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    Programme 2020-2023
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    Young children's language learning pathways
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Principles and reflective toolkit

PALINGUI – Young children’s language learning pathways – builds on the principles and concepts identified in the ECML’s resource ILLEY and encourages teachers and educators to make the language learning of the children visible within their education system. PALINGUI encourages teachers and educators to think about the question: “how do we know language learning has been inspiring for the children in our educational setting”? 

PALINGUI extends the notions that are explored in ILLEY and supports teachers and educators in identifying, understanding, and documenting language learning of children aged 3 to 12. 

Teachers and educators are encouraged to observe, assess, and document all the big and small steps that children make as they progress along their language learning pathways, and encourage the children to understand their own learning and support them in taking their next steps on their language learning journey.

ILLEY – Inspiring Language Learning in the Early Years

ILLEY, part of the 2016-2019 ECML programme ‘Languages at the Heart of Learning’ – set out the principles on which inspiring language learning in an education setting for children aged 3 to 12 are based. These principles (language learning is holistic, relies on the existing linguistic repertoire of the child, is meaningful, active, ongoing and continuous, and integrated) – place the child at the heart of the learning process and make children active agents of their own language learning. ILLEY encourages teachers and educators to welcome all languages to their classroom, regardless of their status within the education system – this can include the language(s) of schooling, additional language taught as part of the curriculum, but also community languages, or home languages.

ILLEY also recognises that all contexts are different – ranging from (largely) monolingual to fully multilingual and that community and societal attitudes play an important role in the way that languages are viewed, both within and outside of the education system and encourages teachers and educators to foster inclusivity and diversity.