teachers' voices

A selection of comments

Download the document here

Webinar on “Language learners’ voices – lessons learned from Covid” - May 2022

This webinar provided an overview of the initiative, presented the initial findings from a pilot project based on classroom activities to elicit learners’ voices and invited participating teachers to take part in the main survey in May-June 2022.

Webinar in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SswVU_3liBs
Download: powerpoint presentation