Informatie over FIPLV – december 2016
Hierbij een overzicht van de belangrijkste gebeurtenissen binnen FIPLV. Namens Terry LAMB, voorzitter FIPLV.
The Slovene Association of Teachers of Languages for Specific Purposes is a new member of the association. Please take a minute to look at their website: http://www.sdutsj.edus.si/english_index.html
This year we have begun a process of modernisation by discussing as a new Executive ways in which we can simplify our procedures whilst at the same time providing more opportunities for you to be involved and to get together. Some of this cannot happen until the next World Assembly as it involves changes to the Statutes, but we plan to hold a meeting for all representatives of member associations whenever we have an event, rather than just at the World Congress every three years. We will also be introducing the possibility of voting online, enabling everyone to have a voice in decisions and not just those able to attend meetings.
Changes in our procedures were discussed at the World Council meeting which took place in Tallinn, Estonia, in June this year (see https://fiplv.com/who-we-are/documents/). Meetings of World Council and Executive Committee were organised prior to the highly successful FIPLV Nordic-Baltic Region Conference in Tallinn, organised by Ene Peterson, Chair of the Estonian Association for Foreign Language Teachers, and her team. The conference brought together people from various parts of the globe and provided a stimulating and diverse programme, including a wonderful cultural programme. You will find further news about this conference in the electronic newsletter of the Nordic-Baltic Region here. (All NBR newsletters can be found on the FIPLV website: https://fiplv.com/members-2/the-nordic-baltic-region/ )
Another exciting development this year is the organisation of the launch of another FIPLV Region, namely the East European Region, which was approved by World Council earlier this year. This will be launched at an exciting conference in Varna, on the beautiful Black Sea coast of Bulgaria, 22-25 June 2017. The regional conference is, as always the case with our regional conferences, open to the world, so please consider submitting a proposal and/or attending the conference to support our member association BETA (Bulgarian English Teachers’ Association) who have agreed to host this first conference. You will find more information here: http://www.beta-iatefl.org/annual-conference/conference-call/ If you click on ‘second call’ you will get the latest information. Please note the deadline for proposals is 10th March 2017 and reduced fees apply for members of FIPLV member associations. We will also be holding the Executive Committee and World Council meetings there, but propose to open up the World Council meeting to all representatives of FIPLV member associations who are attending.
At the end of 2015, the ECML LACS project came to an end. Please take a look at the tools that were developed during the project. One was an Online Directory of language associations/organisations that is searchable and that is intended to facilitate collaboration. (This is of course never finished as it needs constant updating.) The other was a Mediation Tool to help you all to use ECML materials in your own contexts. It consists of multimedia case studies that are organised around a series of frequently asked questions. You will find both of these products on the LACS website and ask you to share them with your own members: http://lacs.ecml.at
FIPLV continues to be involved in ECML activities of course. Together with Brigitte Gerber from the University of Geneva, I am coordinating a project funded jointly by the ECML of the Council of Europe and the European Commission that is called Supporting Multilingual Classrooms. This involves bringing tailor-made workshops to different European countries who have applied for such support. You will see more on this here: http://www.ecml.at/TrainingConsultancy/Multilingualclassrooms/tabid/1816/Default.aspx
Another important piece of news is that FIPLV has been invited to represent language teachers on the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism (ECSPM), a major alliance which will provide policy briefings with which to advise the European Commission and EU Member States on matters which are dear to the hearts of all of FIPLV’s member associations. I would advise you to take a look at the website of ECSPM: http://ecspm.org With this, FIPLV’s advocacy of language teaching is further extended to the European Commission.
Although it seems quite a long way off, we have started planning for the next World Congress with our hosting association, ACTFL. This will be held in New Orleans, USA, 16-18 November 2018 with pre-convention workshops on the 15th. Last month, ACTFL’s 2016 Convention took place in Boston and was an enormous success with 8,500 participants. You can find out about it on the ACTFL website: https://www.actfl.org/convention-expo/2016-annual-convention-and-world-languages-expo and you may have been able to follow aspects of it through the FIPLV or ACTFL Twitter accounts. In 2018 we will also be selecting the venue of the 2021 World Congress so you may wish to start thinking about that. Please don’t imagine that you have to aspire to the same numbers as our North American colleagues (Canada’s was also a very large event in 2015 with representatives from some 35 different countries). Our World Congresses always adapt to local practices whilst adding value by internationalising them.
To finish, there are a few issues that I would ask you to address:
- I am attaching the latest version of our membership list. Please could you check it and write to me with any changes. It would be helpful if you sent me a quick email even if they are still accurate too. I would like to be able to post an updated list by mid January so could you please get back to me on this by 13th January?
- You will, rather belatedly, have received a request for membership fees from our new Treasurer, Sylvia Velikova. Many thanks to those of you who have paid them already. The reason for the delay is that it was rather complicated and long-winded to change treasurers given that our account is in Switzerland. It required us sending forms around Europe to get signatures and it was impossible to do it electronically. Many thanks to Sylvia for her persistence with the bank. It was quite an initiation to the role! Sylvia has now managed to pay our fees to UNESCO and the Council of Europe and requested your fees too. Thank you for dealing with this.
- It used to be the case that we requested an annual report from our members, following a specific format. It is a valuable way of sharing with other associations the kinds of activities you are involved in. In our World Council this year, we decided that we would relax this requirement and suggest that you could instead send us any report you provide to members or others. This will save you some time. It can be in the original language produced too as we would like much greater visibility of other languages on our website. If you like, you can provide a short summary in English, French or German. Please could you send me your 2016 reports by the end of January?
- I am going to send you two separate emails. One is the call for nominations for the FIPLV International Award 2016. We decided that we would from now on call for this at the end of the year so that it can reflect activity for the full year of the award. We know that some of you already have ideas about who you might nominate. The other email relates to a consultation over revisions to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. In July I attended the expert meeting at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and now you have the opportunity to comment directly.
I thank you for reading this update. I hope that our newsletters will contain more photos in future, but there were simply too many developments at this time to put into an email. Indeed there are other developments I could share with you now, but these can wait until the next newsletter in three months.
May I, on behalf of FIPLV Executive, wish you all a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate it, happy holidays, and a successful and satisfying new year 2017. We must hope and pray for peace and joy for everyone in the world. I thank you for playing your part in this, as we continue to persevere in our task of opening minds to different languages and cultures.
Professor Terry LAMB
FIPLV Secretary General