A Handbook for Curriculum Development and Teacher Training. The Language Dimension in All Subjects

2016. Jean-Claude Beacco, Mike Fleming, Francis Goullier, Eike Thürmann, Helmut Vollmer, with contributions by Joseph Sheils.
ISBN 978-92-871-8456-6.


This Handbook is a policy and working document which promotes convergence and coherence between the linguistic dimensions of various school subjects.

Mastering the language of schooling is essential for learners to develop the skills necessary for school success and for critical thinking. It is fundamental for participation in democratic societies, and for social inclusion and cohesion.

This Handbook proposes measures to make explicit – in curricula, pedagogic material and teacher training – the specific linguistic norms and competences which learners must master in each school subject. It also presents the learning modalities that should allow all learners, and in particular the most vulnerable among them, to benefit from diversified language-learning situations in order to develop their cognitive and linguistic capacities.

The Handbook explains why the language dimension is key to closing the achievement gap and describes the components involved in the use of "academic language" (the formal language used by the different academic subjects) while proposing strategies for teaching that takes account of language issues horizontally (across the different disciplines) and vertically (from one level of teaching to another). It also looks at different options for the devising of curricula, the training of teachers and the quality of education, from the institutional level to the local, regional and national levels of the education system.