and Objectives |
project description in
statement of the ECML recognises that
better European integration, important prerequisites are the improvement
of communication [
] and furthering mutual understanding between
citizens, whose diverse linguistic and cultural traditions are a source
of mutual enrichment.
that linguistic diversity is a valuable asset is the starting point for
this proposal, which focuses on Europe's community languages. The term
'community languages' is used here to refer to languages other than those
which have formal national status. In other words, these include:
- the languages of recently established or migrant
communities such as Polish in the UK, Turkish in the Netherlands, Arabic
- languages spoken across Europe, such as Yiddish or
- the various sign languages used in Europe;
- local languages of long-established communities such
as Sorbian in Germany or Lithuanian in Poland.
like the various national languages of Europe, represent a rich resource
both for the communities which speak them and for Europe as a whole.
identifies six dimensions to such a resource: intellectual, cultural,
economic, social, citizenship and rights. A community, a nation, or a
larger collective which invests in all its languages is therefore likely
intellectual and academic achievement of all children;
cultural activities in all arts fields;
increased possibilities for trade and investment;
capacity to compete in the knowledge economy;
engagement in public life, and democratic practices;
strategies to combat prejudice, promote tolerance and mutual understanding.
the resource which community languages represent is not always recognised.
Consequently, provision to support the learning of these languages may
not always be adequate to ensure that they thrive and that the resource
can be exploited in these ways. In fact, the extent to which the potential
of community languages is overlooked is such that little is currently
known about the nature of current provision or its outcomes. This proposal
therefore aims to redress the information gap by: mapping the kinds of
formal and informal provision available for children of school age; describing,
in broad terms, the outcomes of such provision; identifying existing 'good
practice' in the field and also areas where further support is needed;
and making recommendations for improvements to provision.
AND OBJECTIVES ______________________________
The overarching aim of this project is to raise awareness:
- of the
resource represented by the community languages spoken across Europe;
- and of
the potential to capitalise on this resource in intellectual, cultural,
economic, social cohesion, citizenship and rights contexts.
To achieve these general aims, we intend to collect more accurate information
about provision, and through that process raise awareness of the benefits
of this potential resource. Specifically, this project will:
formal and informal provision enabling children of school age in
member states to acquire enhanced language skills, most notably literacy
skills, in the community languages of significance to them; this map
will include information such as the aims and goals and the nature and
scope of provision, uptake, professional preparation and supply of teachers,
available funding and resources. and will also help to identify gaps
and inconsistencies in provision;
a snapshot of the outcomes for those who have had access to such
provision, by the time they have completed secondary level education.
We will examine learners' achievements in terms of Lo Bianco's six dimensions,
including, therefore, available evidence of the role of provision in
- intellectual and academic
- cultural practices
- skills for work
- social inclusion
- engagement in public life and democratic practices
- combatting prejudice and promote tolerance and
We will also seek to relate the outcomes to
the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning,
Teaching Assessment (CEFR).
some of the characteristics of good practice and areas where further
support is needed: what constitutes 'good practice' will be defined
in the course of the project through discussion with the various participants,
but a basic position is that good practice will support the achievement
of the goal set for the provision and that these goals will be recognisably
in line with the principles set out in the ECML mission statement;
conclusions concerning good practiceand possible further action, for
community language teachers and service providers, with reference
where appropriate to the CEFR and to the European Language Portfolio;
and disseminate the outcomes to various audiences, including practitioners,
decision-makers, educational managers and academics concerned with languages
education at local, national and European levels.
of the project will include:
of a report setting out the findings and conclusions for community language
teachers and service-providers and others with an interest in this field;
- establishment of a network to support developments;
of proposals for funding of further development work based on the outcomes
of the study to relevant European agencies.
project will run from May 2004 until June 2007.
Expert meeting 1:
- the scope
and nature of the data to be collected (including definitions of terms
and outcome indicators) and the procedures by which this will take place,
will be determined;
following on from this discussion will be allocated to project team
members, for completion prior to expert meeting 2.
Preparatory meeting 1:
and evaluation of project team tasks;
for central workshop, including development of pre-workshop tasks for
- input on the potential value of community languages
as a European resource will be provided by invited international experts
- review of data collected
- planning for further action
- evaluation and dissemination issues
The national representatives should
- be willing to participate actively in the project;
- have expertise in the promotion of community language
learning and/ or responsibility for promoting cultural diversity and
the rights of minority groups;
- access to information sources relating to provision
for community languages and experience of collating and presenting this
type of information.
be practitioners, managers or academics in this and related fields.
the central workshop will be expected to provide, in advance of the workshop,
an overview of provision for community languages in their own country,
using a template supplied.
workshop, the representatives should provide a completed version of the
overview by the end of April 2006. Those who have provided a complete
version according to the guidelines set out by the project team will be
invited to attend the network meeting in October 2006.
ECML Fellowship. The project seeks the appointment of an ECML fellow
for three months to facilitate the work of the project during the data
collection period. The fellow will maintain contact with the national
representatives, aiming to ensure that the data is sent to the project
team in time for Expert Meeting 3 in June 2006, and will also help to
collate the data.
30 June - 1 July
Expert meeting 3. The expert group will review the information
submitted by national delegates for presentation at the network meeting;
and devise activities to facilitate discussion of how awareness can be
raised and what constitutes good practice in the context of provision
for community languages. Preparation for the network meeting.
Network Meeting. The map of provision and snapshot of outcomes
will be presented to those who participated in the central workshop and
subsequently provided information about provision in their countries.
Discussion at the network meeting will focus on what constitutes good
practice and on the drawing of conclusions, for community language teachers,
service-providers and decision-makers. The aim will be to produce an agreed
comprehensive list of conclusions by the end of the network meeting.
Participants will also be asked to make suggestions about further developments
of this work. Links between the issues emerging from this project and
Council of Europe policy work in that area will be sought. Participants
will be asked to evaluate the usefulness of the project and make suggestions
for further dissemination of the outcomes.
at the network meeting will be those national delegates who provide information
about provision for community languages in their countries according to
the guidelines and within the timeframe set at the central workshop. We
aim to encourage at least 20 of those who attended the central workshop
to return as network participants.
Expert Meeting 4. The experts will meet to discuss details of the
project publication and to plan the submission of proposals to relevant
European bodies for developmental work to support provision for community
languages. At this meeting, the team will consider how well the project
has met its objectives and success in disseminating the message. Following
the meeting, the final version of the report will be produced and submitted
to ECML, by June 2007; and bids for further funding will be submitted
at the appropriate time.
the expert meetings will be of two days duration in each case. The
central workshop will be of three days duration for the national delegates,
but of four days duration for the expert group. The experts will use the
additional time for more in-depth discussion with the invited experts.
The network meeting will be of two days duration.
The working languages of the project will be English and French. The
expert group will work through the medium of English but both languages
will be used at the Central Workshop. Interpretation facilities are requested
for the Central Workshop. Many of those participating in the various stages
are likely to be fluent in a range of community languages, in addition
to one or more national European languages, but all will need to be fluent
in either English or French.