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    The John Trim Collection

The John Trim Collection

Mr Trim donated his personal collection of books and documents relating to his lifetime’s work on languages to the documentation and resource centre of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) in 2004. He personally inaugurated the collection, on 16 September 2005 during celebrations for the ECML’s 10th Anniversary.

What makes this collection unique

John Trim was closely associated with the work of the Council of Europe which actually began in the 1960s. In the mid 1970s he headed a project group that developed the fundamental guiding principles of language teaching and learning that still underpin our work today. The projects under John’s expert guidance were characterised by radical innovation in the 1970s and 1980s, with the development and dissemination of new ideas and what became widely known as ‘the Council of Europe approach’. Under John’s guidance the Council of Europe’s work became the single most influential factor in the reforms in course design, textbook authorship, testing and examinations, and teacher training that occurred throughout Europe. The impact of planning tools such ‘Threshold Level’, Waystage, Vantage was unique. Threshold level descriptions of communicative objectives were elaborated for over 30 national or regional languages. John’s untiring personal guidance to the authoring teams for these languages represents a unique contribution to the promotion of linguistic diversity and mutual understanding in Europe.

ECML library resources

The John Trim collection consists of about 11 000 resources, notably;

  • documentation on the work of the Council of Europe conducted between 1971 and 1997, especially of the Modern Languages Projects (congress proceedings, studies, workshop reports)
  • studies related to the development of the Threshold Levels and the Common European Framework of Reference
  • educational resources in the field of teacher education, linguistics, psychology, psycholinguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics, translation, language education, modern language teaching and learning, learner-centered teaching, the language teacher, languages for specific purposes, language education and technology, and didactic materials.

Watch the video in German here.