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    Gazette 49

Gazette 49 - December 2019

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25th Anniversary Conference of the ECML


"Languages at the heart of learning: 25 years of inspiring innovation" (Graz, Austria, 5-6 December 2019)

On 5 and 6 December 2019 the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe organised a high-level conference to celebrate its 25th anniversary (as well as the Council of Europe’s 70th anniversary) and reflect on the important contribution made by the Centre to the field of language education. The event also showcased the results of the ECML’s current programme - Languages at the heart of learning - and launched the next programme 2020-23 - Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences.

The conference combined plenary sessions more focused on key political challenges related to language education, with break-out sessions where particular aspects of language education were examined in greater detail, including the range of tools and capacity-building activities organised by the Centre to help bridge the gap between policy and practical implementation.

A Conference Declaration with the dual aims of highlighting the key contribution of quality language education to democratic societies and acknowledging the challenges that need to be addressed was discussed at the conference, with a final version to be issued in early 2020. As such, the Declaration could pave the way for a Council of Europe Recommendation on Quality Language Education.

In total around 210 participants attended the conference and its dedicated sign languages event. Over 1,600 viewers also followed the event via livestream.

Dedicated conference web section (livestreamed videos, programme, presenters, photo gallery)

History of the ECML in pictures

Social media hashtags: #ECMLconference #25ECML #70coe


Results of the ECML programme 2016-19


New resources coming soon!

The 10 projects within the Languages at the heart of learning programme have developed a plethora of new resources and interactive tools to help professionals implement quality language education. Based on themes that were identified as priorities by the ECML member states, they cover the areas of action research, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and quality assurance, the language(s) of schooling, language in subjects, digital literacy, early language learning, adult migrants, learning environments, sign languages, teachers' competences.

Each project has produced a series of practical web-based materials. They come in a variety of formats: such as guides/guidelines for teachers (two examples are the Quick guide on How to help adult migrants develop work-related language skills and an assessment guide for classroom based testing in sign language), others are interactive survey based tools for self-evaluation (such as the Roadmap survey tool to help schools to support the language(s) of schooling) or training courses for teachers – for example a Moodle platform focusing on Digital literacy for the teaching and learning of languages. Many of the dedicated websites include videos, quizzes and games which can be used for different audiences. The Inspiring language learning in the early years project has, for instance, produced a ‘Myth or fact’ quiz about language learning for young learners - which can be used, among others, to convince parents of the value of starting early with languages.

The outputs of the projects build upon the rich body of work of the Council of Europe in language education and have involved practitioners from all the member states of the ECML, who have been able to contribute to their development and/or have piloted the results in their different countries. As such, they are all developed taking contexts in several countries into account.

The 10 resource websites are currently still in the course of being finalised and will be launched by early 2020. So, very soon we will invite you, as language teachers, trainers, head teachers, decision-makers, researchers, learning service providers, curriculum developers, administrators, school inspectors – to make use of and take inspiration from the many jewels within this treasure trove.


Moving forward: the new ECML programme 2020-23


Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences

2020 marks the launch of the ECML’s 6th medium-term programme: Inspiring innovation in language education: changing contexts, evolving competences.

This programme has been developed in direct response to identified language education priorities in ECML member states. Moreover, it is clearly situated within the context of wider Council of Europe priorities in education, in particular inclusive approaches to education and education for democratic citizenship, where the development of linguistic and intercultural competences plays a key role.

The new programme 2020-2023 encompasses 9 projects and 12 Training and Consultancy activities.

Together the 9 projects address the following key themes: formative assessment in early language learning and for newly arrived migrant children, languages in support of digital citizenship and other transversal skills, the CEFR companion volume and linguistic mediation, CLIL in languages other than English, neighbouring languages in cross-border vocational training, and teacher competences for pluralistic approaches.

For support in national contexts within the ECML’s Training and Consultancy activities, member states can choose from the following 12 areas:

  • Language of schooling and subject learning – Identifying and integrating linguistic and subject objectives – Hands on training sessions
  • A Guide to teacher competences for languages in education
  • Pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures – A didactic tool for integrated plurilingual and intercultural education
  • Supporting the language(s) of schooling: the Roadmap – a web-based, user-friendly and customized self-assessment tool to foster school development
  • Setting up learning environments where modern languages flourish
  • Using ICT in support of language teaching and learning
  • Enhancing language learning and teaching through Action Research Communities for language teachers
  • Quality education in Romani for Europe (QualiRom)
  • Language for work – How to support work-related language learning for adult migrants
  • CLIL and beyond pluriliteracies for deeper learning
  • Young migrants – supporting multilingual classrooms
  • Evaluation and assessment – Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the Common European Framework of Reference (RELANG)

The ECML web section dedicated to the new programme will be launched in January 2020.


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European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe
Promoting excellence in language education
Centre européen pour les langues vivantes du Conseil de l´Europe
Pour l’excellence dans l’éducation aux langues

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