Language Policy Unit
Policy Instruments

Dedicated websites

Document “Language Education Policy Profiles: Guidelines and Procedures


Appendix 1 : Country Report - Detailed suggestions 2
Appendix 2: Council of Europe instruments and Reference texts 4
Appendix 3: Extracts from Recommendation (98) 6 5
Appendix 4: Extracts from Recommendations on languages with reference to migrants 6

Appendix 1 : Country Report - Detailed suggestions 

SECTION 1 - Factual description

1.1 Context for language learning

A description with statistics where available of languages present in the territory of the country, (official languages, minority or regional languages (including sign languages), languages of (im)migrant communities, etc); basic socio-demographic data; information on the role/status of different languages and where appropriate government plans for education or language education policy.

1.2 Organisation of language teaching

The Country Report describes following elements:
- an overview of the structures of the formal education system (perhaps as an annotated diagram);
- an overview of the language education offered: which languages offered and which are obligatory or optional at which points in the formal education system; statistics (where available) of take-up by learners; statistics of language learning outside formal education or in further and adult education etc; statistics of drop-out from language learning courses; opportunities for learners with special educational needs; (statistics from Eurydice and other existing sources may be used);
- an overview of language education in the official/national language(s) for (i) members of minority groups and (ii) of the majority population(s);
- language learning outside formal education if information is available: an overview of language learning offered in-house by commercial and other businesses (e.g. corporate universities, in-house language training etc);
- the European dimension: how and to what extent is a European dimension present in other subjects;
- conditions promoting language learning in society: town-twinning, language festivals, prizes and other rewards/recognition of competence etc.
Statistics may be provided where available concerning
- the number of learners studying specific languages in each education sector.
- an indication of the levels/standards achieved at the end of secondary school (where possible linked to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
- literacy levels attained by learners in their mother tongue and where appropriate in a second language, for example in minority groups.

1.3 Policies and responsibility for language teaching/learning

- Description of which authorities are responsible for language learning policies (for example distribution of responsibilities between national and regional/local authorities) for (a) minority and majority populations, (b) the different education sectors (compulsory education and beyond); national policy co-ordination mechanisms (if any);
- Description of the language education policies currently in place for language education (all languages);
- Description of approaches to implementation of policies and evaluation of their effectiveness;
- Descriptions of different approaches to language education (for example, foreign languages as media of instruction/bilingual education; use of the Council of Europe instruments: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and European Language Portfolio; language awareness/veil aux langues; languages for academic and specific/vocational purposes in further/adult and Higher Education etc);
- Description of language education policies for minorities (and other non-majority communities or groups) taking into account the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (and relevant Recommendations – see appendices 2, 3 and 4);
- Description of approaches to teaching and assessing the official language(s).

1.4 Teachers

- Availability of qualified language teachers
- Description of relationship between language training and pedagogical training and the qualifications for teachers of languages (national/official, minority, foreign etc).
- Description of methodological approaches to language teaching currently used in different sectors.

1.5 Civil society

- indication of what kinds of partnership, if any, contribute to the development and implementation of language education policy.

SECTION 2 - Plurilingualism and diversification of language education

In this section the country may give an account of the ways in which it promotes plurilingualism and the diversification of language education with particular reference to questions and issues raised in Council of Europe policy statements, instruments and reference documents listed in Appendix 2. It may also present examples of innovatory practices, etc., which may be of interest to other countries.

SECTION 3 - Issues for discussion

In this section it is suggested that the country should identify and describe the priority issues in language education to which it wishes to draw particular attention for discussion and which may be a particular focus of future policy development.

Appendix 2: Council of Europe instruments and Reference texts  

Countries are invited to consult following relevant Council of Europe instruments and reference documents:


Policy recommendations:

Reference documents/Guidelines

Appendix 3: Extracts from Recommendation (98) 6  

The following list of items is derived from Recommendation No. R (98) 6 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States concerning Modern Languages:

Early language learning: the promotion of awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe; opportunities to begin to learn a new language as early as possible; the enabling of smooth transition from one sector of an education system to another; evaluation of the success of early learning.
Secondary education: teaching languages for communication in everyday transactions, for building social relations, to learn to understand and respect other cultures; ensuring pupils have the opportunity to study more than one other language; ensure all pupils in upper secondary continue to learn languages; assist the learning of further languages in upper secondary; encourage the fostering of learner autonomy in language learning as a basis for lifelong learning; sensitise learners to the role of languages in working life.
Vocationally-oriented language learning: in the period of transition from full-time education to working life, and at all stages of vocational preparation and training, offer all young people language courses wherever possible so as to prepare them for taking up an occupation and increase their vocational mobility; a balance between vocational, cultural and personal development; training courses that use a flexible approach (modules, for example) to meet special vocational needs so that credit is given progressively as competences are built up.
Adult education: enable adults to maintain and further develop their language skills on a lifelong basis and encourage those with little or no previous language learning experience to acquire the ability to use a foreign language for communicative purposes; support the provision of facilities for distance education (including the use of communication and information technologies).
Bilingual education in bilingual or multilingual areas: ensure that the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities are taken into account; ensure that children in each community may have the opportunity to develop oracy and literacy in the language of their own community as well as learn to understand and appreciate the language and culture of the other; continue to promote bilingualism in immigrant areas or neighbourhoods and support immigrants in learning the language of the area in which they reside; facilitate and promote learning the languages of neighbouring countries in border regions.
Specification of objectives and assessment: develop realistic and valid learning objectives; use the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to plan or review language teaching; encourage the development and use by learners in all educational sectors of the European Language Portfolio; encourage institutions engaged in assessment and certification to make their objectives, criteria and procedures clear both to candidates and teachers, thus facilitating the comparability of qualifications and European mobility; promote the development of varied forms of assessment and recognition of plurilingual competences, paying particular attention to the definition of objectives for partial competences and the assessment of their attainment.
Teacher training: ensure that adequate numbers of suitably trained language teachers are available at all levels so that, where appropriate, a wide range of languages may be taught; provide training which strikes a proper balance between study of academic subjects and professional preparation; ensure close co-operation between educational authorities, universities, educational research centres and schools in the training of future teachers; enable teachers to spend a part of their degree course in a country where the language they will be teaching is spoken as a language of daily communication; offer teachers of modern languages in-service training.

Appendix 4: Extracts from Recommendations on languages with reference to migrants 

Recommendation No. R (82) 18 of the Committee of Ministers to Member States concerning Modern Languages

Text adopted by the Committee of Ministers, on 24 September 1982 at the 350th meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)
Language learning by migrants and their families

Recommendation 1383 (1998) on Linguistic Diversification
Text adopted by the Assembly on 23 September 1998 (29th Sitting).
The Assembly also recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite member states:
to promote the creation of regional language plans, drawn up in collaboration with elected regional representatives and local authorities, with a view to identifying existing linguistic potential and developing the teaching of the languages concerned, while taking account of the presence of non-native population groups, twinning arrangements, exchanges and the proximity of foreign countries;

Recommendation No. R (98) 6 of the Committee of Ministers to member States concerning Modern Languages

Text adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 17 March 1998, at the 623rd meeting of the Ministers' Deputies
Bilingual education in bilingual or multilingual areas
Continue to promote bilingualism in immigrant areas or neighbourhoods and support immigrants in learning the language of the area in which they reside.

Recommendation 1539 (2001): European Year of Languages
Text adopted by the Assembly on 28 September 2001 (32nd Sitting)
Linguistic diversity has many facets, from the protection of minority languages, many of which are dying out, to the advantage of learning the languages of neighbours and neighbouring cultures and the protection of culture and cultural works in all European languages in the context of globalisation. The Assembly hopes that the Year will act as a stimulus for the development of language policies encouraging, above all, cultural and linguistic diversity and promoting the integration of minorities and immigrants, social cohesion in general and human rights.