Language(s) of schooling
Language(s) of Schooling (2009)
Download the French version of the text "Language(s) of Schooling" (Langues de scolarisation)
This text provides an explanation of the term ‘language(s) of schooling’ and a description of two of its key components ‘language as subject’ and ‘language in other subjects’. It stresses the importance of recognising the wide range of language uses a pupil will encounter in school and the need to build on the pupils’ individual language repertoire. This text provides an introduction to the ‘language as subject’ and languages in other subjects’ sections of the platform.
Language and school subjects - Linguistic dimensions of knowledge building in school curricula (2010)
Jean-Claude Beacco, Daniel Coste, Piet-Hein van de Ven, Helmut Vollmer
Download the French version of the text "Language and school subjects - Linguistic dimensions of knowledge building in school curricula" (Langues et matières scolaires - dimensions linguistiques de la construction des connaissances dans les curriculums)
Download the Italian version of the text "Language and school subjects - Linguistic dimensions of knowledge building in school curricula" (Lingua e discipline scolastiche – Dimensioni linguistiche nella costruzione delle conoscenze nei curricoli)
Whatever the subject, all knowledge building in the school context involves working with language. The purpose of this text is to suggest a general approach enabling different levels of specification of these language dimensions to be classed in transversal descriptive categories. The aim is to describe the process leading from units for analysis of actual uses to the identification of linguistic forms and mechanisms appropriate to those uses. It is aimed not only at the authors of curricula and textbooks and the designers of tests, but also at teachers, and especially teachers of subjects sometimes quite wrongly described as “non-linguistic”, to draw their attention to the language components of work in their subject. It is also relevant to teacher trainers, particularly those responsible for the teaching of disciplines other than languages taught as a subject.
Related studies available in "Language(s) in other subjects" on this Platform
A Framework of language competences across the curriculum (2012)
Eike Thürmann, Helmut Vollmer
Concept Paper: The linguistic and educational integration of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds (2010)
Download the French version of the Concept Paper: "The linguistic and educational integration of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds" (Document d'orientation : Intégration linguistique et éducative des enfants et adolescents issus de l’immigration)
This Concept Paper aims to provide a point of entry to the project Languages in Education/Languages for Education (LE) from the perspective of the needs of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds. Chapter 1 summarises the Council of Europe’s general policy regarding the linguistic integration of migrants, and introduces the concept of plurilingual and intercultural education, which is fundamental to the LE project. Within this multidimensional framework, Chapter 2 seeks to identify the policy and implementation challenges that confront member states. Chapter 3 explains how the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the European Language Portfolio have been adapted to support the language learning of migrant children and adolescents who are beginners in the language of schooling. Finally, Chapter 4 briefly introduces the different dimensions of educational and linguistic integration addressed by the studies and resources that complement this document.
Contents (main chapters)
- 1. Council of Europe policy relating to children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds
- 2. Providing for the linguistic integration and education of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds
- 3. Two Council of Europe tools
- 4. Some studies and resources that support the integration of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds within the perspective of plurilingual and intercultural education
Approach to specific needs of disadvantaged learners (2009)
This text tries to characterise the nature of what might be vulnerability in certain children’s linguistic competences (or in their communication through language). Access to schooling is not equitable if the learners’ first language is not taught in schools as a subject and as a language of instruction for teaching other subjects. This is the case with recently arrived migrant children or children from indigenous minorities in polities where their regional language is not recognised. Lack of recognition is possible for all languages lacking official or dominant status, whether regional /minority or foreign. This exclusion of the other person’s languages may be realised as linguistic intolerance founded on negative social representations, rejection, prohibition (in the school setting, in social life) or negation of existence.
This presentation was given during an intergovernmental conference organised by the Language Policy Division in Strasbourg (8-10 June 2009) on "Languages of schooling and the right to plurilingual and intercultural education"
Download the French version of the presentation "Approach to specific needs of disadvantaged learners" (Approches concernant les besoins spécifiques d'apprenants défavorisés)
Migrant pupils and formal mastery of the language of schooling: variations and representations (2010)
Download the French version of the study "Migrant pupils and formal mastery of the language of schooling: variations and representations" (Elèves migrants et maîtrise formelle de la langue de scolarisation : variations et représentations)
When migrant children and adolescents arrive in their host country knowing nothing of the language of schooling, they must simultaneously master conversational and academic varieties of the language. Second and third-generation migrants typically face a different challenge. They may be conversationally fluent in the language of schooling, but their mastery of literacy in the standard language can easily be impeded by the presence of deviant forms in their idiolect. Marie-Madeleine Bertucci’s study illuminates this problem with reference to the written French produced by such learners. The study has far-reaching implications for French as language of schooling and challenges linguists to carry out similar studies for other languages.
- 1. Social norms and linguistic context
- 2. Variability and systemic change
- 3. Proposals
- 3.1 Making allowance for the characteristics of the spoken language in language teaching
- 3.2 Acquisition of the language of schooling: key objects of study
- 3.3 Teaching of second languages and the development of plurilingualism
- 3.4 Acquisition of the language of schooling: some avenues of investigation
Language diagnostics in multilingual settings with respect to continuous procedures as accompaniment of individualized learning and teaching (2010)
Download the French version of the study "Language diagnostics in multilingual settings with respect to continuous procedures as accompaniment of individualized learning and teaching" (Le diagnostic des compétences en langues dans des contextes multilingues : un processus continu favorisant l’enseignement et l’apprentissage individualisés)
Download the Italian version of the study "Language diagnostics in multilingual settings with respect to continuous procedures as accompaniment of individualized learning and teaching" (La valutazione diagnostica delle competenze linguistiche in un contesto multilingue: un processo continuo che favorisce l’insegnamento e l’apprendimento individualizzato)
This study provides an introduction to language diagnostics in multilingual educational settings, with particular reference to the needs of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds. It summarises the objectives and functions of language diagnostics and the principles that govern diagnostics, including formative assessment, as an integral part of continuous language education that emphasises individualised teaching and learning. From a theoretical perspective diagnostic procedures in multilingual settings treat language learning as a socio-cultural activity.
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Language diagnostics in linguistically and culturally diverse educational settings
- 3. Examples of diagnostic tools and procedures
- 4. Implementation strategies – some examples
The Aims of Language Teaching and Learning (2010)
Download the French version of the paper "The Aims of Language Teaching and Learning" (Les objectifs de l’enseignement et de l’apprentissage des langues)
The Languages in and for Education project has at its centre a commitment to an integrated approach to language teaching and learning. This means that in a school context all teachers, whether of the language of schooling taught as subject, second/foreign languages or other curriculum subjects, have a vested interest in and a responsibility for the pupils’ development of language competence. This paper discusses the aims of language as subject and foreign language teaching, and considers aims as they relate to the teaching in/of minority languages and language in other subjects, stressing the need to identify common goals.
Languages of schooling: focusing on vulnerable learners (2010)
Eike Thürmann, Helmut Vollmer, Irene Pieper
Download the French version of the study "Languages of schooling: focusing on vulnerable learners" (Langue(s) de scolarisation et apprenants vulnérables)
In order to achieve educational success pupils from migrant backgrounds must be more than conversationally fluent in the language of schooling: they must also master the varieties of academic language that constitute the fabric of the different curriculum subjects. Because knowledge is virtually inseparable from the language that embodies it, the project “Languages in Education – Languages for Education” takes the view that all teachers must be language teachers in the sense that they are aware of the specific language demands of their subject(s). This study suggests some of the ways in which this challenge can be met.
Languages in and for Education: a role for portfolio approaches? (2010)
Mike Fleming, David Little
Download the French version of the study "Languages in and for Education: a role for portfolio approaches?" (Langues dans et pour l’éducation : apports éventuels des « approches portfolios »)
The European Language Portfolio (ELP) was introduced as a concept in 1997 and formally launched in 2001. It has been taken up in almost thirty Council of Europe member states and 107 models had been accredited by the spring of 2010. The ELP is concerned with the learning and use of second and foreign languages (L2s), which is just one focus of the Languages in Education/Languages for Education (LE) project. But can the LE project benefit from the pedagogical experience that has accumulated over ten years of ELP implementation?
Professional development for staff working in multilingual schools (2010)
Jim Anderson, Christine Hélot, Joanna McPake, Vicky Obied
Despite growing numbers of students with diverse language histories attending school across Europe, systematic and structured professional education to prepare teachers and educational managers for work in multilingual schools is still relatively rare. Both initial teacher education and professional development for mainstream teachers tend not to problematise the language of schooling, assuming that all students are fully fluent, competent users of the language, in and out of the classroom. Professional development needs to address this and other issues.
Cooperation, management and networking: effective ways to promote the linguistic and educational integration of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds (2010)
Christiane Bainski, Tanja Kaseric, Ute Michel, Joanna McPake, Amy Thompson
Download the French version of the study "Cooperation, management and networking: effective ways to promote the linguistic and educational integration of children and adolescents from migrant backgrounds" (Coopération, gestion et travail en réseau : comment promouvoir l’intégration linguistique et éducative des enfants et adolescents issus de l'immigration)
In contemporary schools, linguistic diversity is a common feature and should be the starting point for the educational activities of educators and teachers. Immigrant minority children usually live bi- or multilingual lives in the host country and bring a multitude of languages and language competences to their educational institutions. This study focuses on ways in which the linguistic integration of bi- and multilingual children and young people can be designed successfully through collaboration among pupils, parents, teachers and other educational experts as well as between schools and other institutions.
Studies produced for Conferences on Languages of Schooling
Intergovernmental Conference on ”The language dimension in all subjects: equity and quality in education”
Strasbourg, 14-15 October 2015
The Conference was intended for those responsible for curriculum development and teacher training for any school subject.
National representatives had been nominated by national education authorities.
Seminar on "The language dimension in all subjects"
Strasbourg, 27-28 May 2015
The aim of the seminar was to draw on the expertise of the participants to gain understanding of the potential challenges in implementing the recommendations of the draft Handbook on the same subject, and to gather suggestions for any measures that might support its implementation.
Intergovernmental Conference on ”Quality and inclusion in education: the unique role of language”
Strasbourg, 18-19 September 2013
Language is the central medium of teaching and learning and the main way that learners demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. Competence in language is the basis of successful learning.
This event was an opportunity for those responsible for education policies or for curriculum development (of any school subject) to discuss the role of languages in preventing failure at school, and to contribute to furthering quality and inclusion in education.
Participants: national representatives nominated by national education authorities.
Restricted Seminar on "Plurilingual and Intercultural Education in primary education" (“Language teaching in primary education and the integration into the curriculum of plurilingual and intercultural education”)
Strasbourg, 22-23 November 2012
Participants : a limited number of members of the “European network of curriculum institutes or ministerial departments in charge of curriculum development”
Objectives: As for the previous events in this series, this 3rd seminar (focusing on primary education) aimed at promoting the values and approaches presented in the Guide for the development and implementation of curricula for plurilingual and intercultural education in a practical and efficient way.
Restricted Seminar on "Languages of Schooling in all subjects"
Strasbourg, 27-28 September 2012
Participants: a restricted number of members of the “European network of curriculum institutes or ministerial departments in charge of curriculum development”
- (i) to identify the necessary language requirements for developing subject literacy as well as the relationship within and across subject literacies;
- (ii) to present and compare procedures for formulating frameworks to materialise the notion of subject literacies
Restricted Seminar on "Plurilingual and Intercultural Education in vocational education and training curricula"
Strasbourg, 10-11 May 2012
Intergovernmental Policy Forum: “The right of learners to quality and equity in education – the role of language and intercultural skills”
Geneva, 2-4 November 2010
This intergovernmental policy Forum was held at the generous invitation of the Swiss authorities, and was organised jointly by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (CDIP) and the Language Policy Division.
Participation in this Forum was limited to delegates officially nominated by their national authorities (Steering Committee for Education – CDED) and to International non-governmental organisations (INGOs) holding participatory status at the Council of Europe according to their profile.
Intergovernmental Conference: “Languages of schooling and the right to plurilingual and intercultural education”
Strasbourg, 8-10 June 2009
Follow-up intergovernmental Conference: “Languages of schooling within a European framework for languages of education: learning, teaching, assessment”
Prague, 8-10 November 2007
The 2007 conference enabled work on the development of a common framework of reference, in the form of an electronic platform, to progress. The purpose of the framework is to help elaborate policies and practices capable of meeting the specific challenges of the language of schooling.
Intergovernmental Conference: "Languages of Schooling: towards a Framework for Europe"
Strasbourg, 16-18 October 2006
The 2006 conference marked the begining of the languages of schooling project within the wider context of the "languages of education" concept. This was the first time the member states had been officially consulted in order to define future work.
International Conference: "Towards a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of School Education?"
Kraków, 26-29 April 2006
Individual studies are contained in the Final Report of the Krakow Conference (pdf documents - available online at the website of Jagiellonian University - Poland) and are followed by 24 papers discussing the relationship between terms, concepts, notions, understandings and practices of the educational and academic fields in question.
Teacher education: Language issues in multilingual educational contexts: Sensitising Subject Student Teachers for Language Issues and Cultural Perspectives (2014)
This document is directly linked to educational policies in Luxembourg and the challenges of multilingual school practices for subject teachers. The vehicular languages are German and French with national regulations about language use in each class/ subject. The project presented here aims at enhancing teachers’ professional language skills as part of their general teaching proficiency as they have to cater for more and more linguistically diverse learners.
The proposed course targets young secondary teachers, at postgraduate level, who are requested to confront concepts of learning and theoretical models with their own experiences in the classroom. The selected key areas for professional development are awareness for language issues, key notions of language learning processes, concepts of subject literacies and discourse functions, interaction for learning, multilingual didactics, cultural contexts of learning as well as evaluation questions. For each area, a similar approach includes driving questions, key words, selected references, targeted teacher competences as well as a few suggestions for training activities.
The needs of teachers varying greatly, the areas for development are not equally relevant for all. The course leaves room for trainers' initiatives and puts emphasis on situated approaches to methodological issues. Classroom-based investigations and a reflective stance should improve practice. A reading list is added.
Framework of Reference for Early Second Language Acquisition (2009)
Machteld Verhelst (ed.), Kris Van den Branden, Dirkje Van den Nulft, Marianne Verhallen under the auspices of The Nederlandse Taalunie
The objectives of this Framework for early second language learning* are aimed primarily at immigrant pre-school children, but are equally relevant to children whose mother tongue coincides with the language of schooling. Because there are a number of things that all pre-school children must be capable to do in the language of schooling before starting primary education to avoid falling behind very quickly. Therefore, the Framework contains minimum objectives defining what children should already be able to do with the language of schooling when entering primary education.
This document is a useful tool for teachers of pre-school children and their hierarchy in scrutinising their language teaching and establishing a language policy, for materials developers, for inspectors, for teaching assistants, teacher trainers, educationalists and those providing out-of-school courses and for test developers.
*The second language referred to in this Framework is the language of schooling of the migrant’s children host country.
- 1. Introduction
- 1.1 Background to the project
- 1.2 Project phases
- 1.3 A framework of reference for L2 objectives
- 1.4 Considerations on the fundamental
- 2. Descriptors
- 2.1 Parameters for the description of objectives
- 2.2 Commentary on the list of objectives
- 3. List of objectives
- 3.1 Listening
- 3.2 Speaking
- 3.3 Reading
- 3.4 Writing
- 4. The link with teaching pratice: a pressure point analysis
- 5. Conclusion
Descriptors (contributions from member states - 2009)
ISCED - International Standard Classification of Education, developed by UNESCO
0 = pre-primary education, 1 = primary education or first stage of basic education, 2 = lower secondary education or second stage of basic education (the subsidiary criteria for this level include entry after some 6 years of primary education; end of the cycle after 9 years from the beginning of primary education; end of compulsory education)
- Nederlandse Taalunie
The following descriptors were developed under the auspices of the Nederlandse Taalunie for ISCED Level 0 (please see the Framework of Reference for Early Second Language Acquisition - section above)
The objectives are described at three levels – macro (fields), meso (language acts/tasks) and micro (elements). Descriptors presented here at macro level are those for the field of school; "school" here means any situation occurring within the educational sphere and intended to stimulate the child's development.
Descriptors from the curriculum for Basic Norwegian for language minorities (translated from Norwegian into English). ISCED 1
Curricula (contributions from member states)
- Framework for Basic Skills (translated from Norwegian into English)
- Currriculum for basic Norwegian for language minorities (translated from Norwegian into English)