European Centre for Modern Languages
The European Centre for Modern Languages of the Council of Europe (ECML) was established in 1994 and its mission is to encourage excellence and innovation in language teaching and to help Europeans learn languages more efficiently.
Today the ECML has 34 member states: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
The ECML`s Strategic Objectives are to help its member states implement effective language teaching policies by:
- focusing on the practice of the learning and teaching of languages
- promoting dialogue and exchange among those active in the field
- training multipliers
- supporting programme-related networks and research projects
In order to implement its strategic objectives, the ECML runs 4-year medium-term programmes consisting of projects, workshops and conferences to which participants from the member states are invited.
The hallmark of the ECML is the organisation of international language education projects. Coordinated by teams of experts, these projects primarily target multipliers in language education such as teacher trainers, textbook authors and experts in the area of the development of curricula, educational standards, evaluation/assessment and plurilingual education.
Projects usually last three or four years, a typical operational sequence being: research and development, presentation of preliminary results at a workshop, piloting, drafting of final product or publication, dissemination.
Since 2000 the Centre`s projects have been organised within the 4-year programmes which are selected by the ECML`s Governing Board as a result of a call for proposals setting the parameters for the programme. The second medium-term programme (2004–2007) grouped 21 projects under the title Languages for social cohesion – language education in a multilingual and multicultural Europe; the third medium-term programme (2008–2011) is entitled Empowering language professionals: competences – networks – impact – quality.
The current ECML programme (2008-2011) includes 20 projects that are divided into four thematic areas:
- Continuity in language learning
- Content and language education
- Plurilingual education
Each ECML project is run by a coordinator with the assistance of three team members who are also experts in language education questions. The teams are responsible for the running of the project on the basis of the agreed action plan and for monitoring, reporting and evaluating progress and results.
Participants at ECML workshops are national experts nominated by the member states in response to a participant profile issued by the Centre for each activity. This process is coordinated by the national nominating authorities.
The ECML`s official languages are English and French, the official languages of the Council of Europe. All of the Centre`s projects have two working languages, one of which at least must be one of the official languages. Interpretation is provided for workshops and other major programme activities.
The ECML`s website http://www.ecml.at is the central point for all those requiring information on the Centre`s work. In particular, the publications, reports and CD-ROMs resulting from the ECML`s activities may be downloaded from it.
The Governing Board is the Centre’s executive organ, composed of one representative from each member state: its defines and adopts the ECML`s medium-term programme, monitors its implementation and oversees the management of the Centre`s resources.
National Nominating Authorities
These are the official agencies set up by each member state which are responsible for selecting participants to attend the Centre`s activities. In Latvia it is the responsibility of the External Cooperation and Corporate Management Department of the State Education Development Agency (in Latvian Valsts izglītības attīstības aģentūra, abbr. VIAA).
National Contact Points
The offices in the member states which assist in disseminating the Centre`s publications and other products and distribute information on its work through their own established national networks. In Latvia it is responsibility of the External Cooperation and Corporate Management Department of the VIAA.
How can you get involved in the work of the ECML
There are various ways of getting involved in the work of the ECML:
- submission of a project proposal for a middle-term project which has been carried out in 2010–2011, in the second term of the programme Empowering language professionals;
- participation at the ECML central events. Member states may normally nominate one participant to take part in each central event organised by the ECML. Persons wishing to be considered for nomination should take up contact directly with the National Nominating Authority in Latvia – VIAA.
Other forms of participation. You are welcome to:
- visit the ECML`s documentation and resource centre and consult the resources available on the spot;
- consult the library catalogue and download the resources available online;
- submit bibliographical request to the documentation and resource centre;
- publicise events and conferences that you organise in the international calendar of events on the ECML website;
- take part in the online discussion forums;
- contribute to the collections of data;
- enter your professional profile into the experts database.
Tel. +371 67814331
Valsts izglītības attīstības aģentūra
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