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    Gazette 44

Gazette 44 - October-December 2018

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Featured articles


ECML programme 2020-23 “Inspiring innovation in language education”: join the livestream of the pre-Call event on 12 December 2018, 9.00-10.30

Join the ECML livestream on 12 December 09.00-10.30 to find out how you can get involved in the next ECML programme 2020-23, “Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences”. The direct link is: www.ecml.at/livestream.

This short livestream will offer language professionals an insight into the European Centre for Modern Languages and the benefits of participating in its next programme of activities.

The Call for the new programme is due to be launched in January 2019 – with the successful projects to start the following year. This pre-Call event is the first opportunity to find out about into its themes. The resulting programme will be based on key priorities in language education as identified by the ECML’s 33 member states (compiled through an online survey of stakeholders).

The livestream will feature members of the Professional Network Forum (a network of international associations/organisations focusing on language education and assessment), current and former project coordinators, ECML consultants and members of the ECML Governing Board representing national authorities, each offering their perspective on current challenges in language education and how the ECML can address these through its next programme. The event, which is in English and French, will also provide an introduction into the Call for projects and outline the different possibilities for participating.

A chat will also be available to give viewers the opportunity to ask questions.

Please pass this information on to colleagues and networks who may be interested in this event.


That was … the 2018 European Day of Languages

With around 1,300 EDL events registered in the online calendar this year, there was no shortage of creative ideas for celebrating the Day - with seminars on multilingualism, polyglot gatherings, language cafés, a European week of Languages, neighbouring languages festivals, a journey through languages and cultures and, of course, speak dating – to make some new friends!

With 2018 marking the European Year of Cultural Heritage, there were close links between the two initiatives and many of the events organised for the Day focused both on raising awareness of the wide variety of languages in Europe and on promoting cultural heritage and linguistic diversity - thereby encouraging people of all ages to learn languages.

View details

Annual meeting of the ECML Governing Board

The Governing Board of the European Centre for Modern Languages met at ECML premises in Graz on 9-10 October. Turnout at the annual meeting was a record high with 40 participants representing 28 of the 33 States party to this Partial Agreement. In addition to reviewing the ongoing ECML programme, the Governing Board finalised the Call for projects for the upcoming 2020-2023 programme, considered the future orientation and organisation of language policy and practice in the Council of Europe Education programme, and took stock of the ECML cooperation programme with the European Commission. The Governing Board re-elected Ms Ursula Newby (Austria) as its Chair and partly renewed its Bureau.


Try out the Quality Assurance Matrix for CEFR Use (QualiMatrix)

Try out the beta version of the Quality Assurance Matrix for CEFR Use (QualiMatrix), a tool designed for evaluating CEFR-related courses, programmes and teaching and assessment practices. The ECML project team would love to hear your feedback!

Full news item


Watch the e-lang webinar “Towards digital literacy for language teaching and learning” livestreamed on 12 October 2018

The e-lang webinar focuses on real-world tasks, digital resources and autonomy and enables language teachers, teacher trainers, and school inspectors for Modern Foreign Languages to get familiar with the ECML project.

Webinar recording and presentation available on the project website (in English and in French): https://www.ecml.at/e-lang

See also 'New ECML resources' below.


ECML project “Action research communities for language teachers”: action research as a means of transforming practice into a shared emancipatory space

At the beginning of September, Christine Lechner and Marianne Jacquin had the opportunity to present the ARC project as the opening keynote at the first international Conference held by the Association en didactique des langues étrangères en Suisse (ADLES) in Lausanne, Switzerland. This was an opportunity to demonstrate to a large audience how action research can contribute to the enhancement of language teaching, to show how action research functions in practice both at university and school level, and to give insights into the work of the ARC project.

Full news item and link to the video


ECML workshop “Language for Work – Tools for professional development” (Graz, Austria, 23-24 October 2018): fine-tuning the products of the project

The project’s final workshop brought together 46 experts from 31 countries, all of whom work in the field of the linguistic integration of adult migrants and their work-related L2 development. The event enabled participants to review the products developed throughout the project, to discuss how to make them as useful as possible and how to organise the resource bank of tools for professional development, to exchange practical applications and strategies for managers and staff in job centres and public administration to improve communication with the public.

The project aims to create the following products which will be made available online via the Language for Work Network’s website:

  • quick guide “How to help adult migrants develop work-related language skills”, currently available in 11 languages (Bulgarian, Croatian, Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Spanish, and Swedish);
  • expandable compendium of approaches to support workplace language learning;
  • framework to support professional development, outlining practitioner roles and competences relating to different approaches to support work-related language learning;
  • resource bank (including training materials, case studies, etc.), linked to the professional development framework, to support professional development in the field of work-related language learning.

Full news item

Project website available in English and French: https://languageforwork.ecml.at/


Project workshop “A roadmap for schools to support the language(s) of schooling” (Graz, Austria, 15-16 November 2018): roadmap, promises practices database and Guide to be finalised for 2019

The workshop gathered 28 experts coming from 31 countries who worked closely with the project team in order to finalise the project outputs. The project is developing a “roadmap” which is a digital tool that supports the schools in their reflection on the language(s) of schooling and in the implementation of a strategy they themselves have determined. To achieve this, a self-assessment tool will enable each stakeholder - head teacher, teachers, non-teaching staff, students and parents - to start reflecting upon the situation in their school, by assessing different thematic areas.

Full news item

Project website available in English, French and German: www.ecml.at/roadmapforschools


ECML project “Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for language teachers”: workshop results (Graz, Austria, 3-4 October 2018)

Thirty-nine participants from 33 European countries gave feedback on the draft online Guide to instruments and frameworks describing teacher competences for language education and on a draft Overview of the language-related competences of different kinds of teachers. The Overview contains competence descriptions in the areas of pedagogy, language competences, guiding principles of language education, but also for dimensions such as cooperation with other stakeholders, and teachers’ career-long learning. The participants’ active contributions will enable the project team to provide a qualified opinion on the need for a future framework before the end of the project in 2019.

Full news item

Project website available in English and French: www.ecml.at/teachercompetences


Networking on Language in subjects (Graz, 18-19 October 2018)

The 5 team members worked together with 11 non-linguistic subject teachers, coming from Armenia, Austria, Finland, France, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, who represented various school subjects, such as history, biology, geography, mathematics, chemistry, physical education, and social sciences. The participants gave feedback on the first versions of the tools that the team had developed for subject teachers. With the help of the tools, subject teachers should become more aware of the language component in their subject to be able to scaffold those students who struggle with the subject-specific language.

Full article


ECML project “Pro-Sign2 - Promoting excellence in sign language instruction”: presented during two major events in Serbia and Brazil

The Pro-Sign2/efsli Conference in Belgrade was a tremendous success with some 150 people from 39 countries who shared evidence-based practice around teaching, learning and assessing sign languages. Key themes were the European Language Portfolio, assessment, sign language pedagogy and technology, plans to develop a generic sign language teacher training curriculum, and sign language teacher competencies. The presentations proved innovative, inspiring and challenging, both for established programmes and experienced teachers as well as for new comers in the field.
The University of Belgrade plans to include Serbian Sign Language in their programme. This is an important step with the goal to enhance awareness of Serbian SL and human rights of sign language users in the Balkan region.
Full news item

On 1st October 2018 Christian Rathmann, coordinator of the Pro-Sign2 project, also delivered a “workshop on the Common European Framework of Reference for Sign Language Teaching: Learning, Teaching and Assessment” as a part of the TILP conference in Florianopolis, Brazil.

ECML project website available in English, French and sign language: www.ecml.at/Pro-Sign2


Training and consultancy activities


A series of 19 national workshops to take place in 2019 through the RELANG and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms initiatives

Local coordinators from 16 countries (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) met with project teams at the ECML on 30-31 October to advance preparations for national workshops to be hosted on the themes of Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference (RELANG) and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms. The series of events targeting practitioners, multipliers and administrators at national level will take place between January and August 2019. (See ECML calendar of events)

The RELANG and Supporting Multilingual Classrooms initiatives, providing training to Member States of the European Union and the European Centre for Modern Languages, are organised through a joint cooperation action with the European Commission - first launched in 2013 (www.ecml.at/ec-cooperation). The action which is based on two key language education concerns within the targeted states will offer training and consultancy over the next year to around 500 language professionals within national systems.


Training events on “Plurilingual and intercultural competences: Descriptors and teaching materials (FREPA)” in Armenia, Germany, Greece and Norway

Training event in Armenia
(Yerevan, 25-26 October 2018)

Full news item

Training workshops in Norway
(Bergen, 27-28 September 2018)

Full news item

Training event in Greece
(Corfu, 6-7 September 2018)

Full news item

Conference for multipliers on the promotion of plurilingualism in schools in Hamburg, Germany
(16 June 2018)

Full news item


Training events on the “Use of ICT in support of language learning and teaching - ICT-REV” in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Slovenia

ECML training event in Bosnia and Herzogovina
(Sarajevo, 2-3 November 2018)

Full news item

ECML training event in Poland
(Sulejówek, 2-3 October 2018)

Full news item

ECML training event in Slovenia
(Kranj, 25-26 May 2018)

Full news item


Training event on “CLIL – A pluriliteracies approach to teaching for learning” in Montenegro

ECML training event (Podgorica, 4-5 October 2018)
Full news item


Towards a socio-interactional approach to foster autonomy in language learners and users

The book explores a possible evolution of the action-oriented approach and the tasks associated to it as presented in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). It introduces a socio-interactional approach to language teaching and learning and a new type of task to be implemented on the Web 2.0: real-world tasks.

This book has been produced as part of the e-lang project “Digital literacy for the teaching and learning of languages” (project of the European Centre for Modern Languages within its “Languages at the heart of learning” programme 2016-2019). It is intended for language teachers and future language teachers, as well as researchers interested in this topic who wish to explore the pedagogical principles of the e-lang project.

Download the publication: English - French


ECML related publication


Materials development for online language courses

NFLRC professional development series on Online Learning Pedagogy: “Materials development for online language courses”.
This lesson on the use of technology for language teaching focuses on how to adapt available online language instructional materials when they are print-based and do not leverage technology in any way. Ursula Stickler also presents the ECML inventory of ICT tools and open educational resources.


Professional Network Forum of the ECML


Forthcoming events - News from partners

The Professional Network Forum of the ECML is comprised of international associations and institutions that share common values and have overlapping expertise in the field of language education and assessment. Under the auspices of the ECML, the members of the Forum share their know-how and work together on areas of common interest in the service of language education.
Members of the Forum: ACTFL, AILA, ALTE, CEL/ELC, CercleS, EALTA, EAQUALS, ECSPM, ECML/Council of Europe, EDiLiC, EFNIL, EPA, EUNIC, FIPLV, ICC, OLBI.


OLBI celebrates its 50th Anniversary

On 1st November the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI/University of Ottawa) has celebrated its historic milestone with the university community. Happy Anniversary to the National Contact Point for the ECML in Canada!


National developments



Language education in the Finnish National Core Curriculum

The article written by Karoliina Inha, Finnish National Agency for Education, provides insight into how the latest Finnish national core curricula and language education are inherently connected and how they complement each other. “Language education is a multifaceted whole comprising diverse but interrelated skills, which are all also connected to intercultural competency and, more generally, to global competency.”

Finland invests in early language learning
The current Finnish Government Programme entails 26 key projects, of which one is “New learning environments and digital materials to comprehensive schools”. The project’s objectives include, for example, modernising Finnish education in terms of pedagogy and the learning environment, improving learning results, and providing pupils with skills that respond to future needs.
The project divides into three themes. One of these is the government key project for languages, which aims to increase and diversify language teaching by way of regional experiments. The three main points of focus here are: integrating early language learning into Finnish education with a much wider scope than before, providing pupils with a wider language repertoire, and creating a welcoming and encouraging attitude towards foreign language learning.

International mobility in upper secondary education is declining
In 2017 Finnish students in upper secondary education completed fewer mobility periods than the previous year. Target countries in both VET and general upper secondary education were mainly in Europe. The EU Erasmus+ Programme is becoming more and more important as a source of funding for student mobility.
Full article



Just published : Courriel européen des langues no. 41
The current issue of Courriel européen des langues contains lead articles from two ECML project coordinators and a French project team:

  • Rebecca Dahm, coordinator of the project “A roadmap for schools to support the language(s) of schooling”;
  • Christian Ollivier, coordinator of the e-lang project “Digital literacy for the teaching and learning of languages”;
  • the national team piloting the EOL project “Learning environments where modern languages flourish” in France.
In addition, Anu Halvari, Finnish National Agency for Education – the National Contact Point for the ECML in Finland – describes the situation of language teaching and the language provision in her country. Finally, a section is dedicated to a selection of recent educational resources.

The Courriel européen des langues is edited in French by the International Centre for Pedagogical Studies (CIEP), the National Contact Point for the ECML in France.

CIEP thematic monitoring on language policies, language teaching and teaching French
Since 1st October, you can subscribe to the themes of your choice to receive by mail a selection of recent French and international publications made by CIEP on

  • educational policies in the world (books, reports, journals, websites, etc.): November selection;
  • language policies and language teaching (French as a foreign language, bi-plurilingualism, etc.): October selection
  • pedagogical resources for teaching French (FLE, FOS...): new methods and complementary tools, practical resources, etc.: November selection

Latest CIEP newsletters

New resources

  • Sound atlas to (re)discover the regional languages of mainland France and the French overseas territories: a map published by the CNRS, France's national scientific research centre, lists a wide range of regional languages. A fable by the Greek writer Aesop was recorded and transcribed in 307 languages and dialects, highlighting the immense linguistic richness of the country.
    Access the atlas
  • Revue internationale d’éducation de Sèvres n° 78 “Accueillir tous les enfants à l’école: la question de l’inclusion”: the international journal dedicated to the topic of 'Welcoming all children at school: The question of inclusion' reviews the evolution of educational concepts in nine countries.
    Access the issue (a number of chapters are available online).
  • With nearly 2,000 terms and more than 500 definitions, the Francophone Business Vocabulary, co-published by DGLFLF and the Office québécois de la langue française, highlights new realities or well-established concepts in the fields of economics, management, trade and business.
    Access the bilingual reference tool
  • Français Langue Étrangère : dynamiques, impacts, perspectives: download the publication

Norway: NAFOs projects on multilingual web resources

The Norwegian National Centre for Multicultural Education (NAFO) has three main projects related to multilingual web resources:

  • “Theme mother-tongue”: A multilingual website with resources in 36 languages. The freely available resources can be used both by the teachers (bilingual teachers and others), students, parents, employees in the kindergarten and more.
    - Short presentation of the project
  • Skolekassa is a multilingual website with online learning-resources in seven languages which correspond to the most common refugee languages in Norway. It is aimed for pupils from 1st-10th grade. The subjects covered are Norwegian, English, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.
  • Flexible learning: the project aims to provide bilingual education for students who do not have access to bilingual teachers. The website provides learning resources and a virtual classroom where the students can meet the bilingual teacher online. Flexible Education is open to participants from primary and lower secondary education for adults and combination classes. In 2018/2019 around 200 pupils participate in the programme and in 2019/2020, there will be around 300 pupils. Currently the pilot offers bilingual content instruction in the languages Arabic, Somali and Tigrinya in the subjects mathematics and natural science.
    - Presentation of the project
    - Film presenting the Flexible Education project: “Tapping into the knowledge of newly arrived students”


New National Contact Points for the ECML in Canada, Estonia and Ireland

The ECML is pleased to welcome the following new national contact points:

  • Ms Kati Bakradze, Tallinn Co-Educational School, Estonia;
  • Ms Eli Babei, Strategic Initiatives, Léargas, Ireland; and
  • Mr Nikolay Slavkov, Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), University of Ottawa, Canada.

The ECML would like to express its deepest gratitude to Mr Tonu Tender (Estonia), Ms Emma Grainger (Ireland) and Ms Marie-Josée Hamel for their support and involvement during the last years.

  • ECML website dedicated to national contacts and language education resources, experts involved in ECML activities in CanadaEstoniaIreland

Council of Europe developments


Danish Chairmanship supports education for democracy and human rights

On 15 November the Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe passed from the Czech Republic to Denmark.
The outgoing Chair, Lubomír Zaorálek, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, summarised his country’s achievements during its chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers. The priorities focused on protecting the human rights of persons belonging to vulnerable or disadvantaged groups and promoting gender equality, strengthening the rule of law, supporting local and regional democracy and public administration reforms, promoting human rights education and linguistic skills and co-operation and co-ordination with other international organisations. With special regard to the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML) the Czech Chairmanship continued to actively support the cooperation carried out in the framework of the ECML’s four-year programme 2016-2019 throughout its 6-month term. A working seminar involving foreign experts was organised in Prague in October for the Czech language test-makers who examine the language proficiency of foreigners applying for a permanent residence permit or citizenship.

The new Chair of the Committee of Ministers, Anders Samuelsen, Minister of Foreign affairs of Denmark, presented the priorities of the Danish Chairmanship which will run for six months as of 15 November 2018. The priorities are the preservation of the European human rights system in a future Europe, gender equality, involvement of children and young people in democracy, the fight against discrimination of persons with disabilities and combating torture.

Full Council of Europe news item


New Council of Europe campaign “FREE TO SPEAK - SAFE TO LEARN - Democratic schools for All” (2018-2022)

The Council of Europe launched its new campaign “FREE TO SPEAK-SAFE TO LEARN - Democratic schools for All” from 14-16 November 2018 in Oslo. The conference was a joint event with the European Wergeland Centre (EWC), the main partner in the campaign. EWC celebrated its 10th Anniversary. The event was opened by Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Participants included students, educators, representatives of public authorities and experts from all over Europe.

The campaign addresses the following themes: making children's and students’ voices heard; addressing controversial issues; preventing violence and bullying; dealing with propaganda, misinformation and fake news; tackling discrimination; improving well-being at school.

The campaign will be run until 2022, at national, regional and European level. It involves 50 states across Europe, the Council of Europe’s 47 member states as well as Belarus, the Holy See and Kazakhstan, as additional parties to the Organisation’s European Cultural Convention.


Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia, Portugal, Slovenia

Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities: Eleventh activity report covering the period from 1 June 2016 to 31 May 2018

Bosnia and Herzegovina: publication of the 4th Advisory Committee Opinion

Latvia: publication of the 3rd Advisory Committee Opinion

Portugal: receipt of the 4th cycle State Report

Slovenia: Resolution CM/ResCMN(2018)12 on the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities


Call for official recognition of sign languages

PACE has called for the official recognition of sign languages so that deaf persons can “exercise their fundamental rights”. Adopting a resolution based on a report by Miren Edurne Gorrotxategui (Spain, UEL), the Assembly’s Standing Committee said such recognition would also “contribute to further promoting the richness of deaf culture and send a powerful message of inclusion to the deaf community”.


International Day of Romani Language celebrated on 5 November

The Council of Europe Secretary General made a statement for this occasion, calling on member states to step up efforts to recognise, protect, promote, and develop the Romani language in Europe.

The World day of Romani language promotes education, language and culture of Roma people and supports multicultural values. It was first initiated by the Croatian Parliament in 2012 and proclaimed World Day of Romani language by UNESCO during its 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO in 2015.

Related links:


Border regions facing the migration phenomenon

According to a recent report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, migration remains a critical issue for all levels of governance in Council of Europe member states. It was against this background that the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities held a debate on “Border regions facing the migration phenomenon” on 6 November 2018.

The report adopted by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities builds on previous Congress texts concerning the reception of refugees and integration of migrants to examine the potential benefits of cross-border co-operation among regions situated on the periphery of Europe or at the borders of countries within Europe. It argues for an “integrated approach”, adequately involving different levels of government, NGOs and partners in countries of origin and transit and underlines that all these stakeholders’ involvement and interconnectedness is crucial for developing effective integration policies.

Read the report

Recent Council of Europe publications

2018 Report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Europe: Role of institutions - Threats to institutions
The annual report of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe looks at the key building blocks of democratic security: efficient, impartial and independent judiciaries; freedom of expression; freedom of assembly and freedom of association; democratic institutions; and inclusive societies. Free copies of the report, available in English and French, can be requested via docrequest@coe.int.
Download the report

Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities – Collected texts (8th edition): publication page

PDF - Education Pack “All different - All equal” - Ideas, resources, methods and activities for non-formal intercultural education with young people and adults (3rd edition): English version (2016) - Now available in French (2018)

Perspectives on youth - Volume 4 - Young people in a digitalised world: publication page


International Organization of La Francophonie

OIF/New York: Multilingualism at the heart of the work of the United Nations General Assembly
The Fourth Committee of the United Nations General Assembly held its general debate on information issues on 18, 19 and 22 October 2018. Multilingualism was at the heart of the exchanges and declarations of States, which unanimously stressed the importance of promoting and integrating multilingualism into the daily work of the United Nations Department of Public Information.
Full article (available in French)

Review of the 2018 Semaine de la langue française et de la Francophonie
From 17 to 25 March 2018, more than a thousand events took place in France and abroad. Flashback on this 23rd edition, which invited everyone to reflect on the various language usages.


Mercator - European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

Mercator newsletters:
Issue no. 144 (September/October)
Issue no. 145 (October/November)
Issue no. 146 (November/December)


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