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					          ECML –
a Council of Europe centre
 promoting excellence in
   language education
  Languages at the Council of Europe

Languages are the basis of: communication, intercultural dialogue,
             social cohesion, democratic citizenship
                       Promotion of:
                  • Plurilingualism of citizens
            • Linguistic diversity in member states
         Language Policy Division

Examples of publications and ongoing work
• Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
• European Language Portfolio
• Guide for the development of language education policies
  in Europe
• Current project: Languages of schooling
   – Language as a subject
   – Language across the curriculum
European Charter for Regional or
      Minority Languages

     The only international treaty
         specifically devoted to
    the protection and promotion of
     regional or minority languages
  European Centre for Modern Languages

• Founded in Graz, Austria, 1994
• Enlarged Partial Agreement
• 34 member states
• Supported by Austrian authorities
• Governing Board
• Secretariat
  European Centre for Modern Languages

• Support of language education policies
• Promote innovation and facilitate reform in
  language teaching and learning
• Development of networks of experts
• Dissemination of good practice
  European Centre for Modern Languages

How the ECML works:
• 4-year medium term programmes of projects
  coordinated by international expert teams
• 2-year short term projects
• National contact points
• National nominating authorities
• Nominated participants from each member state
  who form national and international networks
  and function as multipliers
   European Centre for Modern Languages

• Expert meetings, workshops, conferences,
  regional events involving key multipliers
  in language education from member states
• Interactive online platform for expert
• Project results published as books, CD-ROMs, Internet
  materials etc.
ECML programme 2008–2011

              20 projects, 4 thematic areas


               Continuity in language learning

              Content and language education

                   Plurilingual education
           Programme objectives

1. Enhancing the professional competence
   of language teachers
2. Strengthening professional networks
   and the wider community of language
3. Enabling language professionals to have
   greater impact on reform processes
4. Contributing to better quality
   of language education in Europe
        Projects in the ECML programme
                      in the thematic area
Content-based modern language teaching for young   http://eplc.ecml.at
Curriculum development for Content and Language    http://clil-cd.ecml.at
Integrated Learning
Content and Language Integrated Learning through   http://clil-lote-
languages other than English - Getting started
Good practice in Content and Language Integrated   http://clil-lote-go.ecml.at
Learning for languages other than English
Content based teaching + plurilingual/cultural     http://conbat.ecml.at
  Projects in the ECML programme
                  in the thematic area

A framework of reference for pluralistic approaches       http://carap.ecm

Minority languages, collateral languages and bi-          http://ebp-ici.ec
/plurilingual education

Majority language instruction as basis for plurilingual   http://marille.ec

Language associations and collaborative support           http://lacs.ecml.
Why plurilingual education?
• A political commitment to protecting
  linguistic diversity
• A response to the increasing diversity
  of schools’ populations
• A belief that language learning and
  use always involves at least two
A political commitment to protecting
linguistic diversity
• Policy responses to multilingualism lie
  between two ends of a continuum of
  attitudes and approaches: on the one hand
  policy for the reduction of diversity, and
  on the other the promotion and
  maintenance of diversity. Both can be
  pursued in the name of improved potential
  for international mobility, of
  intercomprehension and of economic
A political commitment to protecting
linguistic diversity
• The Council of Europe and its member States have taken the
  position that it is the promotion of linguistic diversity
  which should be pursued in language education policy. For in
  addition to mobility, intercomprehension and economic
  development, there is the further important aim of
  maintaining the European cultural heritage, of which
  linguistic diversity is a significant constituent. This means,
  then, that language teaching must be seen as the
  development of a unique individual linguistic competence
  ('knowing' languages whichever they may be) and also as
  education for linguistic tolerance.
A political commitment to protecting
linguistic diversity
• Policies for language education should
  therefore promote the learning of several
  languages for all individuals in the course
  of their lives, so that Europeans become
  plurilingual and intercultural citizens, able
  to interact with other Europeans in all
  aspects of their lives
A response to the increasing diversity of
schools’ populations
• “In London, where I live and work, and
  where my children go to school, 32% of
  schoolchildren speak another language in
  addition to English. Three hundred
  languages, from Albanian to Zulu, are
  spoken by London schoolchildren, yet
  most pupils’ experience of another
  language within the school curriculum is
  French, possibly German or Spanish.”
A response to the increasing diversity of
schools’ populations
•   Minority languages in Romania
     – 19 minority languages: Hungarian, German, Ukrainian, Slovak,
       Serbian, Turkish, Tartar, Croatian, Russian, Czech, Bulgarian,
       Armenian, Greek, Romani, Polish, Hebrew, Italian, Chinese,
•   Educational structures with tuition in the mother tongue: Czech,
    German, Hungarian, Serbian, Slovakian, Ukrainian
•   Educational structures with tuition partially in the mother tongue:
    Croatian, Turkish
•   Educational structures with tuition in Romanian and study of the
    mother tongue: Armenian, Bulgarian, Greek, Polish, Romani, Russian
(Source: General View of Education for national minorities in Romania during 2003-2006,
A belief that language learning and use always
involves at least two languages
• “What is at stake is the abandoning of
  a compartmentalised » view of an individual’s linguistic and
  cultural competence(s), an abandon which is a logical
  consequence of the way in which « plurilingual and
  pluricultural competence » is represented by the Common
  European Framework of Reference:
• this competence is not « a collection of distinct and separate
  competences » but in a « a plurilingual and pluricultural
  competence encompassing the full range of the languages
  available to him/her »” (CEFR p. 129).
The Issues
• The need for a coherent description of
  plurilingual competence
• Developing effective policies which include
  the presence of a number of languages
• Methodological innovation which combine
  general educational needs with language
The projects in the present medium term programme

• 1. CARAP -     A framework of reference for pluralistic
   – awakening to language
   – The integration of didactic approaches
   – inter-comprehension between related
• Defines plurilingual and pluricultural
• Is developing didactic approaches to
  integrate them in the classroom
• The ability to activate interior
  resources (knowledge, skills and
  attitudes) to be able to cope with a
  set of tasks which are complex
Examples of knowledge
• Knows that cultural differences exist
• Knows that cultural differences can be the source of
  problems in communication and interaction
• Knows that aspects of culture and identity condition
  effective communication
• Knows that cultures may have specific norms of social
• Knows that the way other people interpret our conduct may
  differ from our own interpretation
Examples of attitudes
• Attention / curiosity /sensitivity / positive
  acceptance / receptiveness to diversity / respect
  / esteem / readiness / questioning / relativising
  /adaptability / feeling comfortable:
• With regard to one’s own and other people’s:
   – Identities / social rites / customs / values / language /
     media /
• Analyse/ recognise/compare / interact /activate
   – Can use a range of different criteria to recognise cultural
     closeness or distance
   – Can compare different cultural customs and practices
   – Can recognise cultural prejudices
   – Can recognise differences and similarities between different
     domains of life in society (for example: living conditions,
     working life, respect for the environment, participation in civic
   – Can compare meanings / connotations connected with cultural
     features (for example, the concept of time)
The projects in the present medium term
• 2. Minority languages, collateral languages and bi-
  /plurilingual education
   – Aim – to collect good practice in
     integrating several languages in primary
     education – using developments in the Val
     d’Aosta as an example
The methodological approach
DIDACTIC OPTIONS                             OPPOSED to
•   Diversity of texts                       •   Little variety of text
•   “Early” learning                         •   “late” language learning
•   “Spiral progression”                     •   Linear progression
•   Goes from complex to simple to complex   •   Goes from simple to complex
•   Intensive teaching                       •   Fragmented learning and teaching
•   Texts with social and personal impact    •   “School” type texts
•   Revision and rewriting as correction     •   Normative grading
•   Inductive approach                       •   Frontal, instructional teaching
•   Shared control                           •   Teacher control
•   Systematic teaching                      •   Random teaching
•   Learning tasks                           •   “Reinforcing” tasks
                                             •   Monolingual learning and teaching
•   Bilingual learning and teaching
The projects
3 Majority language instruction as basis for plurilingual
• Aim – to examine the consequences for teaching the
  « first » language of schools to classes where the learners
  come from a variety of linguistic backgrounds
The problem
•   I am the Director of a large Language College (1600 + students) in
    Sheffield, UK, and we are currently in the process of exploring
    ways of bringing together all the language experiences of all our
    students in a more cohesive and coordinated fashion than we have
    been able to so far. Our pupils are 11-18 years old and speak
    between then 30 different home languages. Our language of
    instruction is, of course, English, and we also teach 8 different
    foreign languages (although some of these may well be the home
    languages of some of the pupils).
The problem 2
•   We want to bring some cohesion to the language development of our pupils and are looking in
    particular at the following:

•   1. English as a first language (studied across the school by all children - including those for whom
    English is not the first language !!)

•   2. EAL (English as an additional/second language) - very patchy provision at the moment, and some of
    the learning there would also benefit some of our monolingual youngsters; we work more intensively
    with younger pupils, including withdrawal lessons but explicit timetabled EAL support drops off once
    the children have mastered the basic social language (BICS) with CALP (cognitive academic language
    proficiency) being neglected

•   3. the 30+ home languages of our students (some of which we teach as foreign language to other
    students, some of which we teach as mother tongues to those who wish to gain accreditation in their
    home language); we are working with a number of complimentary schools who teach these languages to
    children of their own communities and also teach two of these ourselves, outside the normal
    timetable (Arabic, Somali).
    4. Modern foreign languages - who could, we are sure, learn a lot from EAL and TEFL methodology as
    well as being able to contribute to the teaching and development of the other three areas.
   Looking for a response
• A Framework for Planning
                What do          What does the    What support
                learners bring   task demand of   measures are
                to the task?     them?            needed?

Principles of plurilingual learning
•   It is based on and impelled by a desire to communicate.
•   They must be treated as communicators from the start.
•   Emphasis should be on meaning rather than form.
•   Language learning takes place with and through other learning.
•   It requires models of natural speech in a range of normal settings.
•   Learning a language is a creative process that involves making
    errors and formulating rules.
•   It is a risk-taking process so a supportive environment is
•   It is not a linear process.
•   Bilingual learners already have at least one other language to build

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