The Council of Europe and Language education
The Council of Europe’s activities to promote plurilingualism, linguistic diversity and language learning in the field of education are carried out within the framework of the European Cultural Convention, (1954) ratified by 49 states.
The Language Policy Programme (Strasbourg) with the European Centre for Modern Languages (Enlarged Partial Agreement [ECML] - Graz, Austria) - both in the Education Department - and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages together provide a common approach within the framework of the Council of Europe for dealing with language issues.
The Language Policy Programme which is managed in Strasbourg is responsible to all member states for the development of policy and guidelines to promote linguistic diversity and plurilingualism, and of reference instruments for policy planning and standards. Co-operation programmes have been carried out for over six decades in an intergovernmental framework. They concern not only modern languages, but also languages of schooling and the integration of migrants.
The ECML is an Enlarged Partial Agreement of the Council of Europe created in 1994 in Graz, Austria, which has membership to date of 33 of the 47 Council of Europe member states. Its activities are complementary to those developed in Strasbourg: “the Centre has as its mission the implementation of language policies and the promotion of innovative approaches to the learning and teaching of modern languages” (Article 1 of its statute).
The Language Policy Programme and the ECML: examples of complementary action
The CEFR is a well-known example of close and concrete co-operation between the Language Policy Programme and the ECML, through projects for training teachers and teacher trainers in the use of the CEFR, and in examination of aspects of assessment.
Other areas of co-operation are through a common web section and the implementation of the European Language Portfolio which has been the subject of a number of projects within the ECML.
See the description of the two complementary parts of the website: Resources ► Documents ► Relation between the CEFR and the ELP.