In 2012 the European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (www.coe.int), based in Graz, Austria, will launch its new medium-term programme entitled “LEARNING THROUGH LANGUAGES: Promoting inclusive, plurilingual and intercultural education”.
Projects within the programme will contribute to the Council of Europe’s work promoting quality education for all.
Programme aims and key features
The 2012-2015 programme builds upon the Centre’s previous work and widens its scope, for the first time moving beyond the foreign language classroom to include all linguistic abilities and the needs of all groups of learners. The programme aims to achieve significant impact on learning by:
- developing practical tools and materials either directly for the use of learners or for teachers, teacher educators and/or other actors in the field of education;
- communicating and disseminating results of ongoing and completed ECML projects to key stakeholders.
In addition to the wider scope of the new programme, some of the distinguishing features, compared with the Centre’s previous work, are:
- The focus on the learner: following the current “Empowering language professionals” programme the focus will shift from the language teacher to the learner. Not only on the language learner attending a foreign language classroom but to all learners, based on the premise that from the moment that communication is involved all individuals can be considered as language learners.
- In order to target all learners the emphasis in the new programme is placed on inclusive, plurilingual and intercultural approaches which fully build upon Council of Europe policies in this area. The inclusive approach will involve learners from all backgrounds, be they migrant, special needs, majority, minority …
- Lifelong learning both in formal and informal/non-formal contexts. One of the challenges of the programme will be how to motivate a learner outside the formal learning context, so that, for example, learning continues well beyond the compulsory period of schooling.
- A ‘mediation’ strand of work encourages dialogue with new stakeholders involved in the education process including representatives from parents associations, businesses, heads of schools, and multipliers of regional networks.
- A flexible approach – applicants have two possibilities for becoming involved in the programme. They can either submit a project proposal together with a team of experts on the themes defined within the Call or apply as individuals to one of the ‘tender’ projects (priority areas of interest defined by the ECML where a project outline has already been developed).
Main target audiences
The principal target groups of the Call are:
- experts and researchers in language education, teachers and teacher trainers of all languages;
- experts in education with a strong interest in language education; representatives of related organisations/associations with a stake in good quality language education (e.g. parents associations, school boards, business sector).
Potential personal and professional benefits from participation in the ECML’s work which contributors may in particular value are:
- giving a broader scope to their work in a cutting edge European institution;
- developing their expertise in cooperation with participants from 34 ECML member states; having opportunities to create, innovate and publish;
- being able to achieve significant results with the support, funding and infrastructure of the ECML.
The ECML also seeks to reduce the administrative burden involved in the coordination of a large-scale European project to a minimum by assuming responsibility for: logistics; financial management related to the running of the projects; structuring the projects using tried and tested event formats; as well as for the production of the final project products. Guidance and consultancy is provided for project teams by the secretariat and dedicated programme consultants. The Centre’s well-equipped premises in Graz are also at the full disposal of the projects.
Further details are available online at the following address: http://www.ecml.at/call
Thank you very much for your co-operation