Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to languages and cultures: FREPA's success story in Europe and beyond

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Training event in Yerevan, Armenia, 10-11 September 2013

Information from the moderating project team members

Anna Azaryan and Ani Shahinyan, National Contact Point for Armenia (Yerevan State Linguistic University “Brusov”)
Anna Schröder Sura & Michel Candelier (ECML Team)

The training to the pluralistic approaches and to FREPA (Բազմալեզուևմիջմշակութայինկարողություններիմշակմանգործիքակազմ) held in Yerevan provided an opportunity to confirm that a two-days global approach allows the presentation of each pluralistic approach relatively in depth, and to specifically consider the topic of the contribution of the pluralistic approaches and the FREPA to the development of the competence of learning, as well as to provide guidance to the use of the online tools (descriptors and database, and the passage from one tool to the other). Nearly 80 people, with a majority of English teachers, but also French, German and Russian teachers, as well as teacher trainees and students of the Yerevan State Linguistic University After V. Brusov attended the event. for the preparation of which a local team representing the National Contact Point has been particularly involved. The ECML trainers have been taking into account the sociolinguistic and educational context for the choice of materials, so as to attempt to meet the participants’ specific needs. This is also what led them to ask, with the support of the Armenian National Contact Point, the collaboration of some Armenian colleagues, who have accepted to organize workshops in Armenian and a presentation session of intercomprehension between Farsi and Armenian. The training was characterized by a very active participation to the workshops. Many teachers have already integrated an approach of comparison between languages into their work. Everyone has found in the FREPA and the pluralistic approaches a confirmation of the validity of this approach, as well as tools to support it.
more information

Information from the local organisers, YSLU Center for the Implementation of CoE Language Education Programmes
The YSLU Center for the Implementation of CoE Language Education Programmes and the European Center for Modern Languages held a joint international workshop “A Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to Languages and Cultures” on September 10-11, Yerevan State Linguistic University, Yerevan, Armenia.
The ECML experts Michel Candelier and Anna Schröder-Sura conducted a series of workshops on the following topics: Awakening to Languages, Language Intercomprehension, Integrated Didactics, Learning to Learn and Intercultural Approach.
The participants of the workshop, over 70 people, were mainly school and university teachers and students, interested in disseminating the pluralistic approaches in their surroundings.
During those two days they took an active part in both the plenary session, during which a comprehensive PP on FREPA tools in English and Armenian was presented, and the series of workshop which provided them with the practical skills of using the FREPA tools database and developing their own materials.
During the final plenary the participants were called upon by the Head of the Center for the Implementation of CoE Language Education Programmes and the ECML experts to think of forming a FREPA network which could be coordinated by the Center for the Implementation of CoE Language Education Programmes and serve as a bridge for future collaboration with the FREPA team.
The workshop was closed by the ceremony of granting certificates of appreciation to the ECML experts and certificates of participation and FREPA books to all the participants of the workshop. 

Expert meeting, 27-28 June 2013, Graz, Austria

 On the 27th and 28th of June 2013 the last team meeting for the project Plurilingual and intercultural competences: descriptors and teaching materials / FREPA National Networks has been taking place.
This date has been chosen so early on purpose, in order to evaluate the work and the training carried out so far and at the same time to discuss the activities to be carried out until the project’s end, as well as the contribute of FREPA instruments to other ECML projects, and to take into consideration the aspects of diffusion and cooperation also after the conclusion of the actual project.
To meet the above mentioned reasons and the demands of mediation between different ECML projects, the external consultant Marisa Cavalli, as well as members of the projects IPEPI, MALEDIVE, PIU and PlurCur have participated besides the FREPA Team.
So far, among the most significant outputs of accomplished and ongoing tasks of the project FREPA National Networks, the following points can be mentioned:
  • the continuous updating of the database with new teaching materials in as many languages as possible, as well as the translation of previous materials, especially into English;
  • maintaining contact with the National Contact Points of the ECML, as well as maintaining regular exchanges, especially with those countries, that have created a FREPA country page or that are planning to do so before the end of the project;
  • the creation of an extensive website bibliography;
In the first half of the year, the training has been taking place in Poland, Croatia and Switzerland. The training generally included a presentation in the national language or one of the national languages (developed – if necessary – with the support of the National Contact Points), a number of workshops on the different pluralistic approaches, taking into account the languages taught in each country, as well as a final discussion on the meaning and possibilities of the pluralistic approaches and challenges in their dissemination in the respective national contexts.
The presentations of the first results of these trainings were attended by the intermediates of the projects IPEPI, MALEDIVE, PIU and PlurCur . On the first day, the representatives were given a deeper insight into the work of the current project. On the second day, concrete opportunities of cooperation with the respective projects were developed.
Further possibilities of cooperation with the ECML projects LACS, PLURIMOBIL, EPOSTL and EPOS (“Supporting local networks of users of the European Language Portfolio through an e-platform”) have also been discussed.
The FREPA Team is pleased with its actual manifold opportunities and looks forward to further developments.

Training event "Pluralistic approaches and FREPA" in Osijek, Croatia, 10 May 2013

 Ninočka Truck-Biljan – National Contact Point for Croatia
Anna Schröder Sura & Michel Candelier (ECML Team)

The training was attended by about 40 participants, specialists in English and German, a majority of teachers (including primary school teachers), some teacher trainees and students. After a presentation of the ECML and of the FREPA project webpage for Croatia by Ninočka Truck-Biljan, Anna Schröder-Sura and Michel Candelier lead the participants to a discovery of the pluralistic approaches and FREPA through a PowerPoint presentation in Croatian, with comments in English and German. Afterwards, they made a workshop with similar content, but adapted to two different audiences (specialists in German and specialists in English). During the workshops, the participants had the chance to deepen, often in an active way, their knowledge of integrated approaches and intercomprehension, while training the use of FREPA online tools (lists of descriptors, bank of teaching materials). A final discussion was an opportunity to consider concrete perspectives on the work for the dissemination of pluralistic approaches and of FREPA in Croatia. To a great extent, the participants said in the questionnaires at the end of the training that they intend to use the new materials in their work in the future. This event, which lasted 4.30 hours, was a positive first introduction. The work will be deepened, by request of Croatia, with the project “Training and Consulting Service”, to be held in 2015.

Training event "Pluralistic approaches and FREPA" in Warsaw, Poland, 5-6 April 2013

Anna Susek, National contact point for Poland (ORE Institute)
Anna Schröder Sura & Michel Candelier (ECML Team)
The two-day training to the pluralistic approaches and to FREPA, which took place in Warsaw, marked the beginning of four trainings supported by the ECML in the context of our mediation project.On the first day, at a general conference about plurilingualism and pluriculturalism in Poland (Wielojęzyczność i wielokulturowość w polskiej szkole) and in front of a large audience, the Polish country webpage and a Polish version of the discovery module, developed with the support of the national contact point (Ośrodek Rozwoju Edukacji /ORE), were presented.After this introduction to the pluralistic approaches and to FREPA, the second day was entirely devoted to workshops, mainly attended by teachers and teacher trainees of English, German and French. Diversified activities, often in small groups, allowed the participants to better understand the Awakening to languages, the integrated didactic approach and the intercomprehension between the Slavic languages, also practicing the FREPA online tools. Some workshops aimed at the creation of didactic materials for the Polish educational context. Those were very useful and motivating for the participants. To meet national needs, the final discussion concretely clarified the following prospects: the creation of a FREPA network in Poland, the translation of the descriptors into Polish, as well as further trainings to the pluralistic approaches and FREPA in 2014.

Workshop in Graz, 21-23 November 2012


The workshop of the dissemination project FREPA - National Networks was attended by 31 participants, including 10 people in charge of the ECML’s National Contact Point in their countries, teacher educators, educational leaders, all having significant dissemination competences. Three ECML projects – IPEPIMarillePlurCur – had delegated a person responsible for dissemination.

The majority of the participants acknowledged the importance of FREPA’s key ideas for the development of language education policies in their countries. They have developed context-related action plans, drawing on the first assessments made ​​by those who already had the opportunity to undertake dissemination activities. All participants expressed their intention to engage in follow-up activities, in particular for dissemination and promotion of pluralistic approaches at the levels of policy making and implementation.

As a result of the decisions taken during the workshop, a detailed schedule was established for 2013, based on the following key areas:

• Publication of a webpage for each participating country on the FREPA website written in their language(s), giving information about events and developments related to the dissemination of pluralistic approaches; 
• Implementation of a dozen training activities (including 4 activities directly supported by the ECML), involving team members and associated partners, occasional participations to conferences and seminars, establishment of a specific project for the countries of the Nordic-Baltic region; 
• Further enhancement of the FREPA teaching material online database; 
• Continued cooperation with other ECML projects.

Beyond 2013 it is planned to continue disseminating in some countries under the new project format  "Training and consultancy" offered by the ECML.


More details - coming soon

National support event in Montenegro, 13 September 2012

“Intercultural education – pluralistic approaches to languages and cultures“
Venue: Podgorica, Montenegro
Expert: Ildikó Lőrincz, Hungary
Local organiser: Vanja Madzgalj, British Council of Podgorica with the collaboration of Nataša Perić, Bureau for Education Services Montenegro (Samostalni savjetnik za međunarodnu saradnju, Zavod za školstvo)
Participants: up to 200 teachers of English, French, Italian, German and Russian as well as decision makers from the main educational institutions in Montenegro

Network meeting, 31 May - 1 June 2012

The project network meeting took place on 31 May and 1 June. The majority of the participants were, according to schedule, representatives of the National Contact Points of the ECML, who were introduced to the basic concepts and instruments of the FREPA.
A number of different activities at the meeting highlighted the strong connection between the pluralistic approaches and the FREPA on one hand and the language education policies advocated by the Council of Europe on the other hand and examined the very differing status they currently enjoy in relation to educational policies in the individual nations.
Action plans for a better dissemination of the FREPA in each of these countries have been developed. They aim to launch information campaigns targeting educational institutions, teachers and teacher trainers (e.g. through their associations), in addition to the establishment of national networks and training courses (in collaboration with the ECML and team members) and the development of teaching materials in the respective languages of the countries. These teaching materials will be integrated in the FREPA database.
The website will feature individual webpages for each participating country, which could be accessed by an interactive map. This webpage will present the project and the specific relevance it has in the national language(s) of the individual countries. It will offer information on undertaken or planned actions, teaching materials and publications, experiences, networks and contact persons, etc.
Each country will have to designate a fixed contact person through the Contact Points by September so they can participate in the workshop that will be held from 21 to 23 November in Graz.

In-service training, Estonia, 12-13 April 2012

Title: "FREPA - A set of instruments for the development of plurilingual and intercultural competences"
Venue: Integration and Migration Foundation Our People (MISA),  Liimi 1, Tallinn 10621, Estonia
Organiser: Maire Keppinau (MISA), Tallinn, Estonia  (//
Experts: Petra Daryai-Hansen, Anna Schröder-Sura
Participants: 25, teachers, teacher trainers, decision makers, material designers
ECML contribution: FREPA- A Framework of Reference for Pluralistic Approaches to languages and cultures

First expert meeting, 26-27 january 2012

Das Projekt Mehrsprachige und interkulturelle Kompetenzen: Deskriptoren und Unterrichtsmaterialien zielt auf die Dissemination der  im Rahmen des Projekts CARAP-REPA (Ein Referenzrahmen für plurale Ansätze zu Sprachen und Kulturen) entwickelten Instrumente. Im Vordergrund steht die enge Zusammenarbeit mit den nationalen Kontaktstellen der Mitgliedsstaaten des Europarates, die das Team beim Aufbau eines dauerhaften Netzwerks unterstützen werden. Die Netzwerkarbeit besteht darin, das Referenzwerk zu verbreiten, sprachenübergreifende, kontextbezogene Unterrichtsmaterialien bereitzustellen sowie Lehrerfortbildungen durchzuführen. Die Repräsentanten der nationalen Kontaktstellen sowie die Mitglieder des Netzwerkes werden im ersten Projektjahr jeweils in einem Workshop auf ihre Tätigkeitsbereiche vorbereitet. Erwartete Resultate sind neben der direkten Unterstützung der Lehrenden bei der Planung und Durchführung ihres Unterrichts die Implementierung der Deskriptoren zur Beschreibung mehrsprachiger und interkultureller Ressourcen und Kompetenzen in europäischen Curricula und Lehrplänen. Das langfristige Ziel besteht darin, durch plurale Ansätze zu Sprachen und Kulturen (Eveil aux langues, Interkomprehension, Integrative Sprachendidaktik und Interkulturelles Lernen) Lernende dabei zu unterstützen, ihr relevantes Vorwissen beim Sprachenlernen einzusetzen, Verbindungen zwischen ihren Sprachen aufzubauen und folglich ‚durch Sprachen zu lernen‘.

Die Entwicklungen werden auf der Webseite in einer interaktiven Karte dargestellt und aktualisiert, in der sämtliche Ansprechpartner, Termine, Veranstaltungen und Veröffentlichungen in den jeweiligen Ländern dokumentiert werden. Das gesamte REPA-Instrumentarium ist auf der Homepage // verfügbar.


Project workshop in 2012 - if you wish to participate click here and contact your National Nominating Authority