La Rivista per l'insegnamento e l'apprendimento delle lingue

Towards plurilingual approaches in learning and teaching languages

An impression from the ECML conference Languages for Social Cohesion

Gé Stoks

The final conference of the European Centre for Modern Languages’ second medium term programme offered a possibility to take stock of the results of all the projects and to discuss these with colleagues. A rich variety of materials, mostly available in English and in French, was presented. In this contribution I will try to point out some of the projects and show their particular value from my perspective as a teacher educator and as a member of the editorial team of the journal Babylonia.

Contribution to theory building
At the theoretical level, a project in which the theoretical underpinnings of the notion of plurilingual competence were further developed (the project FREPA, an instrument in support of plurilingual education) deserves mentioning. Materials from several countries and languages were analysed in order to arrive at a conceptual framework. It is a good example of how justice is being done to work carried out in different linguistic and cultural contexts to develop a conceptual framework for plurilingual competence. It will, however, be necessary to further clarify these notions and to illustrate them by developing more concrete materials. This will probably happen in the new ECML programme.

Teacher education
At the level of teacher education many materials were presented, among which the project CoCoCoP (Coherence of principles, Cohesion of competences). This publication is mainly meant for teacher education and contains contributions made by teacher educators, who work in different contexts and made different choices as to what to include in their training programmes. The articles provide materials for discussion on theoretical issues and an attempt is made to bring these together in a coherent framework.
As a teacher trainer I am particularly interested in the student teacher portfolio, a tool for initial and continued teacher education but also a challenging document to be used by teacher educators to analyse their own teaching curriculum.
Likewise, the instruments for quality assurance are challenging and invite critical reflection on the organisation and content of teacher education curricula. [...]

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