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Using ECML resources in different contexts
Guidelines and practical examples

What is the purpose of the tool?
Projects can very rarely be used in different contexts without some adaptation. The purpose of this tool is to provide examples from a wide range of ECML projects of how they have been adapted for use in different ways. The examples consist of case studies, short videos, written reports and other media. They are offered to inspire you and to help you to reflect on your own particular context. You can gain such inspiration from any project, even if it is not one that you plan to use. Looking at different projects can offer a rich source of examples to support your own planning in your context.

How do I use the tool?
At the top of the tool, you will find 7 frequently asked questions. These cover areas that you are likely to need to reflect on in order to implement a particular project in your own context. They include ways of selecting and adapting relevant parts of a project in order to address particular development priorities, to implementing and evaluating the impact of a project. There are also examples of how challenges have been addressed in different contexts and how its use has been encouraged more widely. By clicking on any question, you will find examples from different projects. These have been organised in sub-headings to help you to identify the most relevant examples. Please remember that you are not looking just for examples from the project that you plan to use in your context. You will find a wide range of ideas and inspiration by looking at the ways in which other projects have been mediated.

Can this tool help me to identify suitable projects to support our national or local priorities?
You may already have some idea of the ECML project(s) that you consider to be useful to help you to meet the priorities in your professional context. In addition to the examples presented on this website the ECML thematic portals may help to identify ECML projects relevant for your national or local developments.

How do projects relate to existing priorities and developments?

To inform developments related to new national policy

Ireland’s upcoming national policy included adopting the CEFR as a reference framework and tool. For this reason, they had participated in the CEF-ESTIM (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages - level estimation grid for teachers) project. Visit the Cefestim website to find out more about these tools. 

Strategy of the Ministry of Education: to support children for 21st century skills in Bosnia-Herzegovina e.g. DOTS (Developing Online Teaching Skills): see the video about Bosnia.

To support curriculum development in relation to a national priority

National priority in Bosnia-Herzegovina: to address the use of different learning styles through new pedagogies and curricula e.g. DOTS (Developing Online Teaching Skills). Watch the DOTS videos.

Projects have  been used in countries outside Europe, such as Canada. Canada has adapted a number of ECML projects, mostly notably EPOSTL (European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages). Through adapting them they can connect with national priorities. For example EPOSTL2 (Piloting and implementing the European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages)  was used in order to support student teachers as part of Canada’s development of the use of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) in education. Watch the video.

In this video, we hear why PlurCur (Plurilingual whole school curricula) is relevant to Luxembourg, but also its limitations, which mean that some adaptation will be needed if it is benefit all plurilingual learners.

To support professional development in relation to an existing national policy

Part of Canada´s integration of the CEFR into provincial curriculum development includes preparing language teachers for these future curricula (EPOSTL) in collaboration with CASLT, the Canadian Association for Second Language Teachers.

DOTS/More DOTS (Developing Online Teaching Skills) is valuable for developing teachers´ own ICT skills, e.g. in Iceland, Sweden, Baltic countries, as testified in a number of videos in a range of languages. 

Supporting teachers to use new technologies with learners on vocational-oriented language learning courses in order to respond to 21st century learning needs, using E-VOLLution (Exploring cutting edge applications of networked technologies in vocationally oriented language learning): see short video.

You will also find useful case studies.

Three case studies with practical TIPS on how to achieve successful pedagogical implementation of the ELP

Projects can be used flexibly to relate to national developments whilst meeting the needs of individual teachers. For example, the Albanian ELP-WSU (The European Language Portfolio in whole-school use) project was undertaken with official support as a way of introducing the ELP at national level in association with curricular reform. Two of the project’s principal aims were to follow progress in language learning and the development of learner autonomy. Self-assessment was found to have a strong motivating effect on learners. The preparation of teachers to use the ELP focused on three things: the different types of activity that promote learner autonomy, with a particular emphasis on creativity and imagination; classroom practice that recognises the value of plurilingual and intercultural experience; and the importance of integrating the ELP fully in the learning process. See case study from Albania.

Some projects lend themselves well to extending existing work in schools, For example, the co-ordinator of the ELP-WSU (The European Language Portfolio in whole-school use) project in this Austrian case study was a member of the team that designed the Austrian ELP for lower secondary learners, and all language teachers at the school were already experienced users of the ELP. The purpose of the project was to consolidate use of the ELP across the school, seeking further ways of developing learner autonomy, exploring the intercultural dimension of language learning, and engaging the pupils’ developing plurilingual repertoires. The full report explains how the ELP is introduced to pupils in a succession of steps, how from time to time pupils are required to set and achieve short-term learning goals by working on individual projects, and how pupils in Year 8 introduce pupils in Year 5 to self-assessment. The report offers many practical tips on how to achieve successful pedagogical implementation of the ELP. Towards the end of the reporting period a survey of pupils elicited overwhelmingly positive responses. See case study from Austria.

This project was designed to develop pedagogical aspects of learner autonomy, building on existing work on the ELP. The ELP-WSU (The European Language Portfolio in whole-school use) project in the Russian Federation was proposed by a university department and supported by the school management. Its aim was to build on existing use of the ELP. It sought to develop learner autonomy by focusing on goal setting, learning strategies and self-assessment, and by developing learners’ capacity to find materials and activities relevant to their goals. The project addressed the plurilingual and intercultural dimensions in a number of ways. For example, it involved learners in global simulations that required them to use their proficiency in different foreign languages, and it encouraged them to communicate with native speakers of languages other than their own first language. In addition the project used a lexical approach to identify similarities and contrasts between different cultures. It explored the cultural implications of lexical borrowings and compared proverbs and gestures across languages. The project was evaluated using questionnaires addressed to learners and teachers. See the Russian case study

To support a local initiative, e.g. in a school, in a university programme

EPOSTL (European Portfolio for Student Teachers of Languages) relates to the initial English language teacher education programme at the Faculty of Modern Languages, University of Veliko Turnovo and its aim to develop student teachers´ skills for reflection and self-assessment on their developing teaching competences. See the powerpoint presentation 'EPOSTL in Bulgaria'.

The "QualiTraining Guide" provides a framework and the tools for facilitating the implementation of quality principles and procedures at grassroots level. It is, thus, relevant both for individual professional development and for team / institutional contexts focusing on consolidating their "quality culture". It contains guidance as well as practical sheets to be integrated into the procedures. Here you will find a number of applications of the project in different contexts.

On this page, you can find accounts of teachers who have implemented PluriMobil (Mobility programmes for plurilingual and intercultural education – tools for language teachers) tools with their students at different levels of education: primary, lower secondary, upper secondary, and teacher education. In some of them, you will find, for example, not just the outline of the project, but also some of the outcomes.  For example, you can see the activity journal of a young Maltese girl who spent time with an exchange family in Germany. 

The MARILLE (Majority language instruction as basis for plurilingual education) project contains examples of how a teacher or a school can begin to address the issue of having children in the classroom who speak many languages. Rather than perceiving this as a problem, the MARILLE framework offers a valuable resource, which enables teachers/schools to reflect on how such multilingualism can be a resource for the classroom. The project focuses specifically on the ‘majority’ classroom i.e. German lessons in Austria, Finnish in Finland, English in England, not in terms of those languages as second languages, but as the curriculum subject for all. As such, the project responds to European policy. Examples of what such activity might look like in the classroom can be found in Part 3 of the Handbook


Further case studies on flexible use of projects

Some projects are so flexible that they can be used for a variety of purposes FREPA/CARAP (A framework of reference for pluralistic approaches) is one example, and in these audio files and transcripts you will find many varied examples of the motivation for using the project tools, from national to classroom level.