Newsletter of the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe

Newsletter of the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe
Nr. 30 – February/March 2016

Focus on…

ECML launches its new programme 2016-2019 “Languages at the heart of learning”

Since the beginning of January it has been all-systems-go at the ECML as the new programme – “Languages at the heart of learning” – goes live. This ambitious and innovative programme has two main axes: development and mediation. The development strand focuses on creating new solutions to the challenges in language education identified by our member states, through projects and think tanks; eight project teams have held their first meeting in Graz to plan the detail of how they will address such priority areas as language teacher competences, professional learning communities or school environments where all languages flourish. Broad consultations on teacher education for early language learning and the need for whole-school cooperation in the language of schooling are being prepared – consultations whose findings will feed into think tanks planned for the second half of the year.

Through the mediation strand, member states can adapt and implement existing ECML resources, access ECML expertise through training and consultancy and national support events, celebrate the European Day of Languages and take part in conferences, webinars and colloquia open to a wider public. Demand for the ten areas of Training and consultancy has reached a record high, with 25 requests for support in 2016 alone and 5 workshops of the 16 agreed already delivered within the ECML-EU Cooperation agreement, covering two focus areas: Relating language curricula, tests and examinations to the CEFR and Supporting multilingual classrooms.

If you would like to find out more about the new ECML programme and how to get involved, please visit ourwebsite.

ECML calendar of activities 2016

Overview of the forthcoming and past events in 2016

Initial developments

Language for work – Tools for professional development

Alex Braddell, project coordinatorThe factor of language in guidance for employment

First regional event of the new project, Language for Work – Tools for professional development

Alex Braddell,
project team member


Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for Language Teachers

Lukas Bleichenbacher, project coordinatorProject launch

Lukas Bleichenbacher,
project coordinator



Digital literacy for the teaching/learning of languages

Christian Ollivier, project coordinatorProject launch

Christian Ollivier,
project coordinator

What’s new?

Forthcoming publications

In the next edition of the European Language Gazette the ECML will start the launch of the publication results from the Learning through languages programme (2012-2015).

Using the European portfolio for student teachers of languages: publication now available in Arabic

The ECML wishes to express its warmest thanks to Dr. Haggag Mohamed (South Valley University, College of Education, Hurghada, Egypt) for his translation into Arabic.

Pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures

The publication Les approches plurielles dans l’éducation aux langues: l’intercompréhension, en présence et en ligne (available in French only), coordinated by Doina Spiță, M. Lupu, D. Nica and I. Nica, includes articles relating to two ECML projects:

European Day of Languages’ developments

  • The picture gallery from the European Day of Languages (EDL) 2015 is now online. Enjoy the images of more than 100 events from all over the world!
  • The event “Let’s celebrate Europe’s Linguistic Diversity!” organised by Katarina Mikjel from the Europe House Dubrovnik, Croatia, was voted the most innovative event of the 2015 European Day of Languages with more than 18 000 votes. Congratulations to the winners!
  • Most innovative event competition 2016: for this year the ECML will be awarding a prize to one winner in each country (providing that more than 15 events are submitted in that country).
  • If you already know details about an event for this year’s EDL you can already promote it in the event calendar for 2016.

National developments

France: new language strategy – learning the language of the host country for professionnal purposes – recent publications

Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research: modern language strategy
The new academic map and curricula for modern languages will come into force in September 2016. The new language policy focuses in particular on training and providing resources for teachers. It also aims to boost international mobility among young people through the development of school partnerships.

Learning the language of the host country for professionnal purposes: presentations online

On 1-2 February 2016, the International Centre for Pedagogical Studies (CIEP, Sèvres, France) organised a seminar on learning the language of the host country for professionnal purposes (“Apprentissage de la langue du pays d’accueil à des fins professionnelles: un enjeu pour l’intégration”). The first day was devoted to the results of the “Language for Work” project of the ECML, the second day focused on “Learning French and vocational integration”. All presentations are now available online (in French only).

Recent publications

Courriel européen des langues no. 35, January 2016 – newsletter (in French only) edited by CIEP, the National Contact Point for the ECML in France: in this issue, Sarah Breslin, Executive Director of the ECML, presents the Centre’s new programme “Languages at the heart of learning” (2016-2019). You will also find a number of articles on the latest developments at the ECML and in other European institutions, as well as a selection of recommended resources and events.

The General Delegation for the French language and the languages of France edited two publications on language practices in companies located in France (materials available in French only):

German language in education in Denmark

The Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning has launched a new publication within the Regional dossiers series – The German language in education in Denmark. The dossier was written by Anke Tästensen, principle at the Deutsche Schule Osterhoist in ‪Denmark. A German ‪speaking minority of approximately 15 000 people lives in the southern part of Denmark (North Schleswig). The German language is growing in influence in the region as well as in the rest of Denmark due to its importance for the job market.

Annual report of the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), University of Ottawa

Annual report 2014/2015 of OLBI, the National Contact Point for the ECML in Canada :EnglishFrench
See information about OLBI’s partnership with the ECML on p. 10, 16, 19, 29 and 30.

New official ECML contacts in Denmark, Estonia, Iceland and Norway

  • Denmark: Ms Ana Kanareva-Dimitrovska has taken up her functions as the new National Nominating Authority and National Contact Point.
    Follow the Contact Point on its Facebook page!
  • Estonia: Ms Pille Põiklik has taken up her functions as the Governing Board member.
  • Iceland: Ms Eva Björnsdóttir has taken up her functions as the new National Contact Point.
  • Norway: Ms Renate Evjenth has taken up her functions as the National Contact Point. Ms Sigrun Aamodt has joined the Governing Board as an Observer. Ms Berit Hope Blå is the new contact person for European Language Portfolio issues.

The ECML is delighted to welcome the new members and wishes to express its warmest thanks to Mr. Frits Overgaard Sørensen (Denmark), Ms Suliko Liiv (Estonia), Ms Sigrún Ólafsdóttir (Iceland) and Mr Gerard Doetjes (Norway) for their ongoing and valuable commitment during many years.

Professional network forum of the ECML: forthcoming events

The Professional Network Forum is formed 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 have agreed to share their know-how and have committed themselves to work together on areas of common interest in the service of language education.

Forthcoming events:

Other Council of Europe developments

  • Strengthening education for democracy
    On 11-12 February 2016, the Council of Europe Network of Co-ordinators for Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education discussed: 1) strengthening the effectiveness of education policies for the promotion of human rights, democracy and the rule of law; 2) policy implications for the member states with respect to education for democratic citizenship and human rights for successful integration of migrants and refugees in Europe; and 3) the right to education and anti-discrimination as pre-conditions for education for democratic citizenship and human rights.
    More information on the Council of Europe website
  • Ensuring access to education for all children / Adequate knowl