The European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML) is a Council of Europe institution promoting excellence in language education in its 32 member states.
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A Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches

to languages and cultures

The term pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures refers to didactic approaches which involve the use of several (or at least more than one) varieties of languages or cultures simultaneously during the teaching process. By abandoning the “compartmentalised” view of an individual’s linguistic and cultural competence(s), this publication is a valuable step towards implementing the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, in particular its rationale on plurilingual and intercultural competence.

The publication and this website present a comprehensive list of descriptors (Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes)  (view examples of descriptors)

Examples of descriptors:
 - “Can use knowledge and skills already mastered in one language in activities of comprehension / production in another language” (Skills);
 - “Having confidence in one’s own abilities in relation to languages (their study / their use)” (Attitudes);
- “Knows that one must adapt one’s own communicative repertoire to the social and cultural context within which communication is taking place” (Knowledge).
more information on the descriptors

considered necessary within the perspective of a plurilingual and intercultural education. The same descriptors are available online, in graphic form, where the user can see at what stage of the educational process the authors would recommend the development of each resource and its sub-categories.

It provides teaching materials for putting the development of these resources into practice. The teacher can select an activity from a database according to the specific resources for knowledge, skills and attitudes which s/he has identified from the framework.

Teachers of all subjects with an interest in plurilingual and intercultural education
Teacher trainers
Curriculum and programme designers
Textbook writers


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This set of publications opens ways for implementing pluralistic approaches in classrooms in order to develop the plurilingual and intercultural competences of learners of all subjects.
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